I followed you in the water knowing i would never return

The depth of the darkness was thick and surrounded us mercilessly. In this silent hour I began to understand the meaning of silence. The boy, the only boy it could have been, was standing in front of me. I took his own silence for granted. We had been standing here for some time, contemplating our beginnings, contemplating what had kept us open.

His hands were breaking. I took hold of them. I knew it was I had to do.

He said something was coming out of the darkness, something that had been waiting there for three years.The boy’s hands felt like ice. They were ice-blocks that seemed that they were cracking. There was echoing in the void. I pretended I knew what the echoing meant and why it was coming for me. I understood, acutely, the consequences of being met by the echoing at our meeting point here in the void.

The edge of the void seemed shadowed by some kind of water. I felt vulnerable to the lapping of the waves, the voices beckoning me in. They were saying things like:

“its time to go. Visiting time is over. Do you want to come over with us, swim beneath the waves? do you want to escape the darkness that surrounds you At All Times? Have you read the book of longing?”

I listened to the voices like I would listen to the voices of my mother. Except unlike my mother, these voices did not have a tone to them that I could trust. Taking this for granted, I knew that to escape into some unknown waters would be very foolish indeed. It was a hidden circumstance that I would be leaping into, eyes blindfolded and with no real intention whatsoever. To go where no man has gone before. To drive deeply into the unknown. To stare into death — it’s unblinking face staring back at me — to do these things with the will of a thousand humans. I did not think too much about whether I wanted that.

It would seem that the boy’s hands were melting. Was he grimacing? It was hard to tell in this negative space, ice-block hands and filled neck being the only things i could concentrate on. In these memories, I try to remember the things that are most important.

“We could go into the water, you and me. It would be no big deal. I see no pain. Swimming together, like they said in the songs.”

I let go of his hands, dripping. My hands too, dripping. Numb and when I looked at them, scorched with the burns of frostbite, pale blue and veiny like an alien or translucent porpoise.

I strode toward the sound of the water. When I thought of the bay, of the lighthouse that guarded the old spectrum together, that was the image of New South Wales my father had grown up around and told me about. Were these those same waters? Could they lead me again into the blue?

He followed me. I followed him. I took his hands, carefully and purposefully. I took him wading into the water, listening to the CRASH CRASH of the waves hitting the other side, another precipice deep here in the void. He manoeuvred himself so that he was now moving before me, more confidently than he was before. and with our necks submerged in this half life and our bodies colder than anything else, we fell into one another and sunk down to the depths.

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