Fog

Fog

It is not as I imagined, this I most feared. The frigid waters—I do not feel the cold like when I was alive.  The undulating movement is mostly soothing, although there are periods of tumultuous currents, just like our lives before we reached this sandy bottom. There are wisps of light, even at this depth, sea creatures floating by.  I reach for them, a touch of life.

I reach for you, but you are, as before, beyond my grasp.

 

You were the pilot, so those above, those we left behind, they all blame you.  But I am to blame. If not for my fear of flying, of wide expanses of water, I would not have been late. Were it not for my stalling, we would have flown in daylight.  Instead we glided past sunset, into a dark mist that engulfed us, disorienting you to nosedive into the Atlantic when you thought you were gaining altitude.

I see it now, the fog I was in.  I fell for you—hard. Your gorgeous face, the square jawline, the thick brows, dark eyes to melt in, the charm of a single dimple.  And your nature, so unlike mine.  Me—staid, lover of a steady course, a clear path my only adventure.  You—the antithesis.  A path, yes, but its purpose for you was to deviate from it in wild adventure.  You were so brave, I thought. But it wasn’t bravery, but blindness that spurred you on.

The night we plunged into darkness, your ankle was still sore from the paragliding accident six weeks prior.  I acquiesced that time, the both of us cruising like birds with man-made wings.  You were ecstatic, I was stunned by the beauty, but horrified, yearning for the ground.

Before that it was skydiving. I kicked pebbles in the dirt, crossed my arms, and adjusted my sunglasses, nervously cheering you on, knowing you relished the free-falling.

You were always the thrill-seeker, you my only thrill.

Skiing meant downhill on the steepest slopes, while I did the bunny hill. I pictured a turquoise beach, sipping a drink relaxing on the sand.  You pictured surfing the highest waves, scuba diving coral reefs, cliff jumping.  You saw no danger, no risk—only bigger, better, faster, higher.

For next year, you had us down for mountain climbing.  I envisioned a one or two-day hike, camping and communing with nature, nothing requiring an ice ax or anchors. You pictured remote mountain huts, supplies helicoptered in, hired guides, serious equipment, and supplemental oxygen.

But we lost our footing way before starting that uphill trek.

What sweet irony that the fog lifted, my eyesight restored, the very day we were swallowed by a dooming haze.

I found the financial statements, the notices from the investment firm, bank statements, nasty letters from creditors, and not so nasty ones from wealthy socialites I had questioned you about before.  I was not blind to your appeal, after all.

Did you want me to find it all? There it was, hidden in plain sight, papers peeking out of a stuffed drawer I never looked in—or didn’t want to see in my love-fog.

It was over.  We would land, check in and enjoy a lovely candlelit seafood dinner.  I would enjoy you one last night.  And in the morning at our favorite seaside café, over coffee and pastries I would tell you that I knew.

I knew the mountains you wanted to climb, the heights you wanted to reach, were more than daring physical feats.

They were ascents of glory.

And suddenly that dimple I had so loved was sinister, the twinkle in your eye a warning I had not heeded.

My plan in place, I never got to tell you.  Never got to see your face, with the cards all laid out on the table.

You were always beyond my grasp, just as you are now, a few feet away from me still strapped in your pilot’s seat, your curls swept by the water.

Only in a dense fog could we have believed we were ascending into an iridescent future even as we were plunging to our deaths. And what I so feared, this endless expanse of water, is now our final place of unrest.

 

 

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