‘Washed up’

“Four pints, the nurse said. Or was it four litres? Lose much more than that, and you probably won’t make it. I don’t know how he did.”

“I was balancing on a rock, crossing the stream. I’m not even sure what happened. Next, I’m in a bed with white sheets. There’s black under my fingernails. I can’t move.”

“I saw it all happen. I was too far away to stop it. He fell, simple as that, and the water swept him into the pool, and towards the waterfall, through the rapids. I was screaming. He was face down. There was nobody around to help.”

“I must have slipped, I guess. Hannah said I got swept away by the current. But I don’t remember it being that fast.”

“Well, I scrambled back onto the path, and ran down with him as he went, trying to keep up. When I could get across to the river again, he was caught in a backwater, washed up and bleeding. I didn’t realise how much. The water washed it downstream.”

“Was she there when I woke up? Now you say it, maybe she was. I remember staring at the gravel, choking on water. Everything was very dark. I’m sure I called for help. I couldn’t hear myself. If she was there, I’m not sure why. Was she in trouble too?”

“They said they heard a man shouting? I don’t remember that. Well if there was, I suppose he was just in shock. I brought him round, you see. Thats why it was all over me, the blood, when they got there. I thought I’d lost him. It was so traumatic, officer. Thank God he made it. So, are we done now?”