Brian’s parents have recently divorced. Under the court order, Brian spends the school year with his mother and the summers with his Dad. His father is in Canada, and Brian is bringing him some special equipment to assist with his work in oil drilling.
Brian’s father doesn’t understand why Brian’s mother wanted a divorce, and he is opposed to it. Brian carries the uncomfortable burden of knowing that his mother is having an affair. His mother doesn’t know that he knows, and his father knows nothing about it.
Brian’s last time with his mother was a bit uncomfortable – he didn’t want to answer her questions about what was wrong, yet he wanted to make her happy by carrying the hatchet she had given him.