Frank pulled out his phone and got Gertrude and his apartment settled. He called a few people who might actually miss him, and then he left, abandoning his phone on the stool along with the other items in his pockets, leaving his coat on the rack by the door.
The dock was slippery under his sneakers, squeaking in protest as he walked, so he took them off. The boats were wet with rainwater. It had rained a lot in the past week.
He shivered with the loss of his coat, reaching the end of the pier. He pulled up his pant legs to his knees and sat down, ignoring the damp wood. He dipped his toes in the water and waited.
Frank rubbed his wrists, flinching as an itching sensation spread up his legs. He stared out past the boats bobbing in the harbour and to the moon.
His eyes drifted down the trail of reflections and he caught a glimpse of movement in the far currents, splashing water into the sky. It was quick, but Frank saw it.
He stood, his feet slopping against the wood. The itching was getting worse and he could see raised bumps spreading over his heels. He wasn’t going to try and stop it.
Minutes passed and he heard something beneath the port.
He looked between the slats, but saw nothing. The water was still hammering insistently against the boats around him, calling him out there. But he had to wait. He wouldn’t go until he was called.
Finally, after hours, the sound reappeared. The sun was peeking over the water, pink horizon stretching out as far as he could see, and people were undocking their ships, sailing out toward the bay.
A splash interrupted Frank’s thoughts and he glanced up.
There was a man in the water. He was feet away from Frank, holding onto the edge of the tie-down, long, slender fingers clenching against the wood. He was beautiful; broad shoulders and strong figure, his face round and young.
Frank stepped forward, but the man let go of the dock, swimming back a few feet. Frank stopped.
He fisted his hands at his sides and swallowed, looking back at shore. People were beginning to come toward them. He took in the houses and the trees and the cars and froze.
The man was still staring, tilting his head gently. Frank looked to the ground and fingered the hem of his shirt, then pulled it up over his head. He dropped it to the ground, and then sat, his feet in the water again. The man kept his distance, swaying absently.
Frank looked back. A group was starting down the ramp. It was now or never.
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