May 2, 2018 by The Citron Review
by Victoria Miller
She is twenty-nine and works in an office, but that’s not important. She enjoys watching classic movies and making lists, but those things are not important.
She is a swimmer.
Every morning she rises at 5:00 AM to encase her body in neoprene. Her spotter is always with her, in case she falters. In case the capricious ocean seizes her body.
She dives into cold waters, taking her place in the endless battle between sea and shore. She slips through the currents and waves, her arms and legs in perpetual motion. Her breath rhythmic. Steady.
She swims until her limbs waver like the kelp forests below. Her return to land is reluctant and unsteady. Even after her bones recall their solidity, the ebb and flow—a gentle rocking—lingers in her memory and muscles.
Today is different.
Today she sits in a white and grey waiting room filled with pairs of people. Her hair is not wet. She did not taste the ocean’s salt. Faces watch her from flyers pinned to a corkboard. They are not like her. Their smiles are too wide, their eyes too bright.
She waits alone. This, she realizes, is important.
“It’s just a dot,” the doctor says.
She places her hand over her exposed abdomen. Her skin is cold and alien. She imagines reaching inside and ripping out her organs. The room is still. She swallows a pill and drives home. The wind licks her cheeks, briny and wild.
She’ll need a new spotter now.
Victoria Miller has MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She spends her days producing video games, where she often finds herself juggling flame-engulfed-chainsaws and excel sheets. When she’s not slurping the best ramen in the city, she finds time to work on short stories and her first novel. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Citron Review, formercactus, and Lost Balloon. Find her on Twitter @tigrvix