College of Liberal Arts
Fog on the Water by Kelsey Greene
They sat on the edge of the dock, just breathing and fishing. They did nothing else. The moist air caused her breath to mix with the fog rolling slowly across the bay. The fish weren’t biting. She linked her arm in his with a slight pressure. He didn’t press back.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
She knew he wasn’t thinking about fish. She knew she was losing him. He knew, too. They both knew. All they did any more was drink. They fished, too. Never caught much.
“What kind of fish are you thinking of?” she asked.
“They are nasty creatures.”
“That’s why I think of them.”
“Because they are nasty?”
“Because they bring a thrill to the man who’s catching.”
The still, foggy breath told it all. Their love was still. The thrill was gone. It was slowly drifting away like the fog on the water. She knew this. He knew this. They both knew this.
He released his arm and reached behind him for his soda. It was warm. It was flat. That feeling seemed familiar to him. The drink was the same as any other drink he had ever had. It was boring. It did, however, provide him a break from his forever-challenging partner. She knew he hated to be disrupted when he drank. He really didn’t mind. He let her think he minded. She made excuses for the awkwardness. He didn’t.
“Done so fast,” she said as he dropped his bottle in the water.
He dropped it the way he wanted this mindless chatter to stop. It sank.
“I’ve been done for a while. You’re done too.”
He pointed to her empty bottle. It had been empty for a while. She continued to put it to her mouth. She didn’t want to stop smelling the bottle. It smelled familiar. It was one last thing she had to cling to. The scent became fainter every second.
She pressed her arm against him again. He didn’t press back. She felt emptiness in her heart where he used to be. She wanted him back.
He would never allow himself to suffocate unwillingly within the folds of her too-loving heart. That’s what it was. A suffocation. He was slowly dying in her arms. He didn’t have the energy to release himself even though he needed air. She breathed for him. He was lazy, so that’s all he liked about her. She was a caring, loving, suffocating woman, but she breathed for him. Like all women do for a man they wish would love them back.
“Will you leave me?” she asked.
She suddenly noticed the harshness of breath and the fact that it seemed to come from her mouth only. She was breathing for the both of them. The breath continued to roll away with the fog. The question she had asked floated away with it. It was never coming back. She knew. He knew. They both knew.