Exercising the craft—June 13, 2016

By Ekta R. Garg

Prompt: “We’d been coming to this place for a while now. The water was always a beautiful, cool, clear blue.”



We’d been coming to this place for a while now. The water was always a beautiful, cool, clear blue. When we first got married Jeremy apologized because he couldn’t take me a real honeymoon. We went to a motel for the weekend. That was it. I mean, we had fun, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the honeymoon that girls dream about.

Sometime during that weekend, though, he asked me about where I would go if we could have afforded it. I told him a nice beach. The kind they show on those commercials for the beach homes people seem to find for a song. White sand where a girl could lie by the water that would be so quiet it would make you feel drowsy under the sun that would always feel like summer. Pina coladas with all the pineapple slices we could eat.

I never thought we’d be able to take a trip like that, but wouldn’t you know Jeremy made it happen. He told me scrimped and saved and finally got enough together, and we made it. It was this little island in the Caribbean on one of the western islands, one of those places that a lot of people don’t go to.

I couldn’t believe it when we got to the resort. I must have gawped at everything in sight. Jeremy kept laughing at me, this little chuckle. Laughing at me. I thought he was doing it out of affection. Because he thought I was cute.

I know now he was just laughing at me.

Jeremy kept saving, he said, and then he and his friend, Hank, started a repair business. They started fixing stuff—fridges, washing machines, any sort of appliances. Jeremy had been going to school for repair when we got married, so it made sense. And he liked being his own boss, he said.

I was proud of him. I didn’t like Hank much, but that didn’t matter. The money was good, and we got to go to the Caribbean every year. Every year I stared at the water and the sand. Every year Jeremy laughed at me.

The fifth year we came his laughing cut short, and I didn’t realize until I turned around that he was gawping this time. At Sasha. She was returning the favor, more or less.

You would think I would have figured out right then what Sasha wanted from him. Or what he wanted from her. But I really thought Jeremy loved me. He said he did. He saved for our special trip. He whispered all the right things in my ear in the middle of the night when he was on top of me.

He must have said the same things to Sasha too. Or close enough. I didn’t figure it out until our third trip to the island after he met her.

We’d been going there for almost ten years. It was our place. Our honeymoon spot. She had no right to come to the island. To this part of the world.

So you see, don’t you? You see why I did what I did. I honestly didn’t think Sasha would bleed red. So much red. The ocean was such a beautiful blue, and I really thought dirt would come out of her veins. Dirt to match the filth in her soul. But she bled a regular human color, and the skeins of her blood meandered through the water.

Jeremy would have screamed bloody murder…if I hadn’t opened his veins first.

But you have to understand, he ruined the island first. Him and that whore. They made the water dirty. Impure. Not worthy of visiting ever again.

So what if you locked me on this side of the wall? I can still see the water. The sand. Can still feel the sun.

And I found out I didn’t like pineapples that much anyway.