“I’m sorry.” Mr. Jacobs’ words sounded more like a command than an apology, The Bird half expecting him to follow with but you need to move on. She looked back, saw Annie kneeling, her face red and streamed with tears, at the side of the corpse.
“Was I naïve?” Annie remained staring down at the lifeless body. “Was there every any real chance — ”
“I don’t know.” Mr. Jacobs, kneeling beside her, put a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t think any of us knows how we’re supposed to be acting right now. You acted bravely, tried to do what you thought was the right thing. For what it’s worth, that’s the only thing that matters to me.”
“Yeah.” Butch had walked up to her as well, kneeled on the other side, put a hand on her other shoulder. For a moment, it looked to The Bird as if they were trying to push her down. “We seen the whole thing. Where’d you learn to do that swimming thing, where you were carrying her.”
Annie sniffed, wiped her nose with the back of her right hand. “Red Cross.”
“Oh! And that thing where you were breathing into her mouth — ”
“Same place.” She stood up suddenly, almost seeming to shrug off their hands as she rose, and in the same motion turned away from the corpse. “I’m assuming they’ll come for her — they bury her in the next scene, right?”
“More or less.” In their lack of recognition of her words, The Bird confirmed she was still invisible and inaudible to her friends. She watched them walk away, Mr. Jacobs recommending they return to the castle. As they approached the woods, Annie took a step closer, another, to Mr. Jacobs, who offered his broad arm across her shoulder, which was eagerly accepted.