Carrina unwrapped her foot bindings while her mother’s back was turned. She wriggled her feet into the sand and gasped at the feeling, the mix of hot and cold, the scratch of each grain between her toes.
“Aren!” her mother snapped, using that other name she hated.
Carrina jumped up and sprinted for the water. Her mother cried ever more frantically after her.
Then she hit the water. The waves leapt up around her. The tide clapped as though applauding her arrival.
And her bare, bare feet sunk into sand that hugged her ankles and held her firmly.