It was early on Saturday. There was a gentle rap.
Father’s head appeared around my door. I had a
visitor. My heart sank. I knew it must be Elizabeth.
I was aghast to think how she’d found my address.
We’d never shared such things. Father said she
was waiting in the shop. I threw on some clothes,
straightened my hair, ordered my thoughts. I must
make myself clear. I’d moved on. Sheepishly,
I descended the stairs and went into the shop.
Elizabeth was standing beside the wool counter
in a peculiar baggy black jacket. She looked sad
and dishevelled. It was like all the bounce had left
her body. I was shocked at how forlorn she looked.
I tried to frame a smile. I walked across to her.
Elizabeth immediately crumpled into tears and
flung her arms around my shoulders. I held her.
This was pitiful. I guided Elizabeth up the stairs.
Father had tactfully disappeared. We went into
the lounge and I offered Elizabeth some sweet
tea. She nodded. I knew there was a painful story
coming. I steeled myself, and pottered into the


Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist