meant to fold Jake into his arms and weep and tell him he was sorry
and that it wasn’t his fault at all. Jake stood still. Unable to think,
unable to react.
And there it was again. That look of sheer loathing. He felt as
though he himself had been hit in the stomach. His dad broke
Jake’s gaze, sighed and stared out at the bay, his hands on his hips.
Tired. Then suddenly his dad was propelled backwards, his hands
reaching for his crumpled face. Jake froze – horrified at what he’d
done. Something twitched in a mangled bush. He braced himself.
Was it a bird?
‘I didn’t think you had it in you,’ his dad said – a smile, a laugh?
He picked up the newspaper from his chair and sat down,
breathing out simultaneously. He flicked through the paper before
settling on something of interest. Jake sat down next to him and
picked up the magazine with the dancing fish. It smiled at him. Out
on the bay, water glided over rocks, after years of battering, now
smooth and hard. They sat on the porch, two lonely men.