Contributor: Maddison Scott

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Underwater, his face whirls like a metallic dream. I want to reach up and touch him but he isn't mine.

I latch to a thought I had one summer when I was home alone. I took to the water with clothes still clutching wrinkled skin. When I held my breath, I was pulled away from the sky. There was no sound, only the dim whimper of my heart breathing. It wasn’t difficult to imagine myself as a wreck on the bottom of the ocean, waiting to be found.

I can't hear my name but I see a dancing smudge of pink. It’s my sister. She's waving me up like a distressed Pelican. When I hit the surface, I’m reluctant to anchor my eyes. If I look at him, she’ll know.

“Don’t drown,” my sister clicks, as though the moments are wasted in my presence. My fingers skim the side of the pool and when she’s out of view, I founder.

I cling to the pool's belly with corrugated fingers, my anger effervescing. From below, life is transparent. Distractions don’t claw at my vanity. Weak thoughts don’t sink my esteem.

I'm not even sure when the world dissolves, only that it does. The water stiffens but inside I'm still warm, still drifting. The touch flares like an electric shock –my body a compass flickering back and forth. Below me lies a graveyard of summer memories and above me, its eraser.

He digs his fingers into the soft skin on my shoulder. I'm shaking, my jaw clamped too tight to protest. I feel his breath before his lips but both are welcome. A hand lingers over my heart, my lungs shiver, his lips still affixed. When I open my eyes he pulls me close, whispering words that melt my bones.

I reach up to touch him and this time, there's no water between us.

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Maddison Scott recently graduated from the University of Melbourne with a BA in Creative Writing. She loves to run marathons (of the TV-watching variety) and previous work has appeared in The Eunoia Review and Daily Love.
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