Prologue

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These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume 
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


PROLOGUE

Cast into shadows, I was gazing into the darkness. Despite the death threat which hung over my head, the unimaginable depth and width of the sea seemed to be the most terrifying notion in the universe. Was it true? Was there no place on Earth for me? The incoming tide licked at my bare toes as I stood freezing in the chilly September wind. The moon was nothing more than a slither of silver light. I wondered whether I would ever get to see it again. Slowly, l began to inch forward, towards the unforgiving ocean which lay stretched out ahead of me. The grainy sand painfully scratched the soles of my feet. The smell of salt and grief and death was blowing in my face. The wind was playing with my hair, gradually tying it into knots all around my head. I let my arms hang heavy by my sides, shuffling towards the source of my deepest fears. Drowning no longer seemed so bad. Better than to die at the hands of a loved one. I forced myself to keep moving further into the sea. The scratching of sand grew less with every tiny step as the icy water began to mingle with it, turning the beach into ocean ground. I looked for stars but there were none. The sky was made of woolly, black cloth. A good night to disappear. The waves were now splashing my calves and knees, then my hips. I lost feeling in my legs as my elbows touched the water. I started to feel frozen as I imagined my body temperature plummeting and my heartbeat slowing until, finally, there would be nothing. Only silence...and fish. I liked the idea of fish, always moving in a flurry. If only I could be a fish, that might make things easier. My breasts were beginning to numb as I took my last deep breath of air and gave myself up to the roaring, black waves which were crashing around me as they swallowed me whole. 

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