Letting It Go with a Swim
After the plane crash, Andrew was forced to live with his grandfather.
“Change will do you good,” the therapist said. “Country life can settle a person.”
On the way out, Andrew remained unconvinced. He’d wish for different from time to time—childish maybe, but really… what did he have left that could be lost?
The farm backed into tree-crammed woods. Sometimes, if it was windy, Andrew thought he could hear his mother’s voice twisting through the clash of limbs and leaves. She had been a nightingale, off key, but forever smiling.
He discovered a stream. The water tasted pure, almost spirited. It reminded him of the time his father let him have a sip of his summer cordial.
A trout leapt, slamming down between a pair of stones. He watched it thrash, its gills fleshy pink.
Overhead, a vulture circled. Two chipmunks scurried after an invisible foe. Sunlight shot through branches in beams of bright pageantry. Near the shore, two raccoons regarded him for an unmoving moment, then they carried on.
A cloud of mosquitoes hovered over the trapped fish.
Andrew saw its big mouth go even wider as it sucked air.
It flayed in his hands, slimy and coarse at the same time.
He thought about the fish, how it may represent his parents’ untimely death, or possibly even his own discontent.
He gave it a gentle toss. The fish floated, glinting rainbow scales in the sun. After some moments, the fish thrashed, leapt, and swam again.
Andrew watched it disappear. He felt the sun sting his face and for the first time in weeks, he sighed. He let himself smile again. He kept on wishing.