Page #64

… into the cold pond, her back pressed against the wood of the dock. She slipped lower and the water, not yet freezing but feeling to her so close to crossing that line, lapped around her ankles, then higher as she went down, over her knees, stopping finally midway up her bare thighs as her feet slipped into the sandy bottom. The hem of the cotton shirt she was wearing, the shirt that wasn’t hers, was much too large for her, dipped just below the surface of the pond. She pulled it up higher, out of the water, but didn’t like the dead feeling it gave while wet against the skin of her stomach, and let it go down again.

It was better here, she thought. Better freezing here in a late autumn’s dawn than back in the house, warm and still sleeping in his bed. Better the water inching its way higher and higher up her thighs as she sank deeper into the murk than his rough workman’s hands doing the same, hands colder than the pond water, colder than the ice it was on the verge of becoming.

He said that he liked her hair, and that night, with her heart already in pieces from the day before, with her life broken as well, that night she’d given up making choices and decisions and just let the current take her where it would. He liked her hair, cut low along her jaw, a frame of black silk surrounding a pale center, and she was going to let that be enough for her.


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