I had a job in an office and I couldn’t stand my boss. There was a woman I worked with who hated the boss even more than I did, and she had managed to steal the boss’ briefcase containing all of his important papers. She wanted to dump the briefcase in Lake Erie where he would never find it. We drove out to the lake, and I pulled the front of the car right out into the edge of the water. It was a cold winter day. The beach was deserted and the sky was overcast and a rough wind swept in across the lake. We climbed out onto the hood. We had put a few bricks into the briefcase to weigh it down, and I held it out past the front of the car, dangling it from the tips of my fingers.
I was just about to drop it when the woman stopped me and said, “Wait! It will probably just wash right back up onto the beach if we dump it here. You should take it farther out.” I suggested taking it out just past the point where the bottom dropped off sharply, where the water was much deeper. The woman agreed, so I swam out into the frigid water, dragging the briefcase behind me. I could see the woman on the edge of the hood, waiting for me to swim back, waiting with her heels perched on the bumper and her chin resting on her hand. I waved to her when I got out to the right spot, and she waved back. The buoys that usually marked where the bottom dropped off had been taken down for the season, and I had to feel the way to the edge with my toes. I didn’t want to stray too far over the line. I inched my way as close as I could, and then I held the briefcase out into the water as far as I could stretch my arm and I let it go. I could feel it’s weight drop away as it drifted down into the cold depths.
I turned to swim back to the beach, my feet teetering on the edge of the drop off. I regained my balance, and I was just about to lunge forward into the water, when a big wave came and pulled me back hard. I knew I had been washed out past the drop off, and I was flailing about wildly now, trying to get a foothold, trying to swim back to where I could still touch bottom. But every time I gained a few feet, another wave would come and pull me farther out. The woman was standing on the bumper now, straining to see me out there in the water. I gripped the surface, trying to swim back to her, but she just receded smaller into the distance as I got washed away. Finally, I gave up the struggle and the water seemed to grow calm around me. The land was completely out of sight now. I rolled over on my back and floated and drifted with nothing but the expansive water around me and the grey sky above.