Plummer Cobb is a writer and communications consultant based in Arlington, Texas.

Breathing Room

We're scuba diving, and my regulator comes out. I put it back in but something isn't right. I go through my emergency procedures and still, something isn't right. I can't breathe.

I couldn't breathe. She was suffocating me.

That's what I told myself earlier that week before our vacation. I almost cancelled, in fact.

Was I searching for the truth or just telling myself what I wanted to hear, to make it easy?

I've always run away. My relationships don't last.

"It's not you, it's me," was what I always said. I never really thought that was true.

Maybe it was. Maybe after all the failures, it really was me. Maybe I'm one of those people who is better off alone.

Or maybe I really just made poor choices and hadn't found the right person. The right fit.

She pulls her regulator from her own mouth and holds it out to me. I remove mine, put hers in my mouth, and gasp for air.

A moment later, I give hers back to her. We take turns cycling that way until the dive master comes over and fixes my problem.

I'm not sure what was wrong, but now I'm able to breathe on my own.

She looks at me and signals to check if I'm okay.

I signal back that I am.

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