They stood near the dark lip of water, their shoulders barely touching, their eyes like searchlights, listening within. They were minor characters, suspended between more momentous others, a soft blue line like chalk or thread, curving ever so gently.
Yet here's a curious thing, not something you might be likely to elevate into a story but one of those cases of interesting coincidences nonetheless. It seems that Lisle saw each of them within one hour on the same summer afternoon. Lisa she recognized because she was Javier's wife's lover, the girl she knew from the news story about the drowning. A forlorn creature at the edge of the frame of the news footage, bone white and gawky and clearly hysterical, alternately looking up to scream and then crying into her hands. It was excruciating to see, the kind of thing television news specializes in, and it made Lisle so distraught that she drove down the creek road to the boat launch as if the girl would still be there, hours after the newscast. She wasn't of course, though she was the following day and the day after, vacant and silently sitting on a bleached white log. Lisle never went back after that but then saw them the same day within an hour, Lisa moved across the marble floor of the post office in rubber flip-flops and a long wrapped skirt of polynesian cotton, a lavalava, so sensuous as she walked you had to watch.
The girl was on Main Street in the village, hurrying somewhere along the sun-baked sidewalk, bone white in the glare, vacant, silent, and, although she hurried somewhere, unalterably lost.
Each curving ever so gently.
To Lisle they seemed like old friends, twin silences, and she wished (absurdly) that she could have embraced them.