This girl I hardly knew, taller than I was and skinny, who made us boys puff ourselves up and show off how far we could throw rocks, or how many times we could skip stones across the choppy water; this awkward kid I’d never really spoken to asked me one afternoon to swim across the lake with her. We were sitting on the dock. It was chilly, but I said I would do it, though the other side was hazy — almost out of sight — and it would take us until dark to make it there and back. So we dove in and started off slowly. As we swam, mostly breast stroke, she talked about the lake, how old it was, what sorts of creatures lived there now, how it had changed over its lifetime, the depth of its ice in winter, how the fish huddled down on the bottom between the ice and mud. And then she asked me what I knew, and I had to say, Nothing in particular. And then, despite myself, I made up a story about the stars: I heard myself singing a song I made up as I sang, about the constellations, and soon she was singing with me. We reached the middle of the lake, out of breath but singing, and realized the other side was too far. We treaded water there, then turned and headed back, quiet now. We were tired. We climbed out and walked our separate ways home through the dusk light to our families in silence. No goodbyes. And we never spoke again.