Facing the Water

Jade Collier sat in the front passenger seat of the beat-up green Vauxhall that was pulled up to the edge of the river. She eyed the cool, glistening water, watching her friends swim. Gushes of water lapped over the edge, dousing the riverbank’s knot of weeds and rushes. She chided herself for forgetting her bathing suit. But this outing hadn’t been planned; at the last minute, she and her friends had cut out of Bible study. They’d changed into their best hippie clothes, piled into the Vauxhall, and drove the six miles from Napier to Brookfield River, where now the water beckoned achingly. Water had always been a magnet for Jade and her twin sister, Judith. As young children, they used to take swims in the cows’ water troughs on the family farm. Anywhere there was water, Jade needed to be in it. If it weren’t for the fact that she was wearing her favorite T-shirt—white with a bold red-patterned peace sign—she would have jumped in with her clothes on. (An excerpt from “Medicine in Translation.” Read the full chapter at “The Doctor Will See You Now” website.)

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