More Than Water
by Renee Ericson
It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel wrong. It just...feels.
EJ Cunning, an art history major, dates musicians. Foster Blake, a chemical engineering major, can’t sing a tune. They’re not each other’s type. They’re coworkers.
Then, one night leads to sex—sex between friends—which leads to an agreement. It all seems so simple—but nothing ever is.
Many layers build a person’s facade.
Look into the depths for what’s hidden within.
It’s more than water. It’s a story—a living and breathing substance beyond the reflective surface.
“You’re teasing me again, Evelyn.”
“But it’s so easy, Fozzie,” I singsong. “Besides, you’re thinking too hard. You’re going to hurt that big brain of yours.”
“I doubt that,” he counters. “And it’s not that big.”
“Right.” I laugh. “Keep telling yourself that, Mr. I Hold Every Academic Chemistry Award Known to Man.”
“Somebody needs to. Why not me?”
He pauses, and I take another shot.
“Explain to me what you mean, so I don’t give myself a brain aneurysm.”
“Okay.” I rise from my bent position.
The soft glow from the fountain illuminates his windblown warm-brown hair. The excessive moisture in the air has caused the ends to curl across his brow, framing his midnight-blue eyes.
“Each image is supposed to tell a story, and I’m using water to convey mine.”
“Water?” he questions skeptically.
“Yes. Clear liquid often found in oceans, streams, lakes, and rivers. Sometimes falls from the sky in the form of rain.”
“Can also be a gas or solid.” He taps his forehead. “My gigantic brain has just informed me that it’s two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. I did pass basic chemistry. It’s kind of simple.”
“Chemically simple, of course,” I playfully mock. Then, I return to shooting my photography assignment. “Each shot should be more than just a picture. If done correctly, within each frame, a tiny tale will unfold. The composition should make people question their purpose in life and the meaning of life and existence in general. Art is a way to convey what words cannot.
“It’s not simple, like you said. It’s not just two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. It’s more than water. It’s a story—a living and breathing substance beyond the reflective surface.” I snap an image and then return my focus to Foster, who is pondering over the fountain before us. “Sure, you joked about it before, but in some ways, I really am exploring the meaning of life through a lens.”
Foster grins. “Damn, Evelyn, that’s kind of deep.”
Renee Ericson is the author of the These Days series.
Originally from the Midwest, she now resides in a small town just outside of Boston with her husband and three children.
Most winters, Renee can be found on the slopes of the White Mountains skiing with her family. During the summer months, she likes to spend every spare minute at the beach soaking up the sea air. All those moments in between, she is talking to imaginary characters and caring for her children.
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