He gulped, licking the salt from his lips. ‘Again, tell me why I’m doing this?’
‘You have to, it’s the rules of engagement,’ she said.
‘Isn’t there another way?’ The breeze tousled his hair as he winced at the odour of the others damaging his sense of smell.
‘It’s a tradition. We can’t change tradition. If we changed tradition, then it’s no longer a tradition. When my family’s all about tradition,’ she said as the others surrounding her nodded. ‘You want me to say yes, don’t you?’
Wiping sweaty palms, he frowned at the depths of darkness. ‘Yeah. But, I don’t want to do this.’
‘If I was in your position, I’d be the same. Tell you what, I’ll help you. It’ll be all over soon.’ She gave him a quick shove in the back and he teetered over the edge with a cry, as the crew craned their necks to follow his fall.
And they waited. Silently.
Until his head arose from the briny drink.
‘Should’ve listened to your mother when she said never play with pirates. Pick me up for dinner at seven,’ she shouted topside.
And he waved and swam back to shore, smiling.