PACE

Six nights ago we landed in Mexico City.  In the dark we crossed over the Sierra Madre; a series of disturbing twists and bends, delivering us to our hotel with the morning heat.  When we got here, after we had unpacked the cases from the car, he told me that he loved me, to have whatever I liked and then he left.  Meetings of one kind or another.  Always leaving early and returning late, leaving me to ‘enjoy the place’

Each day she sought solace in the cool wetness of the hotel pool, she ignored its discomforting shape: longer than normal and narrow so that it gave off a feeling of being pulled at both ends.  Stretched and squeezed.  That’s all there was here.  It was the only thing for her to do.

Too much time, too much time to think, to think, to think to swim and to think.

The costume is nice, feels nice, cups my breasts nicely.  Pity there is no one to see… Bought it at the airport, no, not with my own money, silly.  Maybe the boy.  No.  No turning back now.

The wind is picking up.  It brushes over her still plump pink skin.  Each time her arm raises out of the water its surface chills minutely before warming again with exertion.  The pool is the same turquoise blue as it was yesterday and the day before and before that.  Its colour is punctuated by the fallen bougainvillea that is dragged along its edge.  Only the drowned and forgotten moths gathering in the far corner give away the fact that it is another day.

Nine more lengths before stopping.  I could do this every day.  My legs feel strong.  Muscular.

One week in to a three week break, their first and this is not what she had expected.

What am I doing?  He kisses me and I let him, each time I throw myself in front of him.  There is nothing to go back to now.

With each kick the muscles in her legs tense and release.

Does he laugh at my foolishness?  And breathe.  He is not too old.

Stretch and squeeze propelling her forward.

Should I have told someone where I was going?  Perhaps Sophie has got my letter now.  She has opened it.  She must know now.

Turning in the water as she was taught at school, but still not very good at it: her nostrils fill with water.  Tears fill her eyes.

Perhaps he won’t want to start another family, but I am being ridiculous.  We can travel; see the world starting with Mexico.  It must be after six now.  Near twelve at home.  She will be in the kitchen making her lunch.

She will understand though.  She has always understood.  Best friends.  For gods sake she is the one who always says she just wants her father to be happy.  To find someone.  Just maybe not me.

Then five long strokes submerged under water.

The colour of the tiles are the colour of his eyes.  They look at me always.  Greedy.  Nibbling away at me.  How long will I last here?

Air from her lungs is escaping; bubbling from the corner of her mouth drawing her to the surface.

Do you think they will miss me? Jealous of my tan when we get back?  Still no one here.

The shadows of the palm trees are stretched out long just as the pool is stretched out long in front of her again.

Another three lengths and maybe he will be back early today.

594 words

Advertisements