Stunned, I stood on the dirty shore, staring after Anthony as he waded quickly into the water. Suddenly the current caught his legs and his head disappeared under the murky surface.
"Anthony!" I screamed and leapt through the water.
His head was just above the surface now, his two hands gripping the girls, trying to make sure they could get to the shore. Taking their arms, I wrenched them free of the current and half threw them in the direction of the shore. Now I felt certain Anthony could make it beside me. So when I turned to see him going under again I was shocked.
Instinctively I ran over to him and took his hands, trying desperately to pull him to the bank. Gasping for air, he broke the surface again.
"Tess!" He choked.
"Come on, Ant!" I begged, knowing my grip was slackening on his wet wrists.
"I won't pull you with me!" His fingers released my arms.
"No! Ant, I can save you."
"It's too strong!"
As if to prove his point, the water hid him again so just his arms, entwined with mine, were showing. Slowly he slipped until our palms touched. Then he unhooked my fingers, deliberately slowly.
And then he was gone.
"Ant!" I screamed as my eyes scoured the unchanging river, "No!"
He had died to save those two little girls, and there was no way I could get him back.
Then I woke up, screaming, crying and drenched in sweat.