Summer wind sighs above the lake’s surface. The moon has climbed to its apex. Helena lets go of Barry’s callused hand. Barry takes a breath.
He winks at her, tightens the strings on his swim trunks. Helena thinks of last Saturday’s game, Barry’s long home run, the metallic clink as his bat met the ball. He’s strong, she tells herself.
He’ll be fine. Barry leaps off the dock and the opaque water sucks him in, as if it’s hungry.
The moon’s reflection is distorted, glimmering white ripples sloshing and swirling around Barry’s head. Barry gazes up at her. His lips move, twitch, as if he’s about to tell her something.
Say it, she thinks. Please, say it. But he turns and swims away, his muscular arms arcing in and out of the black water.
Things should’ve changed last March, but it’s still batting titles and college scholarship offers. It’s still Barry’s future. It’s still “I like you, Helena,” and “I love this lake.
” “See those lights?” Barry asked her a few weeks ago, jabbing a finger at the houses across the lake. “When it’s warm enough, when I’m in shape, I’m going out there.
” Helena wonders what goes on inside those distant orange windows. She wonders if Barry will always be like this, moving away from her. He disappears into the night. The splashes fade.
Rain begins to fall. The lake rises. Everything floods over. They never find the body.