Rabbit Hole

The Sea House

He said I could change my mind.

"You don't belong here, you never did."

I didn't know it then, but I had a choice.

I can remember him saying this, as weak and fading sunlight cast an edgeless glow on his hand, a hand that barely gripped the handle as he pulled the door open. He didn't leave. Silence sat heavily and he signed as his foot slid across the floor.

"You can change your mind whenever you want to. You've left this place once already, never be afraid to leave it again." I knew the place was my mental state of being, but somehow, it felts as if he meant something bigger. I could leave this place for good.

I sat motionless for hours after he left, my body becoming rooted to the wooden chair. I was a permanent fixture, stuck in time and thought.

I can leave.

Realizing I said this out loud, I bent a stiffened elbow allowing my fingers to raise up and press parted lips. Saying it out loud again, I felts the words stain my tongue and become a sweet alternative.

I could remember, but I couldn't explain the endless tide of emotion that filled my chest cavity like a cup overfilled.

I screamed as the police dragged me away, and as if time had slowed, I could see every fiber of the officer's uniform that was chafing my face as I pushed against him. The remaining strands of light from the sun bled through the gathering of clouds overhead, and sand mixed with surf began to fill my shoes as my glasses slid from my face and fell to the ground.

I was blind now. The world was a blur, but his face was clear. That's the way it had always been, it seemed. The officer grunted as I put all my weight on his arm and fought against him. He was still calling my name, hair a dark cloud against his own opposers shoulder. I could barely keep my thoughts together, my brain processing what would happen to us, what would happen to him, fear barreling through like a freight train. The sun was quickly sinking, the water streaming from my eyes, disappearing and blending with the tide. Not even Neptune himself could count how many tears were lost to the sea that day.

We were being torn apart. I could almost hear the strings that bound us together ripping with stunning clarity. His hands outstretched as his retreating figure became smaller, I could remember putting my hands out too, and pretending like we had fingers interlaced again. I looked to the house, the kitchen light still on.

If I left again, I would never tell anyone of what lived here, the house with the broken shutter. Happiness was carved into this languid life, hidden behind walls of brick and mortar, and a window facing the sea.

It was then that I realized the shallowest part in the moving tides of life were like peripheral pools, reflecting the brightest light of day. I swam these pools, and I could do it again, retreating to deeper waters. It is here that I will swim under waves, where my feet barely touch the ground, forcing me to bounce off of rocks, propelling me towards a place I had never been before.

It is then that it would become difficult to hold on. I would close my eyes, and see the great fisherman in the sky pull me out of the the earth, through a rippled looking glass that becomes clearer as I ascend.

I could clearly hear the sea now, beckoning me, urging me to heed its boundless call. I rose shakily, resting a hand on my chest to anchor myself from within; feet reacquainting with movement, ears becoming familiar with sound, a thrumming of action hot and buzzing in the hollow canals. I found the door, one foot in front of the other, hand on knob, swinging it open and soon I was running.

The sea whispered, the entire thing, melancholy mist and spray clinging to my nightgown, a diaphanous thing made of earthly materials that could never return. Heavy and low, clouds sat on the horizon, gathering a grumbling darkness. A joy filled my heart, I wouldn't be alone soon. Night would come and I could face the stars directly their burning embers kissing my bare face.

I just needed to swim to become one whole being.

A seagull screamed in the distance, the piercing call agitating the water.

I removed my gown and folded it into a neat pile. Naked and shivering, I allowed an exhilarating breath, letting my hair out. I braced myself to swim the biting waters. I didn't feel like myself anymore, I was a brand new person and she was brave.

We departed, she and I, sliding our feet forward, the empty beach began to sing of our arrival; it sang of the separation between us.

She didn't know the chilling water cold hold so much comfort, smooth fingers enveloping her body in a loose embrace. Now using her supple arms to cut the water, she breathed and grabbed onto the foam of the sea, pregnant clouds now weeping profusely. Her heart pounded under the protection of her ample breast, slamming as she now waded, waves furiously lapping at her neck. She closed her eyes and imagined that she could feel every grain of salt against her the gooseflesh of her belly. The current pulled and prodded her to open water and danced between her legs.

The distant sky became a yawning and cavernous thing with no end and no beginning, now she was far from the shore. A groaning thunder started, fading shortly thereafter. She was barely able keep herself afloat any longer. A panic struck her body as she sank, a gurgling bubble of oxygen filling the water and escaping from her parted lips. She thought about swimming back, starting over again, but then she felt the night come and knew it wouldn't be long before it was too dark to make it back, so she changed her mind.