The truth was that Nico didn't really know if he smelled like the sun. People told him that his toothy smile was bright and friendly like the sun and that his amber eyes radiated happiness like the sun. He knew that his positivity was so prominent that it only made the people around him think of only good things to come. His kindness was warm and gentle like the sun, and his passion and ambition were fierce and hot like it too. But smelling like the sun? That couldn't be right. How could you smell like something you couldn't even touch? His grandmother told him this over a decade ago, so Nico didn't know why he was just now remembering it.
"So how old are 'ye, kid?" asked some old, wry voice. It was an old man rowing a small rowboat across a calm sea. He was small and had skin that sagged so much that you couldn't see his tiny brown eyes. His eyebrows and mustache were so thick and hairy that it protruded off his flesh and face. He had large liver spots cover his right cheek and warts cover his left. Despite his smallness and fragility, he was decievingly durable as he had been rowing since an hour ago. On the other side of the boat, staring out into open sea and the sun that reflected off of it was the brown-haired Nico Dixon with ambers for eyes. His hair was unruly and unkept, and his skin was shiny and spotless. He was carrying several travel bags that were so large and full that he must've had all of his belongings in them. And for the most part, he did.
Nico perked up from the distracting ripples in the water and smiled at the old man. "Me? I'm eighteen." he replied, not knowing what else to say.
"Eighteen, eh?" the old man cackled a small, wry cackle. "We need young men like 'ye in the rowing business. Look at those big, strong arms of 'ers. We'd be at Amber Island by now with arms like 'ers!"
"Really?" Nico's countenance suddenly lit up. The old man was mostly joking about what he said but was surprised when he felt his passenger's heavy travel bags fall onto the wooden floors and the oars are plucked from his hands and into Nico's. Somehow they had switch positions now. "Please let me do it!" he blurted passionately.
Nico couldn't tell, but it certainly felt like they arrived at Amber Island at speeds faster than the old man's. With satisfaction and exuberance, the two men exchanged their farewells and parted ways.
The air was warm and the sun was out, completely free of clouds. Despite the warmth, Nico was wearing a black sleeveless jacket with a red t-shirt underneath. He had black cargo pants and three travels bags wrapped around his back, shoulders, and hands. The young man took a deep breath with wide eyes, and didn't smell anything that resembled the sun. But it didn't matter. What mattered were the people that resided on this island. Dies Irae.
Nico abandoned the life of work and hardship he knew on the mainland for this guild. He made the voyage on that tiny rowboat that could hardly fit the old man and him without the security of even being accepted into their ranks. He could very well be turned away today and then he would have nothing to return to. But he wasn't nervous about the rejection. A hotter, more overwhelming emotion consumed him in this moment, and it was passion.
With a ear-to-ear smile facing the sunny sky, he held his hand up above his face to shield him from the blinding glare of it. With one deep breath, his hand abruptly clenched into a fist, and his smile transformed into a gummy grin. With all the air in his chest, Nico shouted into the space above him from the shore of the island.
""I'M FINALLY HERE!"