Blood and Water
by Jason Kimble
The year we turned nineteen, the boy I loved disappeared under the waves of Lake Michigan, but he didn’t die. I never told anyone. That he was alive. That I loved him. That he
My fingertip goes white as I smash down on the delete key and the cursor devours my words.
The broken swimming trophy lies sideways on the kitchen table. I stare at it as I dial, ignore the cat mewling, exiled, on the other side of the door. I count the rings of the phone at my ear. Seven rings (for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone) before Mr. Gravere picks up.
“Why are you calling, Mike?” Gravere says.
“It’s about a book,” I say. “I … think that I loaned it to Andy, before–”
“That wasn’t his name.” I can’t decide if the ice sheathing Mr. Gravere’s voice is better or worse than his scalding anger at the funeral.
“It’s special. A first edition. Return of the King. My mother–”
“So special it took you five years to notice it missing?”
“It’s just … ” I turn the gilded swimmer in my hand.
“I told you when he died, Michael: you’re not welcome here. Live without the book. I’m living without a whole lot more.” Mr. Gravere hangs up. (Continue Reading…)