Drop #76: Echo

‘Sorry,’ she said. ‘But I just don’t think of you that way.’

How could I have got it so wrong? I had been confident, assured, even! I had convinced myself it was only a formality. But no, she wasn’t interested.

She was gentle letting me down, to drown in the futility I hadn’t seen coming. With empathy in her exquisite, apologetic smile, and clear, moist eyes she looked even lovelier, which only made it harder, cause desire and possibility had never been further apart.

Real dejection leaves little place to hide, but I certainly could not stay, so I muttered a wet slug of a line and skulked away. At the bar down the road I looked for relief in drink but only found hurt in the space I’d cleared to think.

I was taken back to an event in my youth – one I had repressed, one I had removed. But now it reappeared, clear as winter ice, triggered by the misery of my recent inadequacy. I was a little boy, on holiday with my parents, swimming in a hotel pool in Saint-Tropez, when a man pulled me repeatedly under water by my feet, till I thought I would die. I screamed, but my mouth was mostly submerged, and when above, my cries were muffled by the jovial splashes of other swimmers.

Strange, how this particular rejection had brought it all back: the flashes, the feeling, the tone of the attack; how these two events, so far apart, and seemingly unrelated, shared so many traits, and provoked the same result; how a precise blend of fear, sadness, helplessness and despair displayed in one, had resurrected the other as an eerie echo, adding startling depth to the ubiquitous and indifferent darkness that shades a human history.

And though shattered, hovering over my scotch, as I had also felt that day, pulling my skinny little body out onto the pool’s concrete edge, I could not help being fascinated too, by the complexities we each carry into time, and the profound intricacies trapped in the intimacies we must endure, day after day, devoid of any cure.

By E.M. Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

7 Responses to Drop #76: Echo

  1. Repression. I wrestle with this beast daily and nightly. My past is one that I abhor and have hidden in the basement of my brain, yet I must know about it. It haunts me. But I can’t find exactly where it lives, so it eludes me. There are large gaps of months, even years, that cannot be located. Pandora’s box is locked and I cannot find the key.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Laura says:

    Beautifully written – lots of great descriptions!

  3. Pi says:

    Thought that this was one of your better ones.

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