“Does Adam know?” Rosie snapped.“Not yet. We’ve always seen the potential in him he has an instinct for this, I know he does but he needs to realise it for himself. If we pressure him too much he’ll feel tied down and take off again. We always thought that once he got properly involved he’d find it irresistible, the way your father did. So I don’t want to tell him yet. And I need your help with that, Rosie.”Rosie said nothing, and Joyce sighed. She had known this would be difficult, and understood the emotions that must be raging in her proud daughter. She reached out and took her hand.“Rosie, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but I want you to give Adam as much encouragement and help as you can until I break the news to him.”Rosie drew back her hand and stood up.“You’re right. You are asking a lot, Mum. I’ll have to think about this.” She plucked her bag up off the floor and tucked it tightly under her arm, her whole body taut with tension. “I’ll see you later.” She walked out, leaving Joyce drained and emotional.It was only a moment before Sarah popped her head round the kitchen door.“Is that tea ready? Oh,” she said, stepping into the room, “has Rosie gone? Are you all right, Mum? Have you two had a quarrel?”Joyce patted her hand reassuringly.“A bit of a disagreement, yes. But it’ll blow over.”She hoped so. She and Rosie never quarrelled, but then she had never dropped a bombshell like this into her older daughter’s life before.
Adam was at her father’s desk again when Rosie arrived at the office next morning.She’d hardly slept a wink last night, replaying her mother’s words over and over in her head.Of course, she’d poured it all out to Alan when she’d got home. He’d understood the sense of betrayal she felt, but, ever the rational head, had tried to see it from her parents’ point of view, too.“It’s like I said, Rosie it’s time your brother took on some of the responsibilities of this family instead of leaving it to you. And it’s time you were given the chance to do what you want to do. Remember how much you loved art? You could say your mum and dad were only thinking of you and being very generous at the same time. This is quite a chance your mum’s taking.”“Hmm,” had been her scowling response, and he’d decided it best to leave her to work it out for herself.“Morning!” she greeted Adam, determinedly bright.He looked up from the big printed schedule spread out before him.“Morning. I know Dad was happy to work this way, but it’s driving me nuts! Did you have time to build that spreadsheet?” She could see he’d brought his laptop with him.“Yes, it’s done. I just have to copy it on to your laptop. Have you been out to the yard to check that the drivers all know what they’re doing today?”“Of course. What do you take me for?”He sounded irritated, and Rosie was slightly taken aback.“I was only asking.”He looked up, apologetic.“I know. Sorry. Didn’t mean to snap. I suppose I’m just a bit on edge.”“Look, I’ll put the kettle on, and then . . . well, first thing, Dad and I would always review the schedule for the next few days, check the drivers’ logs, and then I’d work through the mail while he handled the new bookings.”“Sounds good to me.”