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My bare feet dug into the scorching sand. Racing toward the glistening waves ahead, I sank my feet into sand that now was squishy and cold. The surf lapped at my feet and I wildly plunged in. The frigid water made my spine tingle, and goose bumps popped up on my arms and legs. That familiar salty taste flooded into my mouth. I moved with the tide, in and out, in and out, in and out. The gentle pull calmed me. Still, I didn’t stop treading, even when a wave toppled over me. I glumly sighed and disappeared into the water once more. Another wave rolled over me. I scurried out of the icy water and headed for our striped towel, which I draped over my shoulders.

Marblehead, Massachusetts standing in the sand
It was our last trip to the place I’d loved forever

Hurrying toward the now empty playground, I scanned it for Ethan, my four-year-old brother. Spotting him, I dashed toward the swings that overlooked the sparkling water, where he sat playing in the sand. It was the end of another day, when the peachy sun glittered and set the whole sea on fire—oranges, reds, purples. Holding Ethan by the hand, I reluctantly tore myself away from the forlorn-looking swings that creaked in the wind. Staring at my mother sadly, we left. The ride home was a silent one. Ethan didn’t understand that it was our last trip to the place I’d loved forever.

We were moving.

Marblehead, Massachusetts Rebecca Vanneman
Rebecca Vanneman, 11
Lincoln, Nebraska

Marblehead, Massachusetts Edye Wenwen Benedict
Edye Wenwen Benedict, 12
Newton, Massachusetts