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.