Richard had tried the first week to keep up with his appointments online, to investigate what claims he could over the phone and hand the rest off to anyone else in the office who could take them. Gary, his boss, grumbled at this--there was too much work in the office already to spread Richard's load around.

Richard dreaded calling the second week to beg for all his remaining vacation time. He assured Gary that Anna would be found, that this would not continue indefinitely. Surely he would have something. But by the fourth week he had had nothing, and had to ask for advances on next year's leave.

This time Gary snapped out "Are you coming back at all? Look, I understand its your daughter. I know she's been missing for a month. But life goes on here Richard. We need you. Or if not you, your replacement. I hate to be so damn blunt about it, especially with all you must be going through. But surely you can understand my position here. We have a business to run. And we can't afford to maintain an empty desk."

The line sounded tinny, like the operator assisted lines in the old 1940's movies he had watched over and over again as a child. Any moment now, the operator would cut in.

She would say, "Excuse me sir, but the party on the other line has moved to a different reality. Shall I reconnect you?"

And he would say, "Yes. Oh yes." Of course.

But there was no sound from any operator and Richard simply told Gary that he guessed the best thing for all concerned was to tender his resignation.

Gary grunted and promised to send out the severance pay.

our language / misleads us / severing / a river as one / when it is / too many / to count

if there are / other waters / we can not / know them / all we see / in rivers / is their presence

Follow us all: Amy/Anna, Sophie/Yuki, Kit/Richard, minor characters or sift through water leavings and river journeys.