After a day this terrible, there was only one place she wanted to be, and she was headed straight for him. It seemed to take forever to zip up her wet suit. She tripped over her flippers three times before she stumbled deep enough that they became a help rather than a hindrance. Her goggles filled with water and she started muttering curse words in her mind. Geez Lara, she thought sarcastically, it’s almost like you haven’t been snorkeling in ages! Well, it fit the meter of the day. She put the sand in her suit above having her lunch stolen again, and under the argument with her roommate. She glared at the crystal blue water. If Elsie’s boyfriend Mark crashed on their couch, ate their food, used up the toilet paper, and left his disgusting laundry around the apartment once more…. Lara blew frustrated bubbles through her snorkel.
Then took two deep breaths and listened to the horn like sound as it passed through the snorkel tube. She tread water and let the swells wash the memory of Elsie’s furious tears out of her mind. She watched kelp sway in the water. Gem chip schools of fish swirled around her flippers. She pressed her arms to her sides and her knees together and slowly undulated through the water. The fish scattered in a kaleidoscope around her finned feet.
Out past the first reef and sand bar she looked for him. He wasn’t in the shallow coral cave beneath the waving anemones. It was too late in the day for that. She didn’t worry. He’d find her. He always did. She circled the reef, enjoying the weightless feeling of being in the sea.
When the sun and sea had leached most of the tension out of her bones, he cruised up over the reef.
Decades older than Lara and shy of a century, Honu was her favorite old man of the sea. His front flippers propelled him toward her and wonder rose up to smother all the idiotic concerns of her day. His mottled shell coated with brown algae contrasted with the smooth brown scales on his head and flippers. Divers, fish, problems and troubles no more bothered him than the algae on his smooth shell. She swam along with him and he turned as if to ask her what she was doing in his home. Lara smiled around her snorkel and waved.
They drifted in the sea for a bit, then Honu turned his pale belly toward Lara’s arm and curled away. Off to do whatever sea turtles did as the sun went down. Lara returned to shore, kicked off her flippers, and slid her goggles to the top of her head. She’d start looking at new places to live. She could last the two months until the lease was up, as long as she went out every week to absorb peace from sea turtles.
I have returned to my thieving ways! I thieved the first line of this piece from the ever entertaining Babbling Buzzard. Check her blog tomorrow to see what she’d originally done with the line. Be on the look out for other thieves, I think I’m missing a line myself…
All photos in this blog post are © zcarpenter and used with permission.