‘I’ll tell them eventually,’ she said. ‘Maybe this holiday would be a good time.’
She hadn’t even known that Sarah lived in Clyde Bay. She’d seen her only as a patient. But here in her kitchen she could see Sarah’s daily life: she was alone, tired, overwhelmed, in a twilight world of crying baby and all the domestic work to be done. Infants were hard, especially an infant who wouldn’t settle. And Emily had blithely told her not to turn down any help that was offered?Who was offering Sarah any help?
The door opened and William came in, stamping wet snow off his boots. ‘Coffee?’ she asked him. She got down a couple of mugs and poured it.He scratched his head. ‘Why are we here?’‘Because this young woman is our neighbour, and I don’t think she has anyone else. She’s trying to do everything alone, and it’s not possible to do everything alone.’
‘And look at what a good job you’ve done of it.’ She heard the baby stir and start to grizzle in the next room. When she went in, Sarah was struggling to sit up.‘Can I have a cuddle with Dottie?’ she asked Sarah, who nodded. She picked up the baby, who was stiff and red-faced, and rubbed her little back. ‘She’s got a bit of colic, hasn’t she?’
‘I don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong with her.’ Tears welled in Sarah’s eyes. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’
William was standing in the doorway, mug of coffee in hand. He looked from Emily to the baby to Sarah in bemusement. ‘Put down the coffee,’ Emily told him. ‘You need to hold this baby and walk with her so I can talk with Sarah.’He sighed. I don’t think Braden likes me very much.
Braden is an idiot, I said. And he likes you just fine. I think it was me that he was trying to prove a point to. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was jealous.He really looks nothing like you.
Oh. He’s not my brother. I’m sorry, I should’ve clarified that. He’s my neighbor. But I’ve known him for twelve years, so I claim him as a brother, and he’s just as annoying as one, so it works out well.Oh. He glanced toward where our seats were, as if he could see Braden from here. Your neighbor.