Keep It In The Family – Episode 16

Freya was seeing a new side to Adam these days. The man she had met as a voluntary worker in Nepal had been an idealistic dreamer like herself, given to romantic sunset strolls and silly, tender gifts of love. She had fallen for him as soon as she realised how completely his whole outlook on life echoed her own. People talked about soul-mates, but she hadn’t believed it until she met Adam. Marrying him had been inevitable, and when he had suggested coming to England to create a stable life for them and the family they hoped one day to have, she had happily agreed.She’d always had an uneasy relationship with her own parents, who hadn’t approved of her unconventional life. Although things were better now, she was happy to have been absorbed into Adam’s rumbustious family.It was typical of the Willson family that domestic life seemed to centre around the kitchen table, and it was always Adam’s first stop whenever he came in. But that homecoming was getting later and later, she thought, when he finally appeared that evening.“Sorry I’m late, Frey. A last-minute phone call,” he said, dropping his briefcase just inside the door.“Hi,” she said as she took out the supper that had been keeping warm in the oven.Slinging his jacket over the back of the chair, he loosened his tie with relief.“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to wearing this. Mmm,” he said, lowering his head to savour the aroma of the leek and pasta bake. “Smells great.”He swiftly swallowed a few forkfuls like a starving man, then slowed and smiled at her.“I reckon I got too used to snacking in the caf,” he said. “Was it busy today?”Freya had taken over some of his shifts at the wholefood caf where he’d previously worked, which fitted in well with the stall she set up several days a week at the local craft mart.“Not bad,” she told him. “Enough quiet spells to let me work on some new designs.” Freya created unique appliqu fabric wall-hangings that were growing in popularity. “We got some new muffin flavours in today. I brought a couple home.”“Oh, I miss those muffins! I should weigh myself, though, and see how much I’ve lost now I’m not surrounded by temptation all day!”Freya laughed and poked him playfully in the midriff.“Ah, but on the other hand you’re sitting at a desk all day instead of running round waiting at tables, so I wouldn’t put your money on having lost anything.”“True.” He waggled his head in consideration, then grew more pensive.“Who would ever have thought we were coming back to a life like this?” He reached out and placed his hand over hers. “You didn’t marry a preoccupied businessman.”Their fingers intertwined.“I would have married you no matter what you were, Adam.”“It’s so weird. I dropped out of uni because this was the last thing I wanted to do, and yet I love it, Frey. It’s like the old man had a crystal ball and knew what I’d want to be when I grew up!”“What about when your mum puts Rosie back in charge?”Adam grimaced. It was something he’d wondered about himself.“I’ll just have to adjust. But I can’t deny that I’ll miss this. Maybe Rosie will want me to stay on and work with her, though. I’ve had some great ideas on how to expand the business.”He forked up the last mouthful of food and sat back, satisfied.“Oh, sure, things are ticking over well enough, but if you really want to succeed you have to be bold and aggressive. Dad was too cautious. If I have my way we’ll put at least six new trucks on the road this year and start making some serious money.”“In this economy? Do you think that’s wise?”Used to Freya being what his sister Rosie termed “flaky”, he was thrown by her down-to-earth questioning, and she saw it.“What? Just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean I don’t read the news,” she said with a laugh, and he had the grace to blush.“You’re right. I’m sorry. After all, you’re the one who already has her own booming business at the craft mart.”“I like to think I’m doing all right,” she agreed modestly. “Have you mentioned your ideas to Rosie?”Adam looked around the kitchen, stamped in so many ways with Freya’s creative character, from the random old reclaimed kitchen tiles on the wall to the brightly painted cabinet doors. She had made it such a welcoming home already.“I’ve mentioned a few of them,” he admitted. “But she’s like Dad, stuck in her own way of doing things. She thinks my ideas sound reckless.”Freya rose to stand beside him, stroking his hair.“Poor you. But look at it from her point of view, Adam. It must look as though you’ve been brought in like the cavalry when she didn’t even know there was a problem. How would you feel?”“You’re right. And there isn’t a problem, not really. The business is doing OK. I just think it could do a lot better. I think we’re going to have to face up to it sooner rather than later. And then stand by for fireworks! But anyway, tell me about your day.”Freya smiled as she put the kettle on for tea.“I had a lovely call from Sarah. She wanted to talk about this boy she’s met.”


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