Chilmark Pond

We put our bags down at the doorway, and all I’m thinking is, Can this really help anything? Can anything really help? The house looks out onto Chilmark Pond and, just further beyond sightline, the Atlantic Ocean.

“It’s worth 20 million,” my aunt said. “The owner, he’s 84. He leaves it seven months a year but needs people to watch it when he’s gone.”

I watch Luke walk into the living room and towards the plate glass window in the back that faces the water. A pair of ospreys are circling the dehydrated lawn. He puts his hand up to the door, looks at me over his shoulder, and flicks his hand to motion for me to come over.

“Christina,” he says. “Look.”

The wind is whipping at the bushes, capping the distant water in white. As I walk up, I watch the ospreys flick their wings, stabilizing themselves over the pond, still in the air. I turn to look at Luke, who has both hands pressed back up against the glass, his breath lightly casting a fog. He’s fixated back on the sky. At once, the ospreys, who’ve been holding for a full minute break the air and dive straight into the pond. They leave the air together; one hits the pond first and emerges with a fish. The other catches nothing.

“Did you see that? Wow,” he says. He doesn’t turn to look at me. His eyes are still fixed on the pond.

“I did,” I say. “I did.”

The wind picks up again. The house, sitting at the top of the hill, seems to catch every gust.

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