Jason was at the riverside again, at 5am as usual. It was windy out and the water was cold but he didn’t mind. He sat down by the pier, the water up to his ankles. The mainland was across the river; a mass of tries covered with mist. It was a Saturday, most people would be sleeping in. The daring might even go for a light jog but only the truly brave would go for a swim in these waters.
Jason took off his shirt; he was already wearing his swimming trunks. He jumped in, the water was freezing but Jason had been swimming in these waters for the better part of 37 years. Ever since his dad first took him to the pier.
At first, it was just a weekly father and son bonding time. His father was barely around most of the week but he made sure that he was around on Saturdays to take his two boys to the pier.
But then he got sick, it was a rough couple of months for Jason and his brother Rick. They stopped going to the riverside for a while. It wasn’t until he passed away that the brothers truly knew the severity of his condition. Rick never came back to the pier after that, the place had to many memories.
It took Jason sometime to come back to the pier. He would come there often and talk to his dad, as if his voice were contained in the reeds that surrounded the riverbank. Later he would resume his swims, the coolness of the water felt like a cleansing fire for his soul.
Even after losing his job and all his bad relationships Jason never stopped coming to the pier. It was no longer just a memory of his deceased father; it was the anchor that kept him grounded. It was the rock that he could stand up against all the stormy seas. It was the one constant amidst the instability that was his life.
And now, that he has passed most of his troubles Jason still comes to the pier every Saturday at 5am. He still swims in the cool waters. He still talks to the reeds. He still leaves by 5pm and in five years, when his own son is old enough, he’ll bring him to the pier as well. He’ll bring him to the pier by the riverside.