She smiled as she texted back to him. She loved what he’d sent. He said she looked like a younger, blonde Jessica Alba. It made her laugh and feel good.
She sent another text. He responded. She laughed again.
She was in the midst of typing another message when a voice behind her called out, “Are you still on that damned thing?” It startled her so badly that she lost her grip on it. The iPhone fell out of her hand.
It bounced off the wooden surface of the dock, angling just right. When it came back down it rattled between the slats. Then it was gone with a quiet plop into the water below the dock.
“SHIT!” Then she angrily whirled. “DAMN YOU, TESSA; YOU MADE ME DROP IT!”
“I didn’t mean to! You’re always on that damned thing!” But Georgia wasn’t listening to her. She was down on her knees peering through the slats in the dock. She couldn’t see a thing.
“I lost it! It fell into the water!”
“You can always get another one, Georgia.”
“Are you crazy?? That one’s got all of Jimmy’s texts on it!”
They’re probably lost now.”
“Maybe a repair shop can retrieve ‘em!”
“It’s gone, Georgia! Let it go!”
“I’m NOT going to let it go!” Then she moved over and sat on the edge of the dock.
She stuck her legs in the cold water despite the tennis shoes still on her feet. She turned to her friend and demanded, “Help me find it, Tessa!”
“Georgia, you’ll never find it down there!”
“Damn you, Tessa! It’s all your fault!”
“If you wouldn’t have been playing with it out here, none of this would have happened!”
“You’re the one who snuck up behind me!” Tessa just shook her head, waving her arm dismissively as she turned and headed back along the dock to shore.
“Come back here! You’ve got to help me find it!”
“It’s lost! Get a new one!”
She watched as her friend reached the shore and began heading back to the buildings. “TESS-AHH!” But the young woman refused to turn around and come back.
“DAMN YOU….. SHIT!”
Georgia panted for breath as she looked down at the water. If she was going to find it, she’d better start looking right away. The longer it remained submerged, the less likely any of those texts could be retrieved.
She removed the white ball cap on her head before slipping off the edge of the dock into the water. She totally submerged before coming back up, spewing bubbles out of her nose. Damn, that was cold!
She filled her lungs before deliberately pushing herself under the dock. Bubbles dribbled out of her nose as she swam toward the bottom. It looked to be a good ten or twelve feet down, with jagged rocks strewn all along this stretch of shoreline.
She swam for the bottom, her denim cutoffs and tennis shoes helping to weigh her down. Her blonde hair flowed behind her as she looked at the rocks, the pressure hurting her eyes and ears a little. But she couldn’t see anything promising.
She’d had it turned on. Wouldn’t there be some sort of light from the display marking where it had fallen? The water was just murky enough to hamper her search.
She blinked as she grabbed onto a large rock and looked around, her cheeks beginning to bulge. But she still couldn’t find it. The burn in her lungs made her turn and head back to the surface.
She released bubbles until she popped up next to the dock. She grabbed on and panted for breath. She could feel the panic threatening to overwhelm her.
Georgia gasped loudly, filling her lungs. Then she submerged again. She swam down, kicking with her legs as her hair flowed behind her.
She made her way down toward the rocks below. This time she pinched her nose to equalize. It eased the pressure on her eyes and ears.
She reached the rocks and began another search. Where had that damned iPhone come down?? It was dark down here, the dock above blocking direct sunlight onto the spot she wanted to check.
Her eyes finally began to adjust to the dim lighting. She would have to stay down longer now that she could see a little better. Her cheeks bulged again as air trickled out of her nose.
She checked around a couple of larger rocks. But she couldn’t find her precious iPhone. The longer it remained submerged, the less likely any of her data could be retrieved.
Her lungs began to strain as she grunted while looking around another rock. But she couldn’t find it. In despair she turned and headed back to the surface, bubbles spewing out of her mouth.
She popped up gasping loudly for breath. Her denim cutoffs were totally soaked. The red bikini top she was wearing now made her breasts feel chilled, hardening her nipples. She would throw her clothes and tennis shoes into the wash later, hoping they would turn out all right from her impromptu swim.
She looked off toward shore but saw no one around. Apparently Tessa was not coming back to help her in her search. That bitch! This was all her fault!
Georgia filled her lungs again, inhaling as much air as she could. Then she submerged with a burble. She turned and pulled downward with her arms, kicking her legs as she headed for the bottom.
Once more she pinched her nose to equalize. The pressure eased quite a bit, although it was still cold. That didn’t help matters any.
She found the rocks again, causing her to briefly glance upward. Was this where it had come down through the slats? Or did she need to expand her search?
Georgia bubbled as she moved over to another set of rocks. There were places where an iPhone could easily hide. She might have to move some of them out of the way if she was going to have any luck finding her prized possession.
She grunted as she moved a couple rocks around. She felt some sort of line try to entangle her hand, causing her to fling it loose. It felt like somebody’s fishing line had gotten snagged down here.
She grunted and bubbled as she moved more rocks around. Her cheeks began to bulge again. Then she felt it in her lungs.
She pushed herself to stay down longer, anxious to find her iPhone. Her stomach rippled as she grunted again, her cheeks bulging even more. Soon they would explode, expelling the last of her breath.
There was a bigger rock that was harder to move. She felt around with her hand, grunting and bubbling. Then her lungs began to burn as they gently started to heave.
