Sat, 21 February 2009 - 3:20 pm

Split

After yesterday’s adventure on the water, we found a store to regroup in and spend the night. We were going to push on today, but the question of the boat’s radio came up and that presented us with a dilemma.

Sax was going to look at it, but with so many of us crammed onto the boat, there wasn’t any space or time. He still hasn’t recovered from that knock on the head, unsteady on his feet and far too quiet. He’s still not fighting.

He offered to stay behind and fix the radio. I didn’t like that idea at all – he’s vulnerable on his own, as we all are. We’re supposed to stay together. He said that no-one would bother with an old fella like him, but I disagree. The sharks didn’t have any qualms about having a go at him, and I don’t think they’re unique or even unusual. And someone should definitely keep an eye on him, for his own sake.

Then Sally stepped forward and offered to stay with him. I don’t know why – he’s barely spoken to her since she rejoined the group, and he was one of the voices that objected to her presence. She is nursing more bruises than most of us; perhaps she simply wanted the chance to rest.

Sax went quiet at the offer and no-one else really knew what to say. With no reason to refuse, we shrugged and agreed. I still didn’t like the idea, but what was I supposed to do? I wanted to stay behind to keep an eye on them, but I wanted to be with the group as well. And I had to be with Dillon when he got to his family’s place, too. I can’t be everywhere.

Instead, I went to talk to the doctor. I asked him to stay behind as well, to keep an eye on Sax. I don’t trust his health, and I don’t think having the doctor with us without Sally is going to be great either. She keeps him quiet when his acerbic comments would cause trouble.

He looked at me like a weasel sizing up a mouse, but then he shrugged and said he’d take a few days on his ass. I think I preferred him when he was high; his edges were softer then.

 

We split at about midday. The farewells were weird and stinted – no hugs or fond goodbyes; barely even murmurs promising that we’ll be back as soon as we can. Though we will be back, of course. If I have to drag every unwilling butt personally, we’re coming back for them.

I tried to speak to Sax briefly, but he just smiled at me vaguely and said he’d be fine. Sally promised to look after him and I took heart from that. I think she’s really trying. There wasn’t time to ask why.

I’m worried about them. I wish we could check on how they are; I wish we could call them up. We’ll see them again in a few days, but that’s no comfort. I don’t want to let them go and I wish I could be everywhere.

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