• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 10
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Lip Gloss

Her lip gloss was as red as the stripes on the boat’s sail.
She sat at the bow, applying the gloss while my father's hands pulled at the sail, which curved out and tugged us forward upon catching a new current of wind. My stomach lurched at the movement, as I adjusted the rudder to take us left.
She remained completely still, unmoved by the brief frenzy. Setting aside the cylindrical tube of gloss, she reached over the side, and dipped her hand into the ocean. I mimicked her action, my rough calloused hand touching the same water as her soft pink one.
The ocean was cool, still, and blue, but there was a hint of something a few feet below, swirling and spilling away. A hidden undertow just a few metres beneath the surface.
Her eyes were hidden behind her sunglasses, but the corners of her mouth twitched into a secret smile, and for a moment my father was gone, and it was just the two of us on the boat. She took off the sunglasses, and I could see her eyes, blue as the ocean around us, fixed on mine.
Carefully, discretely, I took my hand off the rudder, and traced my fingers along the scar that ran across my stomach. She nodded at me, her eyes soft, the smile vanished from her lips. She tilted her head back. It was an invitation.
Standing, she dived off the boat, plunging into the depths. My father took his hands off of the sail, anger in his eyes.
“Alice,” he said to me, a warning in his voice.
I shook my head no. Trembling, I stood, as he staggered across the boat towards me. His hands grabbed at me, but caught only thin air as I plunged beneath the surface.
Down and down I swam, towards her. I reached out, and took her hands in mine just as we were caught by the force of the current.
Traces of fresh red lip gloss swirled in the surrounding water as the ocean carried us away together.