"The newspaper reported my family’s boating accident as a 'Lake Superior tragedy.'” Her eyes are deeper green than the lake that laps at our feet. She smiles and edges toward me. “We lived on Madeline Island. Now I'm alone. Would you dive into the lake with me?"
A chill breaks through the warm August air. “I’ll wait while you swim,” I say.
She dives into the cold and reappears facing me. Her hair radiates gold in the late afternoon sun. Fingers, colder than the lake, brush my arm. “Will you come home with me?”
A voice from the parking lot severs our connection. “Corrine, get your sweet ass back here.”
“Coming Momma,” Corrine replies. “Here Mister, you seem like a nice guy. Give me your phone number. Here, take mine.” I jam her note into my pocket and watch her run to a white Chevy van that idles in the shade of an Oak tree.
A woman in a white dress, who I assume to be Momma, leaves the van and saunters down the hill toward me. “Sorry Mister, I hope Corrine didn’t bother you. She approaches strangers with wild ideas. She hasn’t been the same since our accident. She gets things a little mixed up. I have to keep bringing her back.
I look to the parking lot to catch a glimpse of Corrine. I can’t see her or the van. I turn to Momma. She’s gone. I pinch my arm.
Later that day, Corrine leaves me a voicemail. When I return the call, her line is disconnected. I dig in my pocket for her note. I feel the wad of paper, thick and real.
I write this song for those of us who may get a little mixed up. Composed for piano in C Major.
Standing ‘fore the window, my
Memory in a frame. Four
Years since I left you. For
You is why I came. I
Heard you’ve met another. I
Haven’t done the same. If
I say I want you still, oh
Will you keep my name? Or,
Will you choose the other and
Be my loss my pain?
‘Cuse me Sir to
Whom do you sing?
A stranger asks of me.
She stands there with
Light in her hair,
Across the room from me.
‘Cuse me Sir there’s
Please sit and rest with me.
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Life Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
I write personal essays, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, and self-development articles from my home in Madison, Wisconsin.