Page 53 - WTP VOl. IX #1
P. 53

 happily about how much fun they would have. As they pushed off, she waved and smiled. Hoping for things to work out between them, Jack knew. Desper- ate for it.
“Great day,” Jack said as they sped out over the lake. “Bet we have a heck of a trout dinner tonight.”
Shaid didn’t answer.
“It’s good it’s isolated up here. If this were closer to the city, it’d be crawling with tourists.”
Shaid looked out over the lake in silence.
Jack suddenly had the feeling he had ventured out into an unknown and terrifying landscape. He re- alized he’d thought that this trip would close the chasm between him and Shaid. That the swaying of the boat, the clear, wide sky, the silent movement
of the fish would somehow ease the ragged feelings between them. Now he wondered why he thought it would be any different from the fretful Christmases and the miserable Thanksgivings when Marcia’s anxious chatter was the only thing that kept the silence from drowning them. He gazed longingly at the lakeshore, as if it were a safe haven he had left by mistake. He could see Marcia settling into the ham- mock he had hung.
Jack steered for awhile without speaking, until it struck him that they weren’t far from one of Pop’s favorite spots. His memory was foggy, but there was something familiar about the lakeshore, and he had the distinct feeling they were in the same place.
“I used to fish here with your grandfather,” he said. “Right in this spot. Until I was twelve or thirteen.” But Shaid’s disinterested look dampened his excitement.
They baited their hooks without speaking. Jack cast his line. He wondered what he could say to Shaid that would not sound awkward and false. The details of his work could only seem tedious to a seventeen-year old, and what did he know of Shaid’s obscure world? A faint despair lapped at him.
They fished for awhile with no luck, then ate the food Marcia had packed. Shaid yawned and shifted. Jack watched the sun move across the mountains and thought of his father’s hands. They caught nothing and went back to shore early.
The rest of the day lay ahead of them. Jack and Shaid barely spoke. Marcia spoke too much, too loudly,
“Jack suddenly had the feeling he had ventured
out into an unknown and terrifying landscape.”
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