I hear a splash. He dives head first into the cold lake while I’m contemplating doing the same thing. He seems to be like that. He never waits for the consequences to sink in. All I had managed to do was put my feet into the freezing water. I hadn’t even noticed he had taken his clothes off next to me. I was too busy searching for the bottom of the lake for reassurance that it was indeed there. I feel the vibration of a text while I watch him struggling to swim to the boat pier. It’s from M. “I miss you. Come home.” It must be early morning for him as I watch the sunset over Gosau. I take a picture of the fiery sky and send it with the caption “I may never come back.” He’ll be angry when he receives it but I can’t bother to think about the consequences that will come. His incessant check-ins are partially to blame for what will happen. Or it could be because I always do this. Whenever I notice a glimmer of happiness starting to creep in, I start to pull away and push myself into someone else. M expects too much of me and he knows it. The desperation had permeated into every place I’ve been from over 9,000 kilometres away. I sink deeper into the water to paddle after the beautiful Austrian boy I have just met. He has an air of self-assurance and cockiness that only a 21 year old boy could have and it’s what drew me to him in the first place. I had taken my top off to sunbath on our deck a few hours ago. His shadow blocked the sun as he stood over me, so I had to strain my neck back to glare at him. Holding sunscreen in one hand with a sheepish grin on his tanned face, he offered to cover my exposed back. Maybe I should have said no but his hands were already on me as I was parting my lips. He was tall and well built with hazy green eyes. His hands slipped a little too far to the sides while he rubbed me down, but I failed to say anything again. He started talking about what he’s studying in school and asking questions about traveling to America. We laid in the sun for several hours swapping travel stories and every once in awhile, I would turn over a bit and let him glance at my breasts as I shifted the towel under me. Eventually I would let him put an arm around me and fondle them lightly as we sipped chilled wine straight from a bottle we found in the kitchen. When I wouldn’t let him kiss me, he got up to sit by the water and I put my top back on. Side by side we continued to ask each other questions until the conversation came to a lull. He slipped into the water then. Now the iciness of the lake comes as a shock and my lungs start to explode but I keep swimming after him. He pulls me up to the pier and we finally kiss. It’s sloppy and wet from the overeagerness and both of us are still gasping for air. His hands move down me and I feel him tug my bottoms to the side. With his fingers slipping in and out of me, my mind drifts to M and his text. It dawns on me that I do miss him and would prefer his breath on my neck right now. I’ll send him a kinder response once I get back to my phone. The heavy panting in my ear brings me back to the moment and I fake an orgasm so he’ll stop. As I dive back into the water to swim back, I hear him curse softly before following me. We fall asleep holding hands once we get back to the deck. When I wake up, it’s dark and he’s gone.

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