Chapter Twelve. Rossie
He was drowning. I had to help him, but my body was aching all over from the impact of my fall. I struggled through the water to where Jack was floating just beneath the surface of the water.
I slipped my hand under his chin and pulled him above the water, and doggy-paddled back to the far side of the river, towing him with me. When I reached the bank, I easily pulled him from the water and lay him on his back.
"Jack!" I shouted, but his eyes remained shut. Oh God. Had I left it too long? I started to press down on him, to release any water from his lungs. He coughed up a little, to my relief. "Jack," I whispered, stroking his dripping hair away from his face.
He slowly moved his hands to his side. I followed them, and horror churned inside me as I realized he'd been shot. The muddy water had disguised it well.
"Jack, no," I said, my lips starting to quiver. "Don't worry, it's going to be alright."
"M-M-Mink," he choked out. "He's going to get Al. Tell him you're dead."
"Al can take care of himself, Jack," I snapped. I only seemed irritated because Jack didn't seem to get it. He didn't seem to realize that he was -
"Rossie," he coughed. He reached into the pocket of his soaked trousers. He then slipped something into my hand. "I want you to have it. Keep it."
Drops fell from my face, but it was nothing to do with the water in my hair; I was crying now. I rarely cried. I hadn't cried in all my years living as a squatter.
"Thank you, Jack." I leaned over his weak body, and pressed my lips to his. As we kissed, I felt the last of his energy fade out.
He was trying to say something. But he couldn't. There was something he wanted to tell me, but he never would.
I lay down next to you and cried. I held you and cried.