She bubbled in frustration. Then she headed back toward the surface. The water became warmer as she kicked upward, her blonde hair flowing behind her as she released bubbles out of her nose and mouth.
She popped up and gasped for breath, swimming over and clinging to the dock. Once more she looked toward shore. It looked like Tessa was definitely not coming back.
Georgia took a few deep breaths, hoping a longer breath-hold might yield better results. It was cold; she wanted to hurry up and find her iPhone. She filled her lungs before pushing herself back down under the dock. Then she turned and kicked her way downward, pinching her nose to help equalize.
Again it got darker and colder the deeper she went. Once more she began feeling around the rocks, hanging on to larger ones as she searched all around. She was beginning to think she was never going to find it.
She felt around until she encountered more fishing line. It threatened to snag her wrist, causing her to withdraw her hand. She shook the line free before sticking it down into another promising location.
She grunted as she adjusted her position. She wedged her leg in the rocks to give her some leverage. She felt them shift a little as her cheeks began to bulge again.
She released bubbles out of her nose as she felt around. Damn; more fishing line. Then she felt something that did not fit with the rest of the bottom. It felt smooth.
She tried reaching for it, only to accidently move it farther under a set of rocks out of reach. She readjusted her position again as her lungs began to burn. Her cheeks bulged a little more as she struggled to reach it.
She pushed forward with her legs, grunting hopefully. She bubbled, “I think…” as her fingers wrapped around something promising. Had she found it?
She pulled it out as her lungs began showing the strain with gentle heaves. The object was shaped exactly like her missing iPhone. Georgia grunted hopefully as it certainly looked like she’d found what she was looking for.
She started to push herself upward, only for her wrist to get hung up in more fishing line. She grunted as she adjusted her position yet again. She carefully shed the line while clasping the prize in her other hand. Then her wrist came free.
She rose up and started to kick off the bottom for the surface. That’s when her left leg jerked her up short. She grunted in alarm, her blonde hair swirling around her head as she lost more bubbles out of her mouth.
Her cheeks were really bulging as she reached down for her lower leg. Her ankle was wedged in between a couple of bigger rocks. They must have shifted while she was adjusting her position earlier.
Her lungs heaved, her stomach rippling ominously. It gave her a fright as she grunted while trying to pull her leg out. It finally came free, only to get hung up in more fishing line.
Georgia grunted in alarm as bubbles started fizzing out past her pursed lips. Her cheeks really bulged as she struggled to free her ankle. Her lungs heaved in earnest, her stomach rippling in protest.
She couldn’t hold her breath much longer. And her ankle was really snagged! She grunted as she pulled with her arms, air slipping out through her pursed lips. But the harder she pulled, the tighter the fishing line dug into her ankle.
In a last ditch effort she tried to pop off her tennis shoe, hoping that might do the trick. Then her lungs heaved demandingly. Georgia instinctively shot upward in a desperate attempt to reach the surface in time. The fishing line firmly said, “No!” as it pulled her up short, tethering her to the rocks beneath her.
Georgia glubbed and grunted as she lost more air. Instinctively she brought a hand up to cover her mouth. Her lungs were heaving, demanding to be replenished.
She anxiously shook her head, her blonde strands waving all around her face as she lost more air. But she couldn’t hold her breath any longer, setting her into a panic. She instinctively thrashed about, frantically clawing for the surface with her arms until she coughed up a huge burst of bubbles.
She grunted as she inhaled deeply. Then she convulsed as her lungs heaved in protest. A moment later she began gulping water as her stomach hitched painfully.
She spasmed and convulsed, almost doubling over in pain with each inhalation. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water. Her eyes widened in terror as her stomach continued to spasm, her lungs heaving as her breasts bounced within her red top.
She finally lost her grip on her prize. It swirled down and disappeared between two rocks. Georgia hitched and gurgled as the fishing line kept a tight grip on her ankle.
She stared upward in horror at the dock above her. Her last thought was how much it hurt and why Tessa couldn’t be bothered with helping her. Then the pain eased before consciousness mercifully faded away.
She hung tethered to the bottom, stray muscles twitching as she hitched and jerked. Bubbles trickled freely past her parted lips. She stared upward in shock before the life winked out of her eyes.
Up at the surface Tessa came back down to the dock, calling out for her friend. She walked out to the end and looked down at the water. For some reason her eyes did not fully register the presence of the white ball cap. If her friend had gone for a swim she didn’t seem to be in the water anymore.
A few stray bubbles came up directly beneath her under the dock. But she barely heard them, making no connection between them and her missing friend. Then she shook her head. Surely Georgia hadn’t submerged in that cold water to look for her iPhone, had she?
“She must have gone back, deciding it was no use going down to look for it. I don’t know… maybe I’ll buy her a new one.” Then she headed back to shore, calling out, “Georgia?? Georgia, I’m sorry! I’ll get you a new one, ok? Don’t be mad!” The presence of the ball cap lying on the dock still didn’t register.
Down below, Georgia’s body gently swayed back and forth, her ankle firmly tethered to the fishing line and the rocks below. More air slipped out of her flooded lungs as tiny bubbles swirled for the surface. Then her body began to settle until she ended up lying face down on the rocks beneath her.
2019 (written by request May 7 ’19 by riwa)