A Shallow Understanding

Apollo’s carriage had only carried the sun halfway up its arch by the time Scott stepped into the water. Mud and grime leaked out from under his toes and diffused into the water of the great lake. He had showered at home after his ritual and before going to bed, but there were just some things one could not scrub off on their own.

The water was cool, the heat of the day had not yet boiled it, and as he waded out up to his knees into the fresh water he felt the power of the light beating down on his body. The dichotomy of the heat of the sun and the cool of the water gave him pause as he stared out over the horizon line at little green islands he had always noticed but never made an effort to go to. For a moment his body felt at balance, and the soft breeze that swept up his crop of brown hair brought with it a fleeting serenity.

Mary would be the end of him. He could hear her shouting all the way from the parking lot. He tried to hold onto the moment just a little longer, but her voice began to crawl deeper into his ears until it was inescapable. He turned and left the sun at his back to see his girlfriend barreling toward the shore in a mismatch of tight black yoga pants and an ill-fitting gray sweatshirt with an indented laminated logo he recognized only through his experience with this one article of clothing.

“Scott, you piece of shit!” Mary shouted repeatedly, with some variation here and there, as she drew nearer to the water’s edge.

This was his fault, all things considered. Scott should have responded to Mary’s text from the night before, but his mind was in no place for the trivialities of relationship drama. He was tired from digging Morgan’s grave and needed to rest, then this morning something within him urged him to come to the lake for some tranquility. He should have known she’d find him here, it was no secret to her that this was a favorite spot of his. She did not know about the emergency supplies buried deep at the foot of a nearby tree, nor did he ever think of telling her.

“Good morning honey,” Scott waved from his position in the shallow water.

“Oh don’t give me that shit Scott, I know what you did!” Mary stood at the water’s edge and began prying his sneakers off and then her elastic socks.

“Mary, I can just come in,” Scott’s statement was either not heard or ignored as Mary march into the water.

“You slept with her! I know you slept with her!” Water seemed to part for Mary like Moses or a monster it was too frightened to stay near.

“With you?” Scott asked genuinely unaware of which person she’d thought he cared about this time.

“Don’t play dumb with me you asshole, with Teresa!” Mary did not stop when she got close to Scott but instead pushed forward and hit him in the chest with both of her fists.

“Morgan’s girlfriend? Mary, Jesus Christ, I didn’t sleep with her, when would I have even done that?” Scott grabbed Mary’s arms by the wrist and held them while she went on.

“Gaby told me! She told me she saw you in their apartment the other day!” Tears swelled in Mary’s angry eyes.

Fucking Gaby, she must have seen Scott when he was staking out the place.

“Oh sweetheart, no I was over there because Morgan had asked me to check to make sure he left the stove off. He left it on, but I turned it off and left,” Scott lied.

“The stove?” Mary looked up at him.

“Yeah the stove, not Teresa,” Scott released her hands and she leaned into his chest.

“I’m sorry, Scottie. You know how I can get,” Mary wrapped her arms around his torso.

Scott knew how she could get, but he did not really care as long as it didn’t interfere with his mission. He had been more sloppy than he thought if an idiot like Gaby had almost exposed him. He would cheer up Mary, and assure her that all was well, he’d even make love to her later as part of his duty to assure her he did care for her. He did not, but it was important to keep up appearances. Gaby. Gaby. Gaby. The name rang in his head like a church bell, he did not want to operate for a while after Morgan, but something about her made his blood begin to boil under his skin.

via Daily Prompt: Shallow

This is Part 3 of an ongoing series created using the Daily Prompt every Friday.


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