This piece is based on a dream I had which in turn was inspired by the unwelcome ending of a twenty-year marriage. I've learned that the grieving process for divorce is identical to that for death, but the process is not as linear as I might like. The acceptance experienced in the dream was fleeting, and does not survive easily in the light of day.
Amy Sisson is a writer, reviewer, and former librarian currently living in Houston, Texas. Recently, her short fiction has appeared in *Escape Pod*, *Abyss & Apex*, and Flame Tree Publishing's *Swords & Steam* anthology. She enjoys travel, book cataloging, ballet, and studying German.
They're walking with me, surrounding me almost, as we move down the winding path towards the shoreline. We don't talk. We're sad, but calmed by the inevitability that hangs over us. I don't know what higher power has decided that it's time for me to go, or why, but it doesn't really matter. In these last few minutes, the only thing that matters is that he is here with me to say goodbye. He frowns, looking down at his feet as we walk, with that look that means he's trying not to cry.
I know before it starts how it's going to happen, and I already feel the cold even though I'm not yet in the water. Either I'll walk into it or it will reach up onto the sloping beach to slowly engulf me, and my dress will become waterlogged and heavy. The water will rise and rise, slowing my forward progress and numbing me even more. I don't seem able to speak. I wonder dimly if I can write one last message, enclose it in an airtight bag so that will become a message in a bubble, bobbing nearby. The others have gradually dropped away, giving the two of us our privacy. He holds my right hand in both of his, raising it to his mouth to kiss, looking deep into my eyes as he does so.