The Call Of The City – Episode 41

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

“Easy does it.”

Kerry held her father’s elbow as he walked slowly from the car to the house.

It had been two weeks since his surgery, and he was finally coming home.

The doctors were pleased with his progress, and although Andrew was moving slower than he normally did, they thought he would regain much of his strength, perhaps even return to work one day, at least part-time.

“Careful, Andrew,” Meg said as she came up behind them with his case.

Andrew turned to give her a teasing smile.

“I’m not an old woman.”

“I know – you’re an old man,” Meg returned tartly, and he smiled.

It cheered Kerry to see her parents seeming a bit more themselves now. It also made her realise how difficult the last few months had been for them.

Her father had lost his sense of humour, seeming to fold in on himself. Kerry had known he’d been struggling, but she didn’t think she’d realised how much, until now, when he seemed a bit better.

She stepped into the house of her childhood, still holding his arm, and breathed in the comforting scents of home baking and lemon furniture polish.

She’d been living at the farm with Daniel for a year and a half, but this still felt like home. The home of her childhood, of comfort and cups of tea and many hugs.

“I think I’m all right now, love.” Andrew gently shook off her arm, walked into the living-room and sank into his armchair by the fire.

“Cup of tea, Dad? Mum?” Kerry turned to smile at Meg. “A celebratory cuppa for us all.”

“Sounds wonderful.”

There were new creases by Meg’s eyes and more grey in her hair, but she looked less careworn, too.

Perhaps the worst was finally behind them.

Meg came into the kitchen as Kerry was spooning tea into the big brown pot they’d had since she’d been a child.

“I made a cake this morning,” Meg said, taking a Victoria sponge from underneath a glass dome. “Thought we might need something sweet.”

“With everything else that’s been going on?” Kerry exclaimed. “Mum, you’re amazing.”

Meg shrugged

“I needed something to do and I want to celebrate.”

“It’s good, isn’t it?” Kerry remarked quietly. “Dad back at home, I mean. The consultants seemed pleased with his progress?”

“I think so. They’d rate the surgery a success, although they never like saying as much.”

“That’s wonderful. In the car Dad was talking about going back to work, part-time, perhaps.”

“Yes, well.” Meg pressed her lips together. “We’re a long way from that.”

“Do you think so?”

“I’m as cautious as the consultants. I’ve learned to be.” She sighed. “But it does seem like good news, and I’m thankful.”

Despite the teasing with Andrew, the cake and the smiles, Kerry’s mum still looked worried.

“What is it?” Kerry asked. “Is something going on that you’re not telling me?”

“No.” Meg hesitated. “I’ll tell you later,” she said as she put some of her best teacups on a tray, along with the cake. “When Dad is having a rest.”

To be continued . . .