Ellie says, "We need to go over to Mara's this weekend and go swimming. It's really fun." She smiles, her goofy smile, and dips her feet in the water of the lake.
We're at the beach, on a pier. With our class, but no one's Here.
"Yeah," I say. "Only, no."
Ellie doesn't look up from the water, instead runs her finger along the concrete edge of the pier, focusing on that.
"Why don't you go anywhere near water?" she asks finally.
I smile, INWARD, sort of twisted and dark.
"I'm near water right now, aren't I?"
She sighs, looking up, and directly into my eyes.
I frown, give in. "Fine," I say. "Fine."
"I just, don't like water, okay?"
She doesn't speak, but neither do I.
I just don't like water. I just don't like how it envelopes me, covering everything.
I don't like how it has control of me. I don't like how it touches everywhere, spreading.
I don't like being so stuck, in such a place, that I have no control over.
Water is unpredictable, and you could Drown.
Water isn't terrible, no.
But I don't want to drown, because that's not fun. It's fairly quick and peaceful.
"Okay," she trips.
"Whatever you say."
We both know, of course, she's thinking about scars and I'm thinking about stars.
About flying away, and landing amongst them, choking,
It's just like water, you see, but it's not wet.
My ribs would crack, my lungs would ache, and I would die
with an explosion.
Pop! And my head would be gone.