This water


This water laps upon me, nagging me to come deeper. With each slight disturbance, it spreads and splashes higher up my legs. It creeps up my body until it’s like I can no longer breathe. It’s like I am suffocating above water. This water is not cleansing; rather, it’s the reason for this sin I feel.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Why do I feel this way?

I stand in it, knee deep, accompanying myself to this new feeling. It does not all seem real. Just a day ago, this water brought life and joy. Now, it is the taker of those very things. It has stolen from me something precious. Like a thief, it swept my love away with the tide and took it to a place where I can never get it back. I breathe in and the water rises. I let it out, and it goes back down again.

Why does this water weigh me down like a brick tied to my ankle, tossed out to sea?

There is nothing more maddening than knowing that I am standing in blood. It is not the color of crimson, but it stains all the same. I look down at my hands and see that I do not recognize them. I am waist deep and feel as if I’m drowning, but I am above water. I breathe in, and the water rises. I let it out, and it goes back down.

Who is this person in the reflection of the rippled water?

As I venture out deeper, I am reminded of all that this water used to hold. It used to bring joy and laughter, and now I cannot view it through the lens of these emotions ever again. Never again will I be able to find comfort in the washing of my feet. Never again will it prove to be a refuge from the begrudging sun when I wade in it. I am drowning, but I am not underwater. It is rising with every breathe, and I cannot wipe this blood off.

Why am I the only one who feels this way?

I look out at the water. I see the place where it all happened. Swimming there seems sacrilegious– as if I am doing myself and the life it once brought injustice. I can’t move on, for every time I do, I am back at the water’s bay. I see it all play out before my eyes, and I learn the true raw power of something so great yet so unpredictable. This water took from my life and my love, and I can never get those things back. I am up to my neck, and the water is rising. The taste of iron coats the inner corners of my mouth. I try to breathe in but am met by resistance as the water slips into my lungs. I begin to choke.

Why can I not hold onto this life? Why does it slip through my hands like water, the very place it was taken from?

I am drowning. I have succumbed to the water and the way it takes things so easily. I cannot fathom why it does what it does. But like the water relentlessly moves up and down against my body, so must I; so, I continue to wade out. I must not give in. The water beckons me out further, and I follow. This water took a life, but I will not let it take mine.