The ghostly wind blows through my frill hair as I sit on the dock adjacent to uncle Ben’s cabin. Over the water I could spy the faint gleam of a loon swooping low over the water in pursuit of a late dinner. I hear a soft splash and as the bird delves into the water, then a quick flap as it emerges victorious and soars away. I thought it would be peaceful out here, all alone with nobody to compromise my thoughts. As it turns out, though, I am the one who most pollutes my own mind.
They don’t teach you how to deal with this stuff in school. Maybe that’s because we all have to figure it out on our own, or maybe it’s because there’s just good way of dealing with death. Ben was like a father to me, better than my real father ever was. But maybe he wasn’t all that great because if he was then maybe I wouldn’t have such a difficult time. Maybe it wouldn’t feel like I was the fish that just got taken from its home and carried off for dinner.
I thought coming here would help me to make amends with the death of my best friend. I thought that maybe doing so would even bring me to go visit my father in jail. I don’t know, maybe it’s stupid but I thought that being here at this cabin, where I once spent my summers with uncle Ben and aunt Martha. That’s all a distant memory now; The cabin has grown old and with it I have too. Coming here was a mistake, I know that now. Ben is gone, and all that is left for me is this stupid shack of a house.
Another gust of wind sends a shiver up my spine. It’s early fall, so the days are warm and the nights dip into the low fifties. I weave my arms together and pull my feet from the water, crossing them in front of me. As the ripples in the lake settle, I make out my reflection in the moonlit surface. I see a frail, distraught thirty-year-old with no plans for advancement in this life.
Back on the shore I hear a splash and a squawk, causing me to jump. As I focus my eyes on the shore through the bright lamp at the front of the dock, I can see the loon has landed on my yard, and the fish is gone.