The Call Of The City – Episode 51

Allison Hay © Meg joins her sister and daughter in New York Illustration by Sailesh Thakrar

Meg woke the next morning still feeling groggy. Grace was already in the kitchen.

“I thought you could use a decent breakfast,” she said. “There’s tea in the pot, and the porridge is almost ready.”

“Thanks.” Meg kissed her cheek. “Good night last night?”

“Yes.” Grace blushed. “Lewis and I…”

“I think I can guess. I’m happy for you. When will we meet him?”

“Soon, I hope. I thought I could come to the hospital this afternoon to see Aunt Juliet, if she’s up for visitors.”

“She tires easily, but I know she’d like to see you.”

An hour later Meg was in Juliet’s room, and she was delighted to see her sister sitting up in bed, looking a bit more like herself.

“It’s slow going,” she said, choosing her words slowly and with care.

Her speech had been affected by the surgery, but not too badly.

The future was uncertain, but there was reason to hope.

“But it’s going,” Meg said as she carefully gave her a hug. “That’s all that matters.”

They spent the day quietly, as Juliet wasn’t up for much, but Meg was simply glad to be there, and she knew her sister was, as well.

Juliet said as much in the afternoon, as sunlight slanted through the window and bathed the room in warmth.

“Meg… you need to know…” Juliet struggled to find the words.

“I do know, Juliet,” Meg said patting her hand. “Trust me. I love you.”

Tears shimmered in Juliet’s eyes.

“I… love you, too.”

And really, that was all that needed to be said, wasn’t it?

I love you.

I love you, too.

They could rest in that certainty, even if everything else was up in the air.

“You have a few more visitors,” the nurse announced cheerfully as she came into the room.

Juliet’s eyes widened and Meg rose from her chair. She’d been expecting Grace, but who else could be coming?


She stared at her husband in shock. He looked wonderful, if slightly weary from an eight-hour flight.

“What on earth? And Kerry, Daniel! How did you all get here?”

“We flew, of course,” Kerry said cheerfully.

She turned to her aunt with a kind smile.

“Hi, Aunt Juliet. You’re looking well.”

“I’m Daniel,” her other half said. “Kerry’s husband.”

Juliet could only nod, looking overwhelmed but happy.

“I can’t believe it,” Meg murmured. “All of you, here!”

“We wanted to be here,” Andrew said. “For you and for Juliet. And before you ask, don’t worry. The GP said I was fit to travel.”

Meg let out a shaky laugh as she hugged him.

“Of course you are.”

A few minutes later Grace did a double take as she came into the room.

“Dad! Daniel! Kerry!”

She goggled at her sister.

“You’re pregnant?”

“I should have told you, I know.” Kerry looked shamefaced as she gave Grace a hug. “I don’t know why I didn’t.”

“Because I was far too busy with my own life,” Grace returned wryly. “I’m sorry, Kerry.

“That’s so exciting. Do you know what you’re having?”

“A little girl.”

“A girl. Wow!” Grace shook her head. “I can’t believe it.”

“I can’t believe you’re all here,” Meg said as she surveyed them, her heart full.

Nothing else mattered but this – her family around her.

All of life was uncertain, marked by change and sometimes pain, but this, this was hope.

This was happiness. This was love.

“I… can’t believe it, either.” Juliet’s voice was a slow rasp as she looked at them, a tear slipping silently down her cheek.

“My… family,” she said, her voice filled with emotion.

And Meg knew that it was true. This was Juliet’s family, and hers, as well. Bound together by tragedy and united in love.

It was a lesson that had taken a long time to learn, but it was one she would never forget.

“Family,” she agreed, and put her arms around Juliet. “Our family.”


Our next daily serial, The Tanner’s Daughter, will begin online on July 18. Don’t miss it!

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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.