Erin Levasseur, "Lean Close and Look"



I stand and face the ocean. The cold sea air whips against my face and fills my nasal passages with its sweet nectar. I am alone in this world wondering what misfortunes are yet to come.
My father raised me by himself. Yesterday I laid him in the unwelcoming ground. I am trying to fill my mind with memories to keep him forever. His most prized possession resides beneath my feet; a fishing boat. My father loved fishing almost as much as he loved me. Correction. He still loves me. I enjoyed spending time with him out on the sea. We were alone in a vast world. Nothing stood between us.
I inhale deeply and close my eyes. I allow my body to sink its pressure into a supportive railing. With a racing mind and a clear heart, I realize I am alone now.
My eyes flash open and fall to the ocean floor along with my spirits. A fish, probably a salmon, wriggles beneath. Subconsciously I reach out to touch his sliver back. In my effort to do so I knock over a large duffle bag I have brought with me filled with various belongings of my fathers.
No. I will not lose him again. Not this soon. Without thinking, I dive into the freezing water.
When I come to I am in an ambulance. My mind races back to the bag, to my father. To my relief a paramedic hands me the bag. “Looking for this?” he urges gently. I sigh, a large relief.
I quickly become aware of a large gash on my temple and an uncontrollable body shaking with hypothermia. The man continues on to say that I hit my head while diving in. They found me below the surface clutching something. Even when my body went limp I held onto the bag. Unfortunately both myself and the prized duffle became entangled with the seaweed below. I am told that I am very lucky to be alive, that I must have someone watching over me.
“Thanks Daddy,” I whisper.