Bluffing – A Summary Gail Helgason The story focuses on the relationship between Gabriella and Liam. They live together as a couple. Gabriella is a Biology teacher whereas Liam is a Mountain climber. The story starts with Gabriella rushing towards Jasper hospital on a cold winter day. At the hospital, she is asked to sit down and wait for a while. While sitting on a couch she thinks of the incident that happened three weeks ago.
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Gabriella had proposed a hike to Liam that day, as she wanted to discuss with him about renewing the lease of their apartment since the term of lease was coming to an end. She wanted a private place to discuss about it and she was hopeful that Liam would fully go with her plans. She began thinking about her future with Liam like exploring places together on the Alpine lakes and highland meadows. Since she loved him so much, she wanted a definite future with him. It was a beautiful day for the hike. Liam told her that they should have the lake all to themselves.
Halfway through the lake, they rested on a wooden log. Suddenly they heard someone laughing and then soon saw two young men approaching the lake. Liam confronted the men and lied to them about seeing an elk carcass by the lake indicating the presence of a grizzly bear at the lake. This scared the pants off the men and they turned back. As soon as they were out of sight, Gabriella and Liam continued on towards the lake. At the lake they spread out their foam pads and sat on it. Liam surprised Gabriella by bringing lunch along with him. Gabriella felt happy with the small things that Liam always surprised her with.
She had also brought lunch with her but she did not take it out since she did not want to spoil his surprise. Liam was in a very good mood that day, so Gabriella thought she would talk to him about the lease after lunch. But before she could bring out the topic of the lease, Liam announced his plans of living in Clive’s van for three months during the winter to save up some money to go down south. Gabriella was deeply hurt with his decision to move away from her. She had hoped for a secure and beautiful future together with him but his decision to go away shattered all her dreams into pieces.
She could no longer hold her emotions and her natural instinct told her to go away from Liam to be able to give herself some space to deal with her emotions. So she grabbed her backpack and left the lake as fast as her legs could carry her. She had no particular direction in mind so she didn’t care where she went. Liam was following her. She had walked quite a long distance from the lake towards the huckleberry shrubs when she suddenly found herself facing a grizzly bear just twenty paces ahead of her. She wanted to run away that instant but her instincts stopped her and she slowly tried moving one step backward.
When she did that the bear came one or two steps forward. She stopped and the bear stopped too. She saw Liam behind the shrubs and told him to retrace his steps in order to bluff the bear but the next moment he was running very fast. This triggered the bear’s anger and the bear hurtled past Gabriella after Liam and mauled him. The nurse comes back and Gabriella is snapped back to the present. The nurse tells Gabriella to be prepared for what she is going to see. Gabriella is taken into Liam’s room. She notices that Liam is covered in bandages and looked like an Egyptian mummy.
Liam had expected Gabriella to be there at the hospital earlier but Gabriella tells him she had been coming to see him everyday. Then he tells her that he had run away from the bear to save Gabriella’s life and that he meant the bear to come after him. The doctor comes in and the nurse snips off Liam’s bandages. Liam’s face is all swollen up and the scars on his face looked like tributaries on a map. She gathers up enough courage to look at the badly distorted face and smiles up at Liam and she feels that she can keep up with that smile at least for the rest of the afternoon.