His True Self

The trees cast a dark shadow about twenty feet out on the water. The trees made the temperature cool, but the air was still hot. It was comfortable weather as we docked the boat and exited. I had not gotten sick once, although I had complained about the speed at which Ben was driving a couple times.

I jumped off the sailboat onto solid ground and was genuinely thankful.  Ben was right behind me.

"Go over there," he whispered to me pointing at an old oak tree. I moseyed over and sat down between two big roots. When I looked over at Ben, he was removing his shirt. I looked away quickly blushing furiously.

The other side of the lake was far away, the boats as small as the point of a pencil. I could see the long highway hovering over the dock, cars rushing across it to get out of the city on this beautiful, sunny, cloudless Saturday. And what an absolutely beautiful Saturday it is, I thought, for my own reasons. Ben's melodic voice broke into my thoughts.

"Are you ready?" His grin was bigger than a little child who just got their first puppy. I returned the smile. I stood up and looked at him. Well, I was more googling, really. His shirt, socks, and shoes had been removed. He had a perfect six pack, and I struggled to turn away.

"Am I ready for what?" I asked trying to clear my head. I felt my face burn white hot.

"To see my world," he grinned wider. But my smile faded and I turned cold. My eyes grew to the size of quarters and my breathing staggered.

"I-I" I stuttered, "I c-can't swim. Um, I can't, don't, I-"

"Calm down, Jenn!" he exclaimed taking my hand in both of his. His skin was cool on mine, and I relaxed a bit.

"I mean it, I can't swim! And I can't hold my breath for long either," I repeated, my worry growing rapidly. I looked into his eyes, hoping to see some hesitation. But all I saw was determination. 

"I thought about that," he said, worry taking over his face in place of confidence. His eyes narrowed and smile turned into a frown, matching mine. "And I know you will think this is going too fast, but it is really the only way." Then he looked me up and down. "Are those good clothes?" I looked at myself now. I was still in my pajamas. My sweatpants, t-shirt and cami underneath.

"Um, no." I said hesitantly. He looked into my eyes again. They seemed to swirl. The green growing brighter and lighter as I stared into them. I seemed to fall into them as they turned into a liquid pool of emerald. Then I realized what he was trying to do.

"Are you trying to hypno-" I was cut off midsentence. Ben's lips crushed mine. I had never been kissed before, and it was new to me. They were soft against mine, and I felt his breath in my mouth, filling my lungs. And I realized, this isn't a kiss. 

My eyes grew wide in horror as my lungs expanded. They felt as if they were about to burst open, spraying me juice everywhere. But right before it was too much, Ben leaned away from me and took my hand in his once more. It was painful though, and definitely not pleasant. He tugged once, and the two of us plunged into the ice cold water of  Lake.

I realized my eyes were closed after about five seconds. I opened them. Everything was so beautiful.  Lake was supposed to be disgusting and grimy ever since the Energy Plant moved in on the west side of town and started dumping their chemicals into the water. But underneath the grimy surface, everything was clear, sharp and outlined. Crabs frolicked on the sand floor. Multicolored fish swam through the rocks, and the seaweed was bright and healthy and the color of Ben's eyes. Ben was in front of me, still holding my hand. But he wasn't the Ben I knew anymore.

The End

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