The Bright Blue Sea

It is June in Greece. The sun is a white ball of heat, the sea so bright blue I ache to look at it. I sit in the cool shade of a plane tree and wait. My hair is tied with the first gift he gave me: a scarf of blues and greens, the hues of his home, his pride. At my throat is a charm, a blue eye specked with an ink black dot, to ward off harm. My eyes slide to the sea, where small waves lap the shore. I wait, but not for long. Soon, I see him in the road.

            His brown hair is shot with gold, his skin tanned from the sun. He laughs when he sees me. I stand and give him my cheek; his firm kiss finds my lips. He sits, arm slung on his chair, his smile drinks me in. I stare up at the wall near his back, which has been there since the god’s days, no doubt. It was white once, now caked with age, a frieze of blue squares at the top.

            His hand tips my chin so I look down at him. I smile back. A man comes and we ask for cold beers, a Greek brand called Fix. When they come, we sip but my smile does not meet my eyes.

            He frowns. “Kat, What’s wrong?”

            I look him dead on when I tell him. His eyes, green like moss on a tree, grow wide when he hears what I have to say. I tell him of just last month when I saw him with her back home. How she was tall with gold hair and bright blue eyes, just the shade of this sea. I tell him how I saw him brush her cheek with his hand, how he kissed her soft mouth, how she laughed and hugged him.

            His face is pale, the tan smudged with ash. He sits, mute; his eyes do not meet mine. When he does speak, his voice is low.

            “Why wait? Why tell me now? Why not say it when you first saw us?”

            “You need to ask?”

            He stares at me, blank. Then, a nod.

            “Look!” I cry, and raise my hands to the sea, the wall, the street, the beer. “For all this! Now you can’t have this and not think of me.” I stand up and pull the scarf from my hair and drop it at his feet where it pools on his toes. “Now you can’t bring her here and not know what you did to me. To us.” I grab my purse. “I hope you drown in it.”

His hands curl on his beer glass as a snarl curls his lip. I know he gets it as he looks past me to the waves, just the shade of her eyes.

            “That’s right.” I turn and walk. But as I go, I look out at the sea and smile.

Author’s note: This was an exercise from my MFA program at Lindenwood University. They asked us to write a story of five hundred words or less, but only using one syllable words. At first it seemed impossible, but as I got going, I found it was easy to find workarounds. But each word was carefully selected. Hope you like it.

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