early summer sunset

"Give me something of you that no one else has gotten," he said. "Show me something no one else has seen."


She smiled. In the request she heard his need to feel a singular, private connection between them. A desire, however impossible, to banish the specter of Lovers Past. This moved her deeply, because she could relate. Jealousy was a pin prick she felt keenly and all too often. The glimpses of it she saw in him only made her love him more.


So she held her breath and plunged into waters that were increasingly unpredictable. Warm one day; icy another. She swam deep and her muscles limbered with the movement. She felt vulnerable and beautiful, and when she rose to the surface, the breath she took to fill her burning lungs was triumphant.


But he was gone. She was alone in her victory, which suddenly felt small, stupid, and superficial.


She tread water quietly, scanning the shore, expecting him to reappear at any moment. But he didn't, and after a while she let the tide pull her in to a beach quickly cooling in the early summer sunset.