• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 09
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Ocean of Grass

It was me who was drowning when we first met. My arms thrashing against the warm pool, my lungs taking gulps of air between mouthfuls of chemical-tasting water. Now it was her who struggled for breath and looked lost in the swaying ocean of grass.
The significance of it all hit me in that moment. You could even see the leisure centre where she'd pulled me onto the tiled pool-side and whacked me on the back to empty my lungs.
Now she stared at me imploringly. The sun glinted on the wine bottle that lay in the hamper at her feet. I hadn't noticed it until now. I wondered what she'd do with it when I left. Would she smash it in a rage or hysteric sorrow? Would she drink it and savour the feeling of resentment that comes with drinking alone. Would she leave it here to warm in the setting sun, or smear with rain and moisture as if it were crying. I didn't know. I could no longer gauge her emotions. Her face had become unfamiliar to me, as if the words I had just spoken had already distanced us. Her eyes were the eyes of strangers now. Her face was nothing but a photograph. And as I watched her and thought this, I saw her watching me and thinking the same thing. The light itself seemed to signify the fading bond between us. There was nothing left to say.
She picked up the hamper and turned away. She made her way back down the path we had just walked up, as the grass swirled and rippled around her like rapids.
As her figure became smaller the lump in my throat grew bigger. My mouth burnt like chlorine and my lungs refused to inflate. I guess you only appreciate the air when you're drowning.