By Carolyn and Riwa

Being dumped sucks.

People might have different thoughts about religion, politics, and other things. But being dumped for another woman being a blow to one’s self-confidence was something that Carolyn thought everyone would agree on.

For three weeks now she’d been alternating between moping, feeling sorry for herself, and plotting revenge. Mostly she just moped since the ex-boyfriend and her replacement had moved to the other side of the country.

So what, she asked herself, what was she doing at a party? The answer was easy. Her friend Jennifer wanted to snap her out of it and had dragged her to this party by the hair of her head.

So now Carolyn was at this party, against her wishes mind you, looking at the people. She knew about half of them and their partners but not the other half. An onlooker would have noticed that she looked nice in the white dress that she had put on her petite frame, black hair, and glasses. They would also assume that she was a bit of a drunk since she hadn’t been without a glass in her hand all evening.

The truth, however, was that she was dead sober because she was nursing her second drink over the course of four hours. All the same, she had decided to sit because it was too difficult for her to stand since she was on a moving party boat that hit waves now and then.

Carolyn finished her second drink and, feeling totally alone, went outside and sat against the rail of the stern of the boat. It wasn’t too chilly but the wind from the boat’s movement made it just chilly enough to keep everyone inside…that and nobody having the desire to mess up their hair or clothes.

Sitting against the back rail, Carolyn let herself descend, again, into her own thoughts. That’s when the boat hit a large swell that knocked her backwards. She could swim, albeit not very well, but managed to grab the back rail. But then another swell hit and Carolyn felt herself flipped overboard and into the water.

Carolyn came back up sputtering, her vision blurred from having lost her glasses. It had been humiliating as hell falling off the boat. But when she turned to look for it the damned thing was already several yards away and fading fast, happily moving forward with no thought to its accidentally discharged passenger.

She screamed at it, frantically waving her arms before she slipped under the surface. She came back up sputtering, but the boat was farther away. She tried moving in that direction but she wasn’t a swimmer. It didn’t matter; out here in the bay there was no place else to go.

She slipped back under, sputtered back up to the surface… slipped under again. She came back up and cried out in horror as she slipped under yet again. Then she clawed her way back to the surface.

She tried half crawling, half dogpaddling in the direction of the departing boat. But it was almost out of sight in the darkness. She hollered for it to come back but there was no response. Ironically she had been “dumped” again… only now she was in serious trouble.

She slipped back under, frantically kicked herself back up and then turned all around. She was out in the bay with the nearest land being a mile away. She saw lights and she headed in that direction only to slip under the surface again.

She came back up, slipped under and swallowed water. She popped back up coughing and sputtering. She went down once more, her body becoming heavy from her soaked clothing. It was getting harder to stay up at the surface.

She tried to scream but she went down again in a flurry of bubbles. This time she submerged deeper. She tried to rest to conserve her strength, but the water got colder as she continued to descend.

She struggled to get back to the surface, kicking and flailing and clawing with her arms. She came up, got another breath and then slipped back under. She was growing tired, the panic starting to swell within her.

She struggled to reach the surface, snagging a half breath before her clothes pulled her back under. This time she didn’t have the strength to make it. Carolyn began to descend in the darkness of the waters of the bay.

She tried holding her breath for as long as she could. Then the panic reflex kicked in. She began to kick and claw and twist and flail. But she was no closer to the surface than before. That’s when her lungs finally gave out.

Carolyn gurgled as she sucked water into her lungs. She began to spasm and convulse, her mind screaming how this could be happening to her. Her arms flailed haphazardly as her feet went every which way. But she was still descending, sinking deeper into the bay.

She shuddered hard before she finally went limp. She was still conscious in the salt water and it hurt like hell. All she could think of was how she’d been dumped… and then dumped again. A moment later the life flickered out of her eyes as a steady stream of bubbles slipped out past her parted lips to scurry to the surface.

Back on board Jennifer had finally noticed her friend Carolyn had gone missing.  She looked at the chair where she had last seen her. Then she stood up on her toes, looking over the heads of the crowd while trying to spot her. She did not see her.

She shrugged and went to the fallback position by checking the ladies room. She was surprised when the door opened easily, revealing an empty bathroom. Now where the hell had she gone?

She finally went to Richard their host and asked for the whereabouts of her friend. Richard had the ship searched thoroughly. But there was no sign of Carolyn. He immediately called a halt to the vessel’s forward momentum, ordering his pilot to turn it around and head back on the assumption someone had fallen overboard. But in these waters he feared she might never be found if she had gone over the side…

© 2016 (a collaboration written by Carolyn and Richard Jun 26 ’16)

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