The shining pool welcomes me blissfully, looking through me as I look through it. Come and tell me your troubles, it murmurs to me when I splash the water gently with my fingers.
Instantly, my troubles disturb its tranquillity, it reverberates to its core from one wall to another. But contained within this dark and unsettling room, only one light shines in from the outside, and it sends a sense of belief to my heart that it can take my woes.
I gaze down into the bottom of its murkiness, as though it is a window onto another life beneath, a world of dreams that looks so inviting. I strip down to my bare skin. Just standing there in the shining light I feel so vulnerable, the urge to cover myself out of shame is overbearing, but I put the thought out of my mind and dive myself into the murkiness.
Ahh, that’s better, calls the water to me as I touch the bottom, and feel it cover every part of me, fill my every crevasse with its massaging fluidity of health. Instantly, I felt its coldness move seemingly through my closed mouth down my throat and into the quivering agonising pain in my gut that bubbles and erupts, and I feel it starting to cool me.
I break the surface and gulp in air, but below I can feel the glorious coldness healing me. So I don’t struggle, as I have no need for it, and turn on my back and feel myself float upwards until my stomach and thighs join my face and touch the surface.
Water droplets reflects off onto the dark ceiling from the light outside, outlining my body in light, I stare while they play and dance on the shadow-filled roof. They’re playing with my outline, I can see it. The light flickers around my ears and I can hear them whispering to me. Let it go, they repeat. Every time my ears fall below the waterline, the calling becomes louder. I shut my eyes and I see her.
It’s her, the water commands. I imagine putting my arms around her, as the water puts its arms around me. It feels so cold. I see myself standing next to her, her aqua eyes beaming; I imagine the sweat and the heat of our lives, it sketched out like a drawing, flashing above us, from birth to death.
At the end of it all, when age has taken us and we are no longer young, playful shining stars, I say to her; “look at the life we built together”.
The coldness overtakes me, I feel warm tears flowing from my eyes, but they are soon lost in the sea of therapy.
The thoughts, like my tears, vanish into the blackness, and she vanishes with them. I can still see her face through the darkness but it was a pale imitation of what was there before.
Then her face disappears and I feel my soul scream, but the water has worked its magic and it soothes slowly and gently until a scream becomes a whimper. My soul feels hollow now, like a dead tree that has had its insides gorged on by creature, rain and time. What a release!
I open my eyes; the trickling playful light has settled next to me, smiling.
Well done, it says. I sink in exhaustion. My thighs fall below the water, followed by my core and finally my head falls beneath the surface. I feel my bottom touch the end of the murkiness gently.
My legs curl up, and my arms cover my core like a bandage covers a raw wound. There I float, feeling so sore from my ordeal; cocooned in the waters loving embrace, hearing it tell me it loves me still, and I feel beneath my arms the first feelings of healing. I don’t even know if I’m crying anymore. I cease to think of it. My thoughts are replaced with a word I dread to hear, but start to scream: free.
I launch myself to the surface, kicking with all my might and I break with a scream of triumph. I feel as if my heart is going to burst out of my chest, shining as strongly as the light that calls from outside, shining in on me.
Smiling, I make my way to the water’s edge, and force myself out of the water in one powerful motion, waters final words of wisdom draining from me and dripping back onto the ordinary cream granite tiles, following its contours back to its brothers and sisters in the pool, its home.
Thank you, I smile to the troubled surface of water that is calming itself slowly from what I have said. I can see it has taken pride in what it has done, it has been a small step in the direction of the right. I stand tall on the edge of the shining pool, soaked in waters eyes and tears. I’m not ashamed to feel naked anymore.