I followed ragged paths, seeking cavernous places, the empty space where she used to be and water black as death. One last swim before I went under. I needed to float to connect with her; we swam in amniotic fluid.
Windswept clouds swirl across the sky. I let the vortex withdraw me from the muffled world, distant. Silence, ghosts hid, swallowed by a decision. I allow water to consume me.
We practised relentlessly. The shapes two bodies can make when suffering a reverse vertigo, an addiction to heights. We’d float and glide through the air, sweating hands grabbed wrists. Imaginary crowds cheered in adoration of our acrobatic skills.
We were conceived on a sandy ridge overlooking the sea. My sister was born first. I came an hour later. Identical twins born into the carnival destined to perform. Our bodies moved in unison and twirled in umbilical connection.
She still floats to me through thick air. Sweating palms grab at her and she slips through my fingers. With nothing concrete to hold, fingernails made crimson channels on my arms before she fell. Her image blurs at the edges, breaks up, and disintegrates. I grow cold inside.
Two bodies in the air tumbled, twirled, spilled.
Wading out into the water, guilt and grief invaded my existence. A shadow always present regardless of light. Liquid thrumming against ears, sucking away all sound like a vacuum.
I didn’t hear them coming, the water must have drowned out their sounds. It was their toes I saw first and the ripples they created as they splashed the surface. I clawed my way to consciousness when I saw the children’s eyes looking down at me. I wouldn’t ruin their lives with the shape of death. Life invaded as I gasped in air.
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