That summer I took you to the wrong island. You were a good sport about it, holding the packed glass pipe above your head while we swam. The right island was only a couple hundred meters up the river, but I’d gotten mixed up. I shrieked for the duration of the three-minute-long swim to the wrong island, flailing my way through the murky, clingy, old-great-uncle’s-hand-on-your-thigh seaweed.
When we got there I realized it was the wrong island, and it was worse in every way than the one I remembered swimming at years ago, the one I’d wanted to take you to. This island was moist and spongy where it wasn’t sharp and rocky. The trees hadn’t grown leaves for whatever reason, and the ground was covered in bird shit and dead fish. We went for a dip anyway, just to show ourselves that it wasn’t all in vain.
After, we sat on the rocks in the sun and talked about kissing each other, deciding not to in the end. We passed the pipe back and forth, after which all talking ceased for a while. The only sound the dark water lapping against the streaked rocks. The occasional buzz of an insect. The sun made your eyes ten different colors at once, and I thought about picking up a dried fish carcass from within arm’s reach and teasing you with it just to break the mood, but I thought better of it.
I was learning how not to do things when I wasn’t sure they would be good for anyone.
Rachel Attias has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from Skidmore College. Her work can be found elsewhere at Nailed Magazine and in Skidmore's Folio and Bare.