Claire hasn’t moved an inch. She stands in the water, frozen, her arms raised up scarecrow-like. When she finally starts walking to the shore, I follow. A big wave comes and knocks us both down. She’s grunting out tears when she comes up. I don’t do anything but follow, I can’t imagine how to damage-control this train wreck.
When she gets to the shore I yell “are you all right?” as loud as I can. It doesn’t matter because the waves crashing combined with the diesel engine lowering the bin of the truck cancels out any sound. I feel I have to do something, so I grab a bottle of liquor from my bag — Scotch, the most expensive bottle I bought — open it and offer it to her. I don’t know if it’s the water or what, but I see eyes of solid red when she looks at me and takes the bottle. For a moment I think all will be fine, that she’ll take a sip, feel better and maybe see some humour in all this.