Charles messed up.
Charles messed up real bad. This was probably the worst mistake of his life. Even more so than that time he tried to steal an entire carton of Peanut M&Ms from a 7/11 when he was 17. Now he had probably messed up for the last time. Huh.
He had been working on a fishing boat since he was 19. He was 37 years old now. He had been working on changing out hooks in netting when one of the weights had gotten tangled on this foot. He thought it was kind of funny, how simple it was. He leaned over to pick it up and had lost his balance when the boat hit an unexpected wave. He fell backwards and off the ship, into the water.
It was funny how fast the weight sank. It was funny how tight the rope became around his ankle. It was funny how fast the light left the water around him while he plummeted downward. It was funny how nobody probably even saw him fall or noticed his absence yet. It was all so funny.
And by funny, Charles meant terrifying. The rope was like the hand of the devil. Inescapable. A grip so tight, blood started running up past his eyes. He was desperately screaming, eyes wide. Bubbles and blood and water streamed past him.
He’d always been a good swimmer, never afraid of the ocean, or the depth, but now, the water was like a solidified manifestation of his fear. Filling his lungs, pounding in his ears, burning his eyes. He thought about how long it would be until someone realized he was gone. Probably at least an hour. He thought about where he’d be in an hour. He screamed some more.
Charles couldn’t tell if the light was fading from his eyes or if he was just so deep that the light wasn’t reaching down here. His ears hurt. His ears hurt so much. He plugged his nose with his hand and popped his ears. Now the only thing that hurt was every other part of his body as the pressure started building. The light kept fading until he was in total blackness.
He couldn’t tell if eyes were open or closed. He couldn’t distinguish between his thoughts and his hallucinations as he ran out of oxygen. He kept sinking, like a rock. A very heavy rock. A rock weighing about 215 pounds. The weight of the ocean pulling against his feet and pushing on every part of his body. Crushing his chest, his heart, his soul. He had stopped screaming now. There was no air or motivation there. He decided to just sink. Just sink and wait for the world to care. Waited for an apology to appear in the murky depths.
He realized his eyes were closed when he saw a light through his eyelids. Glowing in the distance. Shining brighter and brighter as he sank. Shining brighter as he sank. Shining brighter. He sank. He sank. He sank.