A Time To Reap – Episode 57

A Time To Reap

They were all in the sitting-room – not just Crys and their parents, but Alec and Peggy, too. And Andy.

Mamie rushed to hug her.

“How’s Libby? You’re shaking, darling. Sit down.”

“She’s got mastoiditis.”

There was a collective gasp.

“It’s not bad enough to need an operation. We’re to phone in the morning.”

“The poor wee poppet,” Mamie said, tears in her eyes. “And look at you, still in your finery. Best to get out of that dress and Crys will make you tea or cocoa. What would you like?”

Elizabeth would have liked to crawl off to bed without saying a word. But she couldn’t do that.

Once changed into comfy clothes, she answered her family’s questions.

“I couldn’t believe it when her ladyship told me!” Peggy exclaimed. “Neither could Alec or Andy.”

“I wish you’d come to tell me.” Andy spoke directly to her for the first time. “I’d have taken you to hospital and waited with you.”

Elizabeth forced herself to sound normal and smile across the room at him.

“I know you would,” she said. “It was bad timing. I’m sorry you all had your evening disrupted.”

She gave a huge yawn.

Mamie stood up.

“Take her up to bed, Crys. She’s worn out.”

*  *  *  *

“Elizabeth.” Her shoulder was being shaken gently.

“Crys! What time is it?”

“Nine o’clock. Mum said I had to let you sleep in. And Lady Annabel phoned to say the same thing.”

“Libby!” Elizabeth pushed the bedclothes aside.

“I phoned the hospital,” Crys said. “She had a good night and they’re pleased with her. You can see her at visiting time today.”

“Thank goodness!” Elizabeth sank back on her pillow. “Where’s Flora?”

“In the kitchen. We’ve made pancakes.”

“You’ve been great, Crys.”

As the events of last night came to her, Elizabeth thought of confiding in her sister. Crys had had many boyfriends, while for Elizabeth there had only ever been Matthew. What would Crys advise?

“What was it like, seeing Struan Scott last night?” she asked instead.

Crys shrugged.

“A bit of a pang, but it was fine.” She stood up. “Why don’t you have a bath and wash your hair, then come down for breakfast?”

“I’ll do that. Oh, Crys, I’m sorry about the dress. Is it beyond redemption?”

“Of course not. Ever heard of dry-cleaning? Don’t worry about it.”

At the door she turned.

“He’s nice, isn’t he, the American? Put Andy Kerr’s nose out of joint, though.”

Elizabeth reddened.

Crys raised her eyebrows.

“You can tell me all later, Lizzie Duncan.”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.