The Call Of The City – Episode 10

Juliet and Grace in New York Illustration: Sailesh Thakrar

She tried to smile, knowing Daniel didn’t deserve her bad mood.

“I’m sorry, I’m just tired.”

“Long day?”

She looked around the cold and messy kitchen.

“Yes, and you said you’d do the breakfast dishes,” she burst out, “and I really was hoping for a bath.”

She glared at the old post heaped on the table. Did he never open anything?

“Everything is so messy!”

Daniel looked around the kitchen as if seeing it for the first time.

His hedgerows and dry-stone walls were in perfect condition, the farm yard and stalls always swept clean, but the house had never garnered much of his attention.

Why had Kerry not noticed this before? Probably because she hadn’t actually spent much time here.

Daniel had always come to the Cavendishes’ big friendly house in the village, where everything was always welcoming.

She’d wanted to make this house the same, but right now it felt impossible.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s been hectic. You know what it’s like with lambing.”

“Yes.” Kerry sighed.

She also knew she was as much to blame for the mess of the house as Daniel.

She could have done the dishes, cleared the post, or any other number of jobs.

It wasn’t any of those little things that was really bothering her. It was the entirety of it – the mess, the hassle.

The feeling that she and Daniel spent most days simply going about their business, and then exchanging relevant information at night.

It wasn’t how she’d expected married life to be, especially at the beginning.

“I had a beef stew in the Rayburn,” she said at last. “We’ll have to chuck it out.”

“Perfect reason for a take-away, then,” Daniel said, his hazel eyes crinkling at the corners.

His smile was so sympathetic that she remembered all over again how much she loved him.

“I’ll drive into Hawes and get one. What do you fancy? Curry or fish and chips?”

She fancied the beef stew she’d made, but tried a smile. Daniel was trying, and so could she. No-one said marriage was easy.

“Fish and chips.”

The thought of a curry was unappealing.

“Fish and chips it is, then.” Daniel grabbed his coat and the keys to his battered Land-Rover. “I’ll be back in a tick.”


As Daniel headed back outside, Kerry sank into the shabby armchair by the stone-cold Rayburn. It wasn’t what she’d hoped for this evening, but fish and chips in a freezing kitchen was hardly the end of the world, after all.

Juliet sipped her tea and stared out at the stark and leafless branches of Central Park on a frosty February morning as she listened to Grace moving around in the second bedroom.

It was odd, having someone in her apartment.

She was used to her own space; had been a solitary creature for so long, out of both habit and necessity.

But it was also nice. Seeing Grace again had awakened so many emotions and memories Juliet had thought she’d buried long ago.

Grace looked so much like her mother.

And Meg hadn’t been that much older than Grace was now when Juliet had faced her down in the farmhouse, the day after their father had come back from hospital.

“If you leave, I don’t want you to come back. Ever.”

“Fine.” Juliet had lifted her chin, her eyes glittering.

A single moment of anger, but it had changed so much, set their paths and hearts in stone, neither willing to deviate from the course those words had taken them on.

Juliet had left a few weeks later, as soon as she’d had enough money for a plane ticket.

She had a friend of a friend in New York who promised her a place to stay, told her it would all work out.

Looking back, Juliet realised just how lucky she had been that it had.

She’d been in the right place at the right time more than once, and had managed to make a life for herself, and a career.

She’d told herself she’d never look back.

Yet now all those old memories were rising up within her, an ache she’d managed to numb long ago.

To be continued…

Allison Hay

I joined the "My Weekly" team thirteen years ago and, more recently, "The People's Friend". I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazines. I manage the digital content for the brands, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters.