She sat at the dock with ‘what ifs’ and ‘could have been’s’ swirling around in her head. Her brain wouldn’t listen to her and just be quiet. And she watched the fish glide under her dangling feet, attracted by the bits of bread she had thrown unto the water for them.
She watched them flit and glide under the still clear water. How she longed to be like them. Not caring about he saids and she saids and familiar strangers trying to fit into place they didn’t belong. She wanted to be free of all of it. Of side-eyed stares and abruptly ended conversations, and awkward, hasty goodbyes when she enters a room. She threw the last few bits of bread with all the force of her roiling feelings and watched the fish scatter.
For a moment she felt sad and guilty having driven them away. Like she had driven away the others, but the fish would come back, they would always come back for the food, but would the others? The people she had known before leaving the womb, would they come back to her after a time?
No they wouldn’t, the words had been to bitter, the rifts she had torn between them to raw and deep. They wouldn’t come back. Not now, maybe some day, but definitely not today, and all she really wanted was for it all to be the way it was. She wanted nothing more than a cold beer and the loud laughter over some silly thing. But it was all gone, in a cacophony of raised voices and slamming doors. Just like that , she coulda held her tounge, shoulda said it better than she did, coulda made an effort to understand, looked before she leaped, shoulda bowed to wisdom.
Her tears fell, making ripples on the water. The fish didn’t seem to notice. But it got her to wondering if they thought about what she was doing, if they wondered after her, if she plagued their thoughts the way that they did hers. No, she had been too shrewish, too angry.
If only she could deliver her sorry, she shoulda said she was sorry there and then, coulda made this all right. Now here she was crying on the peer , with only the fish for company. She shoulda been a fish, coulda saved herself all of this.