Retirement was difficult for Meg. For thirty years her life was regimented and predictable. Now she was faced with the challenge of creating her own routines. At least she had the lake, and Tommy. The lake. Memories of happy summers spent here as a child with her grandparents. The lure of the water was a constant in Meg’s life. It gave her peace, it gave her adventure, it gave her life meaning.
She plunged into the lake for her morning swim. Swimming was automatic to Meg. Meg learned to swim at the age of three and had never stopped. Her swimming prowess
earned her admission to the Coast Guard Academy where she competed in swimming
and became one of the first few female rescue swimmers. Now she was free to swim for pleasure once again. Her career kept her in great shape so now in her fifties she could easily compete in swimming at the Master’s level if she chose to do so.
“The water’s nice this morning, Tommy.” Her blonde companion smiled at her and kept swimming. Meg’s breaststroke warm-up eased into a rhythmic freestyle. It
would take her little time to cover the half mile across the lake to her friend
Clare’s house, a habit both friends liked. Often Meg and Tommy paused to visit with Clare before returning to Meg’s cottage.
Meg stretched her long limbs as her arms and legs propelled her through the water. Quarry Lake was a small lake, about a mile long. It was spring fed and clean. The residents fought to keep motorized vessels from the lake so it was quiet.
Meg loved the feel of the soft water against her skin. Used to years of swimming in wetsuits, her hair either cut butch-short or held hostage by elastics, she savored the feel
of her hair streaming behind her as she swam. She slowed her pace as she and Tommy neared Clare’s waterfront area and dock.
Her feet touched soft sand and she stood up. Tommy scrambled out of the water ahead of her, his head darting to and fro. It was their custom to walk up to Clare’s house together. Meg stepped onto the grass; Tommy shot her a questioning look and took off running. “Tommy, where are you going? Tommy!” Her voice broke the silence enveloping the lake. No answer. “Damn it, Tommy,” Meg muttered to herself as she climbed the gentle grassy slope to the narrow roadway. This was the only road around Quarry Lake and it dead-ended about fifty yards away. It was dusty and warm from the early July
heat. Meg looked up to see Tommy’s blonde head disappear into the woods.