Face to Face

Kate, Sam and I back out of the canoe away from her. I say, “Claire, easy, there’s an explanation here, and trust me, you’re going to be happy you’re here with us instead of back in Hamilton.”

She springs over the canoe and shoulders past me and Kate, looks up at the lighthouse, out over the water, at the bank (that’s too high to see over), and then she stands face to face with me.

“Where am I?”

“It may not seem like it from here, but we’re in Toronto. We sailed this thing straight across the lake after our parents got in this huge, gross fight with theirs the moment they—”

“Shut up, I don’t care why you’re here, why am I here?”

Kate, irritably, says, “Simmer down, you’re here because we’re on a trip to Toronto so we don’t have to be in Hamilton where—”

“Where I shouldn’t have been in the first place, and if I knew what a dump of a town this mysterious other side of the family lived in I never would have come down.”

She shoulders through us again, grabs her bag from the canoe and storms off.