The Call Of The City – Episode 35


daily serial the call of the city the people's friend

It wasn’t until late afternoon that Kerry had a spare moment to ring Grace, and sitting in her car, she dialled the number on her mobile.

It rang four times and Kerry thought it would switch to voicemail, but then Grace answered breathlessly.

“Kerry! Is everything all right?”

“Yes.” Was that the only reason Grace thought she would call? “I was just thinking we hadn’t spoken for a bit, and I wondered how you were.”

“Oh, right. Sorry.” Grace let out a little laugh. “Sorry, with Dad and everything I suppose I’m a bit paranoid.”

“Understandable.” Why, Kerry wondered, did this feel so awkward?

“So how are you?”

“Good. Great, actually. I found out last week I’ve been called back for an audition – there’s a concert at the end of October, featuring a violin soloist from each year.”

“Oh, wow. And you’ve been chosen?”

“Well, I haven’t been chosen, just called back. There was a first audition,” Grace explained, “and then three people were called back for a second.

“I’m actually just going to it now, and I have to say I’m kind of nervous!”

“I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully.”

“Thanks. It’s just so nerve-racking. Everyone here is good, Kerry, and they practise for hours and hours. It’s a thing to brag about, how much you practise. I’ve never seen anything like it before. In Hawes, I was the only person I knew who played the violin!”

“It sounds as if you’re in your element,” Kerry said with an attempt at a laugh.

“Yes, but it’s also scary. There’s so much competition . . . thank goodness for Lewis.”

“Lewis?”

“Oh, ah, he’s a good friend.” Grace sounded embarrassed, and Kerry could imagine her blushing.

“Just a friend?” she said pointedly.

“At the moment, yes.” Grace hesitated. “I’m trying to figure out how I feel about him and if he likes me.”

“And what do you think?”

“I’m not sure. I’m afraid if I do, because it complicates everything and distracts me from music.” Grace sighed. “But it’s hard to turn off your feelings, you know?”

“Yes, I can imagine.”

Kerry’s mind was already racing ahead. What if Grace and this Lewis fell in love? What if they married? What if Grace never came back?

“How do you think he feels?” she asked. “I’m not sure. I thought he liked me, you know, that way, but then . . .” Grace blew out. “He’s backed off a bit.”

“Perhaps that’s for the best.”

“Perhaps,” Grace said, but she didn’t sound convinced. “Anyway, how are you? Anything new going on?”

She sounded as if she were running up some steps, and then she covered the phone while she talked to someone else.

“Sorry,” she said breathlessly. “I just reached the place for callbacks. It’s all very intense.”

“It sounds it,” Kerry said dutifully.

“Anyway, anything new with you?”

Kerry hesitated for a second. “No,” she said. “Nothing new with me.”

“Oh, right. Listen, I’d better go. Everyone’s waiting to be called in.”

“Of course,” Kerry said hurriedly. “I’ll talk to you later.”

But Grace had hung up before she’d finished her sentence.

Kerry sat there for a moment, the phone in her lap, wondering why she was such a coward about this.

It was idiotic, just as Daniel had said. Grace was going to find out one way or another.

Why was she so reluctant to tell her?

With a sigh, she started up the car. Who knew when she’d talk to her sister again?

To be continued . . .

iainwnmcdonald

I am the Digital Content Editor at the “Friend”, making me responsible for managing the flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine’s website and social media channels.