Torrents of rain fall like ice onto the Adam's wood deck - biting, scratching...stealing my breath.

It soaks us all through to the bone, our joints creaking as the freeze settles into all of the crooks and hollows of our bodies - aching, breaking...stealing our breath.

My hands grasp as tightly as humanly possible to that thick tether that holds our marked sail to the giant mast; this is always the hardest part, but someone has to do it - why not me?

This violent maelstrom of frosty precipitation sloshing onto our vessel feels like winter once more and it's hard to believe that we've just passed one of the warmest summer islands in this legendary Grand Line.

But isn't that what this is all about – this fickle weather; this deadly game that we play with each other's lives? Did any of us really know what we were getting ourselves into when we embarked on this fateful journey to the ends of the world?

I stand here: rooted to my spot on deck, petrified with hypothermia, clinging to this rope, staring into the darkness before me - I am not afraid.

Fear is not an emotion that I have become all too familiar with. Why fear? It isn't as if it will change the outcome at all...

But that's not why I'm calm; that's not why I can breathe just as easily as

I breathe for you; I am calm for you; I am here, now, always - for you.

But I would never tell you this; you'd probably kick me into the abyss that is this angry sea. Emotions aren't something that you deal with very well - especially from me. But since when have I cared what bothered you...? The answer isn't something that you want to hear.

After all of this is said and done...when the storm has blown past and everyone can breathe easily once more, you and I will probably find ourselves once again in the tangles of an argument - some stupid squabble over something unimportant, as usual. But you'll be blind – as usual...

You won't see the quirk of my lips as you pummel me with those deadly weapons of yours. You won't notice the glow in my eyes when they meet your own - the color of that sea you yearn to find so badly. You won't understand the slight smile in my insults that combat your own. And you most certainly won't find out about this inner poet, blathering on like a woman about how much I need you...want you.

But here – in the rain – I have nothing to hide on my own...because it hides itself in the sheets of water falling upon us and cascading down our faces – gliding down that perfect, porcelain countenance that you hold for everyone to see...

But I see you beneath it all...and you can do nothing to hide that from me. You light up my night like no candle or beacon can fathom. You, there on the upper deck, pulling ropes and lines with our are my lighthouse in the blackness.

But I can never tell you this.