My dreams have all been the same lately.

I'm falling, upside-down, from the sky. A huge lightning bolt cracks and slams through my body. The impact sets me on an angle and I fall into the ocean below. Flipping again, I touch ground and feel the water whirl around me. Out of the shadows, someone grabs my hand and pulls me around.

Diko stands, softly smiling. I try to smile back, but a vacuum has started up and is sucking me away into the depths. Suddenly the water retreats and I'm on the beach, looking at a figure falling from the sky. I realize I'm watching myself.

Two views at once.

I hit water again and swim to shore. I struggle out and turn to watch a huge wave rise behind a strange boy with long, white, spiky hair. I blink in surprise and the boy is replaced by Diko. His body is facing the rising water, but he turns his head excitedly to see me.

I try to run to him. I grasp his hand just as the wave crashes on both of us. Water and bubbles whirl around us and suddenly, I break through the surface and see him standing on the beach. He looks at me sadly. I call out, but he's breaking away and I'm taken by water again.

Then darkness.

And I wake up.

***

The sunlight woke me up that morning. I wince and open my eyes slowly. The window is open. I stretch and sit up. I notice my white shorts are askew. Looking in my full-length mirror, I fix my outfit.

Straightening my red tank top and silver chain, I tie up my long, brown, spiky hair and throw on my hand gauntlets. They're made from black cloth and weak metal and don't serve much use, but I love the look of them. They shine in the sunlight and make me look like a warrior.

My armband goes on next. It's white and is wrapped around my left upper arm. Then my big, metal-studded belt. Finally, I'm done. One more look into the mirror. Purple eyes staring into purple eyes.

I shove aside the flap that acts as a door and admire my beach. It's ringed with plants and trees and flowers. A small waterfall nearby gurgles happily as the stream flows over rocks, around boulders, and into the ocean.

Diko stands knee-high in the water, staring out to sea. His black hair is cut boyishly, short and close-cropped to his head in back and spiked in front. He loves to wear green, and his calf-length grass-colored pants are no exception. He also wears a yellow sleeveless with two strange straps over his shoulders.

He turns and notices me. His green eyes laugh as he reaches out a hand for me. I run, grinning to him.

"Race you out to the Pier?" he asks.

"You're on!" I tell him. We start running to a dock, off which we jump and start swimming to a small island out of the bay that we call the Pier. Scrambling up the slippery rocks, we sit on a log and watch the clouds drift by.

"Diko, do you ever want to.you know.get out of here? Leave the island?" I ask him.

"I guess. To visit, of course. But Riverfall Island has always been my home. I love it. Don't you love knowing everything about it? Where the prettiest flowers grow? Where the secret caves are?" he answers.

I nod. "I guess. But not knowing's half the fun. Remember the time that crate washed up on the shore and it said 'Daragon Forest'? No one had any idea what that meant. We still don't. And we opened it to find all that cool cloth? It changed color depending on what background it was on. I have a cloak made out of it because I was the one who found it."

He sighs. "I'll never be able to win this argument against you."

I laugh quietly. He was right. We've had this discussion a million times before and he always ended up losing. I know he wants to see other sights. But there's no way we can.

"What if we bought tickets on the supply ship?" I suggest.

"You know we can't do that. And it's not a supply ship. It's old Todge's skipper. He built himself a small boat and he keeps thinking that he can find another place on this ball of water. There's no room for us on that boat."

This time it was my turn to sigh.

"You could at least work with me here."

"The way I see it, there's only one way off this island." This surprises me. Usually, he doesn't offer any suggestions.

"If some kind of door opens and we walk through it. And that's about as unlikely as.I dunno. A giant mouse coming up to us on a cold day in August and saying 'How d'you do?'"

I sigh again. There he goes with his ridiculous comparisons.

"Do you want to try the Wind Waker again?" I ask him.

"Do you mean that plane? Cause if you do, then no. It was a bad idea in the first place."

"You helped design it."

"That was then." He stands up and walks to the edge of the small island. The sun is setting against the open sea and his silhouette is black against the orange and yellow and red.

"I guess I'm just too used to this place to want anything else. Isn't that terrible? I'm barely sixteen and I'm already settled into life."

I sit, staring at my knees.

"Can you promise me something?" he asks.

I look up into his green eyes. They seemed so comforting, so homey. I feel so secure looking into them.

"I couldn't bear it if you ever become so content with life that you stop trying to get away. Never change, Kiru."

I nod at my name. But there's nothing to say to him.