Here, there is no abandonment. Just him, the open space, and the crashing of waves.No one leaves (girlfriend, mother, girlfriend, father, friends, girlfriend), because there is nothing except the wide expanse in front of him and the subtle reminder of everything that can leave to the east.In the blue, he finds peace. He finds solace, he finds comfort. The waves always ebb and flow, never changing their rhythm, never telling him he is unworthy.Nothing in the water causes him to tense--if anything, he is more relaxed in these few blissful hours ever week than he can be stuck in the confined space of his school, his home, his car.As the waves carry him and his board closer to the shore, he wonders how he came to love the water so much. He doesn’t remember the first time he set foot into the icy Pacific, but all the stories (and the coverage in an 1994 issue of People) tell him it was a casual day with his parents in Malibu. He’s seen photos of him, gripping his mother’s arm as he careful enters the water, scared at what the small waves will do to him.Despite the trepidation of the first time, it’s a small comfort to be here. Peace--he finds peace in each wave, in each turn of his board toward a wave and the rush that comes from riding it out. Peace that never came from hours inside, avoiding everyone he could as he attempts to regain the calm from earlier in the day.It is all he can do to keep calm and carry one, knowing that with each day he is away from the water, it won’t matter. The sea, she’ll welcome him back, open arms, cool rush against his face.There, there is no judgment, no care for how drunk he might be later in the day, or how much he fucked up an assignment at school. It is nothing but the quiet hum of the waves, the gentle sway and the call of nature to wash away everything that has been wrong until then.The day he punches Gory in the face, she calls to him, like she hasn’t called to him in months. As the wet suit settles against him, the chill of the afternoon air washes away all of the pain, all the hurt and all the anger he’s pent up. The first step into the blue, it all vanishes.He is no longer bound my his own twisted morals. He is free, to lap against the salt water as it tries to overtake his lungs, bringing him down. He floats, survives the assault, like he survives everything with determination and the sheer force of his will to bring him back.It’s Valhalla to him. What he strives to reach and attain each and every day to dull the ache and pain that follows him when he is not safely buoyed against the water.It will always calm him. No matter what life throws at him because this is where he should be. It is his home, not the buildings that clutter the sand beyond the beach.The water is his own.