He made it big and solid and stable. Dad worked hard to keep us away from harm, safe underwater,
in our little refuge, our tiny cage, and we could play games, have fun, only it didn’t have much air,
or light. Dad was a master at suffocating, and he taught me well, how to hold my breath, to not need
air, or light, to endure darkness and hardship, he taught me that as long as I remained silent and still,
nothing bad could happen.
Dad made us a safe house, but I was greedy, asphyxiating, dreaming of reckless swimmers, colorful
boats, sparkling ships crossing the oceans, and I dreamed big, I scratched the walls, created holes,
little cracks to let the light in, turned to the sun, opened my mouth, took deep breaths, swallowed
the warmth, and I felt grateful, if only for a while, grateful for those tiny holes that let life slip
Dad built us a house and then he left. I furiously mend the cracks, now that the sea has sneaked
inside, dad never taught me how to swim, thought those waters would never reach me. Dad trained
me well, but then he vanished, and I’ll never forgive myself for wanting more, for being ungrateful,
for craving air and light and life and the deep blue waters that looked inviting but now they drown
Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, from Athens, Greece and the author of "We Fade With Time" by Alien Buddha Press. A Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction and Best Small Fictions nominated writer, her work can be found in many journals, such as the Chestnut Review, New World Writing, Milk Candy Review, the Bureau Dispatch, and others.