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#138: Change

#138: Change
Odd Spot - 22/06/2022

Peter pulled himself from pool's edge. His muscles quivered beneath the weight. He looked down at the protruding belly and saw something he'd never saw before.

His stomach looked like a giant slab of meat, like a sculpture of a dying breed of animal, with the tufts of hair sodden wet. He was fat. And to prove it, a jolt of pain wracked down his arm.

There was no noise from the multitude of kids splashing in the pool, nor the upbeat music the resort seemed to think was relaxing.

In the corner of his eye, he could see Grace seated at a table with the other mothers, day drinking. There was a sadness to the women, all not-in-love with their husbands.

He felt his elbow buckle and before he could do anything about it, the concrete edge slammed into his forehead.

Peter marvelled at the sight of his own blood, like an eel slipping effortlessly through the water. An air bubble emerged from somewhere, cutting the red in two.

A moment of clarity arrived. They would lie out his body and everyone would see his flabby body for what it was, a wasted opportunity. Was having two kids enough of a justification for wasting all those years? Was losing touch with what he loved about his wife worth any of it? All those days at the football, gambling, of standing by the bar drinking, making small talk to people he can't recall anything about.

Hands picked and prodded, and he rose like Jesus, and the air felt so good, his lungs filling as other hands pulled him onto the pool's edge.