I want to swim again. I want to feel water splash over me. I want that first cold dip of the toes, the sudden dampness of my swimsuit sticking to my skin.
I daydream about it, the silkiness of the water as I dive, the rhythmic breathing between my strokes.
The pause to drain my goggles, as they inevitably require adjusting. The snap as I pull them back into place.
My legs doggy paddling as I catch my breath at the deep end.
The heady feeling after a whole length underwater, seeing bubbles explode from my mouth as I rise.
The strength of my legs as I kick; the splash.
Why haven’t I?
The fear of my body; of looks; of smirks. The idea of strangers and darkness looms over me and I shrug off my desires. I don’t need to swim. I’m too scared to do so. My friends go by themselves and I stop wishing. I’ve built a wall on my dry ground, I can’t even see the water. The monsters that lurk by a pool in my head are larger by far than my courage.
I don’t want to swim.