I think part of him wants this. He accepts my tenuous invitation quickly, perhaps because I haven't requested anything of him in a very long while. Agreement is struck, location established as the lake we used to go to.
In his hand, a bottle of cheap merlot; I can only think it's because he never took the time to know me, else it'd be white or even blush. A pinot. A chardonnay. I sip at the offered glass and smile.
Conversation ensues. His breaths distract. The pier creaks beneath us. Ducks quack in sporadic babbles behind the cattails. He talks in circles. I smile.
It's cold outside, but I take off my sweatshirt. I'm not wearing a bra. His breaths are more distracting. I suggest a swim. He doesn't hesitate and starts to unbuckle his belt. I press my fingers over the buckle. He asks about my warmth. Where I am headed, it is always warm. The Bible tells me so. Our eyes meet and I smile.
Bubbles blossom like pearls pushed out from his lips; his eyes, huge in their deepening color. The bottom never seemed any farther away than now. Fingers spread and paddle against the cold. The jacket comes off, increasing buoyancy. Arms like oars, not fins. Feet encased in weighty boots make no good rudder. The air expels again. His body thrashes and curls in on itself. The spine curves; movements quicken.
He’s got to be breathing in by now. An eruption of bubbles, small like spray, tickle my nose. He’s still so strong. His hands find mine atop his shoulders. I turn my face away from the splashes. The surface is a frothing torrent, swirls, and one big bubble.
It floats on the surface for a few seconds, in defiance of the act. One last breath held by thin miraculous walls of saliva. It pops, leaving only silence and ripples. It makes me smile.