Saturday 9th June 2012
The visits of the violinist
NEWS, food, tobacco, and other essentials were brought to us by Brendan, who was staying at a nearby hotel.
“You must not leave the house at all, must not talk to the press before the big public unveiling, and must be seen twice daily by the Guvver Munt’s acting ambassador for Rhetan affairs. That’s me, incidentally.”
Meanwhile, Jenny dragged herself slowly through the hours, while I prepared small dishes, tended to domestic matters, answered the telephone, sat by her bed, and held her tightly when the nightmares struck.
Her brother, Peter, telephoned every day, always offering to come and help, but she assured him she needed time to be alone with her memories of the children before deciding what to do next. Sometimes she talked of getting a job, sometimes of going as far away as possible, sometimes of taking her own life. Nothing was certain, except uncertainty.
When Brendan arrived with a large sheaf of cut flowers…
“From the woman in the post office. She said she’d been thinking of taking them up to the cemetery, but wasn’t sure whether you’d––”
“I haven’t been! Three days and I’ve not been up there once! I must go. Now. Get your coats!”
…though I was compelled to remind her…
“I… er… I’ve agreed to stay within the house and I do not wish to make Pry Minister giant Bilton angry again––”
…at which she huffed…
“Yes yes, I know. You’ll come with me, Brendan, won’t you?”
… leaving me disappointed not to have been able to accompany them, but relieved to see Jenny being decisive, putting on her coat and stepping out of the door.
She took the flowers with her and returned, alone, an hour later, informing me that Brendan had gone back to the hotel, but would join us again for the evening, which he duly did, arriving with his violin case in one hand and a cardboard box in the other.
“Special delivery. I know it has my name on, but I’m certain it’s for you.”
“For me? What is it?”
“There’s only one way to find out,” advised Jenny.