The Swimming Pool by Christina Holbrook

The dog and I swim through the soft turquoise depths, in languid loopy circles. He nudges his yellow ball, feet paddling beneath him. I hold my plastic Margarita goblet from a set of twelve you and I bought, imagining pool parties. It tips above the water in my unsteady grasp, though now there’s no one to care if it drops or spills.

Sometimes I hear the train whistle: the long line of cars pulls in, and then heads on to some place better. Sometimes I drink too much, my head full of angry conversations where this time I come out the winner. Tonight, I float on my back as another day expires and the world becomes dark. But if I keep looking up, I see that the stars are moving, ever so slowly.

You and I conjured our shared dream of paradise, planting lush hibiscus trees along the pebbly border. Now the blood-red blossoms unfurl, dropping gently into the water as all is lost. Tomorrow the movers will come to take away your boxes of things, your furniture.

But I will still have this swimming pool. Don’t you remember? Once, we bought this house for the pool.

A New Yorker who briefly detoured south to Florida, Christina Holbrook now lives in Colorado. When not writing she is probably out hiking with her dog Luke and trying to avoid surprise moose encounters. She has just completed her debut novel, All the Flowers of the Mountain.