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The late night breeze scattered the first of the season's dead leaves. It was only early September, but already the night air carried the first hints of the coming cold of autumn. Jane gave a small shiver as the wind hit her bare skin, and she drew her jacket around herself, as if that would make up for the chill that was affecting her bare legs. The night was silent, as if all the world was asleep at this hour. Only the small sound of rustling leaves reached them now, as they stood in the pale fluorescent glow of the complex's lone glowing bulb.

Nearby he jiggled with the lock a few more times, cursing under his breath as he did.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" She hissed, her eyes darting to the parking lot.
No one should be looking for them, but that didn't calm her nerves.
"Yeah," He muttered back, "Just give me a..."
As he spoke there was a faint 'click' and he turned back to her, the lock gleaming back at her from his hand. He grinned, kicking the fence open. The black metal creaked in resistance, and he motioned toward it.
"After you," He said, smiling.
She stepped past, slipping onto the cold cement beyond. In the waking hours of the world she knew this place all too well, but in the night it seemed exotic and new. By the light of the sun it was just a swimming pool. In this cold September night it was something much, much more.

She stared at her reflection in the still water, taking a moment to observe her own dark brown eyes. For once they seemed to be at peace.
The reflection distorted as ripples reached it. The after effects of a nearby splash. She could hear him laughing from the water.
"Come on" He shouted, "Don't make me wait all night!"
She glared at him, but he just laughed and disappeared beneath the water. She sighed, sliding into the water slowly, letting the cold embrace her. She waded slowly out into the water, the strong scent of chlorine filling her lungs. It was not an unpleasant scent. She swam into the middle of the pool, her body numb from the cold. When she could no longer feel the bottom underneath her she took a deep breath. Then let herself slip into the rippling tide.

Underwater, everything was peaceful. Beneath the surface all of her problems seemed to fade away. There wasn't a test coming up that she should be studying for. She didn't have a group of friend that she couldn't stand, and she didn't have that constant fear that underneath it all she really was nothing but an empty shell. Here there was only the sound of the passing water, and the constant beat of her heart. She was alone here. For once, that was all she wanted.
There was a disturbance in the cold flow surrounding her. And she was aware that now she was no longer alone.
She rose slowly from the still water. On the surface she was not alone. He smiled at her, a gleeful, confident smile. His normally bright red-brown hair was a tangle of dark brown now, flying off in an array of uncertain patterns.
"Aren't you glad you agreed to this?" He said.
She slid onto her back, staring at the distant stars above as a rare smile graced her lips. Only three months ago she wouldn't have believed she could make the expression. Now it seemed she couldn't go a day without smiling.
"Yeah," She said, "I really am."
As she watched the stars she could feel the water shift again. He stood silently beside her for a moment.
"I'm leaving tomorrow," He said.
The smile vanished from her face.
"I know."
Beneath the water his hand grasped hers, and he slid to his back, letting the water carry them away.
"Let's not think about that," He said.
She couldn't help but agree with that idea. Because right now, drifting silently, everything was perfect.
For now the emptiness in her life was only a distant memory.
She was complete.
Everything was perfect.
It wouldn't always be.
It wouldn't be for a very long time.



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