Chlorine; blue. Fifty-two pink, purple, blue swimming caps that bob up and down, up and down. Submerged. For the few seconds that Emma's breath lasts, the noise and the echoes of the swimming clases are drowned into a far-off murmur. Underwater means peace.
It means rest. "Rest," Emma thinks, "from having to smile for fear that they think you're mean. Under wáter, I have no responsibilities, there are no social requirements, there is nothing but the blue and my body dancing, unburdened by gravity." Emma's lungs begin to complain. She exhales a small world of bubbles and ascends into the noise.
Puzzled by the inconsequence of air, Emma's eyes wander from pink cap to frail shoulders to sudden laughter.
A big breath, and under again. It's another world. "I wish I could stay here forever."
"But you would die."
"Maybe... but I would die in peace."