The sound of the oars against the ring-bolts of the fourteen foot boat reminded Ada that she'd let go of them. How thoroughly she'd looked anticipating a sight of this water. How glad she'd been to see it finally. The first two days it had blown her past clear away… but now, she could not help but admit it was more than water, the sea, but she could not see beyond that. She wasn't even a dimple on the surface of this areola. Not a dimple. Not an afterthought, not a consultation. Just a wrinkled up piece of litter, perhaps. Though, yes, she knew the whispers of its sentience. She did not believe that it was dead. Ada feared that she was.
Was it far to the horizon? Ten miles? Twenty? There was a circle that she had fantasized about. Saraheim had said she needed to cast a circle, and Ada had little notion how to do that. The flatlands were full of hicks who might no longer hang her from a tree, but she could not bear to bid them hello or goodbye. "Good riddance" was her mantra to the certitude of the land. Goodbye and good-day to the world.
And, it was gone.
Ada stuck her hand in the warm embrace of that penetrating, probative god of salt, mystery and terrifying patience. She was reminded in the distracted manner of a school-girl by a window, of a hand she'd embraced a long time ago. Emilio. "Nothing to say, about him," she'd answered to Saraheim's inevitable questions.
"Nothing?" Saraheim had answered quietly in shock as much as exasperation.
Ada had held his hand. As Emilio's fingers softly slid into her own she had sighed and looked at him startled by the sound she was making. It embarrassed her and she'd laughed. Emilio looked at her with the awkward questions of inexperience in his eyes. She thought she'd embarrassed him. She could not tell Saraheim, the jay-walking tantrum of appetite and satiety, this. So, she simply waited her out. Here, in this empty boat, in the limpest grip of this water she felt the strange perils she'd ignored all her life, as keenly as her efforts at concealment had meant them dull.
Ada drew her hand from the water, looked at the horizon and chuckled at her weakness and poor imitation of the willful persons she'd always envied.
"Second fiddle to the living, Saraheim?" she asked aloud. Looking at the water dripping down the oar she now gripped, she knew that what she did not know then-- she'd never forget.
Old women, she supposed, in any case shouldn't dally too long on the subject of little boys. She hoped so.