It wasn’t easy waiting for Weston to leave as Charlie floated in the pool, invisible. Not invisible because she developed an ability to blend in. The kind where her whole body melted and she wasn’t sure where the water began and she ended. She could feel every movement of the pools light current. She wasn’t just herself, she was all of it and this somehow made her feel even smaller and helpless. When the boy left with his kitten, he had taken the clothes he had found out of the water and laid them out on the fence as if he knew the owner would be back.
She wondered if he had recognized it was what she had worn earlier in school, but he didn’t seem to notice. He looked around and waited for some time then headed back in. Now, the trouble was getting out. She got in easily, jumped in and saved the little kitten who struggled to find his way out. Where were her fingers or toes. She could see everything from all angles making her feel dizzy and unfocused. Then as if it was all in her imagination she was there, standing in the water. Moving her fingers over her arms she almost didn’t believe it was real.
Sneaking home through the woods, she almost knew where every fallen tree would be as she jumped over the hurdles like a marathon to get home. Jasmine and her always went this way when going to each others house. They even had secrets hidden throughout this forest. Some buried and others hanging in plain sight. She wasn’t sure exactly what she was running from as the light grew dimmer under the canopy of leaves. No one was chasing her and it wasn’t like she could run from herself. Before she had to cut through a neighbor’s yard she stopped. Arms resting on her knees, she was panting and sweating.
Hearing the sound of a car being locked she looked up to see her father walking in the house. Dinner would be on the table waiting for him. Mom would be running around the kitchen cleaning everything up and Charlie was supposed to be there, waiting like every night. He wasn’t going to be happy if she didn’t make it there first.
Walking in, she shut the door softly, head bowed and ready for her punishment. Her father had a set curfew her whole life, it included the entire family. Charlie had never eaten over a friend’s house or spent the night. Jasmine for the longest stopped speaking to Charlie when they were younger because Jasmine thought it was unfair she always had to come over. Charlie never really minded the rule so much because she thought Jasmine’s family was really weird. Their idea of dinner was finding anywhere in the house to take a plate of something frost-bitten. It didn’t take long before Jasmine came over interested in a taste of Charlie’s mom’s tiramisu.
Every night there was a delicious feast. Charlie’s mom was a retired chef and now worked part-time at a bakery. Charlie’s mouth watered from the smell but her stomach was still churning and her head was pounding with confusion.
“Cynthia, she’s home.” Charlie’s father called out.
“You had me so worried!” Her mother hung up the phone, probably Jasmine’s mother, and came running out to embrace her.
“Relax mom. I’m fine, just late.” Charlie wasn’t sure exactly what just happened. She wasn’t sure how to explain it, and maybe right now it meant she shouldn’t. Her mother seemed so flustered and worried. Telling her something like this would probably have her calling for ten different doctors opinions.
Cynthia gave her a stern look. “We’ve had these talks. It is not appropriate for you to be out after day light. It is the only rule we’ve ever enforced.”
Charlie shrugged her shoulders. It was true, but only because Charlie never pushed any limits. She wasn’t sure how flexible her parents exactly were.
Turning away Charlie walked upstairs. Her father placing an arm around his wife with a similar stern look. Shutting her door and closing the blinds she plopped on the bed taking a deep sigh as she wondered what was going on. Reaching for her computer she started searching her phenomenon. No matter how she put it there was nothing to describe the events of today. Closing her eyes after several hours she pushed it all out of her head.
Tossing in the night she had a dream of drowning. Not being able to see where she began and the water ended. As if she was treading her legs through the water she found herself floating iridescently above the water. She kept going higher and higher toward the blinding sun before she fell back down like rain.
Charlie’s eyes fluttered open surprised to find herself floating a few inches above her mattress. Anxiety rushing through her limbs she moved falling against the bed.