Angel Perez has it all—highly paid position, her pick of international assignments and related world travel. Her professional career is almost unlimited and her personal life seems to be headed toward the American dream. Her fiancé appears to be every woman’s desire; handsome, wealthy, nice cars, fine home and attentive to her every need. However, under the shell of respectability, he is a mean, manipulative control freak who tricks her into accepting his dominating, abusive ways. After a severe beating, she lashes back and breaks away from the relationship. Thinking her social life is over, she returns to Altus, Arkansas. Her long-time best friend welcomes her to his furniture shop, supports her struggles and offers his love to her. Can she overcome the abuse and mental anguish and accept his love?
“Okay, we need to hold up here for a minute and check this next rapid.” He hopped out and dragged the canoe ashore. “Look here,” he said. “See how the current goes straight, then turns almost ninety degrees to the right? We have to follow the current to a point, then go sideways and paddle like crazy to try to get beyond that big rock before we hit the bottom of that trough rolling back on itself. If we get caught there, it is a sure capsize. We can play it safe or go for it.”
“How do we play it safe?”
“We can portage around, a little more work, but no problem.”
That’s no fun, let’s go for it,” she exclaimed.
“Okay, but remember this is the last rapid before supper and the rest of the party is watching, hoping to see a big wash out.”
“Let’s give them a show, one way or the other.”
“Got to admire your guts; hope we pull this off. Here is the plan. We have to set up just right and start our turn at just the right time. See that little rock ledge at the water’s edge on the right side?”
“We need to ride the current until the front end passes that ledge, and then start our turn. Too early and the nose will hit the wall on the right, spinning us around and over. Too late and we can’t get out soon enough. The instant you feel the back end start around, paddle for all you are worth; dig in and give it you all. Don’t stop for anything; keep paddling until we clear, or go over. Still want to try it?”
“Why not,” she replied while studying the water with the intensity of a race driver studying a new track.
“Well, here goes nothing,” he said as they shoved off. They lined up in the chute and rode the current. She felt the pull of the current, faster and more powerful than ever as they picked up speed. What did I get myself into this time? We are going to crash for sure. At the last minute, she remembered his instructions and snapped her mind back to the task at hand. Everything seemed to go into slow motion; the little ledge was there and she dug in to start their turn. The nose of the canoe missed the wall by the smallest of margins as they slid sideways to the current, toward the rolling trough. She saw him straining to paddle as she dug in to paddle as she had never paddled in her short, one-day canoeing career. The trough seemed to be ten feet deep as they slid closer and closer to the bottom. White water crashed down on her as they cleared the rock and hit smooth water.