Water Wings

She ducks under the water, a pair of goggles revealing the rippling bodies beneath it. Rise, suck, duck, she bubbles along the bottom of the pool, propelled from the edge she pushed from, undulating like a stingray.
She forces herself lower, as close to the tiles as possible, even though every atom of air in her body wills her to rise, to pop from the water like the gill-less girl she is.
Her open mouth scoops in air before she dips back under to power forward and catch up with the man in front with shadows all down his back.
The man is steady and she could go faster. She dandles by his feet, entranced by the way his shadows move with him. Symmetrical, one either side of his spine. She thinks of tattoos but as she watches, the shadows ruffle.
She moves back to the surface too quickly and sniffs in a splash. Gulping the chemicals away from the back of her throat she dives down to his depths again. She sees the shadows still stuck there and the way he flies through the water. As though he has wings.
Her breast stroke pushes her closer and closer still, and she imagines him unfurling, reaching for the sky. Bubbles escape her mouth in great gobbles of excitement and her strokes are erratic as she swoops in for a better look.
Together, they swim to the shallows. Light streams through the glass roof, shimmering and cutting through the water, illuminating her fingers as her nails accidentally slash the man’s calf. She recoils in horror and surfaces with a cough kicking her chest.
The man stands to turn and tell her off, water trickling and shining down his back, his wings now nothing but a thick, furry coating of hair.

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