It's sunny, and I'm running. All I can feel is the thump, thump, thump of my heels, until I pick up speed and surge ahead as fast as my legs will carry me over the wet sand by the sea. Inhale, Exhale. Over and over, hearing my breath, and losing it in the hiss of the waves. My lungs burn, and are refreshed in turn. I smile, then grin ear to ear, and begin to laugh, breathless noise at first. I'm winning. The sun's reflecting off the water and sand, and it's as though I'm running on light. It's surreal.
My chest feels like it's going to burst. From running or from this incredible bubble of happiness, I don't know. There's a call from behind me, and suddenly a streak of boy flies past, makes up a 20m lead, then whirls around in one jump, spreading his arms wide, as though he's waiting to catch me.
So I jump.
And there's sand in my hair, and face, and up my arms, as we hit the ground. I'm breathless, but I can't breathe for laughing. We don't get up - there's no need. We just lay there, catching out breath, in the damp sand, as the water threatens to swallow us. I shut my eyes and the sun warms my eyelids. It's hard not to think it's all a dream.
But he's real. And I'm real, and the water at out feet is cold.