When I opened my eyes the image faded, something from a dream. The waves were pink, lapping against the beach and around my ankles. The pink was tinged with pale green, and the forms in the distance, all of them waist deep in the water were the last to delete from my waking memories.
I only remember one of the forms with clarity. One shoulder higher than the other, arms dangling at the sides, a feeble attempt to wave with the shorter arm.
There were tears in my eyes, and I ran my fingers through my hair, and I sighed as I swung my bare feet onto the cold, morning floor. I cringed silently, not wanting to wake Lucy.
I faced the bathroom mirror, shoulders slumped, eyes squinted. I could just brush my teeth and shave. I should just do that. Everything else about my day would continue normally. Nothing would be a problem.
I couldn't help it, though. When there is one thing wrong there's a compulsion like pressing your tongue against a chipped tooth.
And so I waved at my reflection, which didn't wave in unison with me. It did what it's done every day this year. It waved back.