Tired, aching and hallowed out, Anne walked to the end of the pool at dusk.
She longed to jump in, fully clothed, and ask the waters to swallow her whole.
She couldn’t swim, but feared some repressed survival instinct would surface. Such a splash would only draw attention anyhow.
Resolved, she stepped one foot quietly in front of the other, walked down the warm cement steps and fixed her eyes on the shadow beneath the diving board. Anne willed herself to keep walking forward past the 3, the 5 and all the way to the 11ft marker.
This is how she would walk quietly into eternal rest.
But that shadow, it wasn’t from the diving board. It had arms and legs and an inky-black, thickly strapped bathing suit.
Her modest plan hadn’t been that original after all.
“Someone is down there!” She gasped. Loud enough to snap awake a shirtless napper who lay nearby in bone-dry swimming trunks.
Aided by adrenaline and the water’s buoyancy, the man jumped in and brought 160 lbs of soaking-wet, dead weight to the surface without speaking a word.
At the pool’s edge she grabbed a leg and help pull the body up to the cement while a forming crowd gathered around to gasp in horror, dutifully.
Anne tilted the blue-lipped survivor to her side and cleared her lungs of water.
“I wish I could let you find the peace you so long for”, she whispered in her ear.” But, I’m afraid that it is my instinct to save everyone but myself”, she said before placing her own mouth on those cold, dead lips.