Chapter Forty-Four

A bedroom scene with a super king sized pine wood bed, matching bedside cabinets, a red and white rug and a dog bed at the foot. Harriet is lying in bed with her hand over her face looking poorly, her clothes are just thrown untidily on the blue patterned duvet. Monty Dog is looking on concerned..


Harriet was hopeful and a little nervous as she walked over to Theraton library. It had been set up as a Covid vaccination centre for the current round of appointments. She was supposed to be back at work at the Community Centre today but Sarah was understanding about Harriet’s appointment clashing. If only it had been later in the day then she could have done her first shift before going, but at least this way it was done and out of the way. Sarah had been vaccinated a few weeks earlier and had warned Harriet that she might want to clear a couple of days off sick afterwards. Harriet hoped not, but if she did feel rough then that would still be better then not getting her vaccine.
At the Library, though it was still early, there was a queue already. Harriet was surprised at the shock she felt at seeing so many people all together and realised how much she had gotten used to the lack of people out and about on the streets for nearly a year and a half. Also she realised that though the queue was long, there were not as many people as she thought as they were all standing so far apart from each other. She joined the end of the queue and waited patiently. Eventually the Library doors opened and volunteers in high visibility waistcoats waved the queue forward checking appointment letters and personal details. The queue moved surprisingly quickly and Harriet found that she was walking forward continuously once the doors opened. The inside of the library’s entrance hall had been converted into an efficient vaccine processing line. Volunteers checked letters, asked questions, gave instructions, swabbed arms, injected vaccines, and directed people to sit in the main library hall before they left by the fire exit! The process was so well practised that there was no time to feel nervous, or concerned. By the time that Harriet had taken in the idea that she was actually getting her first Covid vaccine she was already seated and clutching an information leaflet! She looked at the oversized clock on an easel by the exit doors and noted the time. She had to sit and wait for ten minutes before she could head off home in case of any reaction to the vaccine. I should have brought a book with me she thought as she looked at the library shelves that had been marked off with barrier tape to stop people wondering about. She took out her phone and sent Daisy a message to up date her on how the vaccine went. Adam and Amanda had already had theirs but Daisy was a bit younger and still had a month or so before her appointment would arrive.

It had been a couple of weeks since Sybil’s funeral and Harriet couldn’t help but wonder about the story Sybil had written in her notebooks, all those decades ago! The Reverend Esther Sutherland had mentioned knowing Sybil when they were children. Sally and Elle… Sybil and Esther… It made Harriet wonder if it was a kind of autobiography, or maybe a just a personal fantasy. She couldn’t ask Sybil, but also didn’t want to ask the Reverend in case she was on completely the wrong track. It probably wasn’t the sort of thing one should be asking anyway, after all, it isn’t as though there was anything to say that Sybil wanted Harriet to investigate the story. Also if it was to do with the Reverend Esther then why didn’t Sybil send the books to her instead? Harriet had no answers, and her ten minutes were up, so she got up and went home.


The next morning the effects of the vaccine hit home and Harriet decided to take Sarah up on the sick days.
“Hi Sarah”
“Yeah, I’m fine, but you were right about the side effects. I feel like crap.”
“Yes, my arm hurts too! Worth it though if it keeps us all safe.”
“I reckon I should be okay to come in on Thursday morning to get started again though.”
“Oh, okay. It will be good to have a catch up, see where we are up to and what’s changed.”
“No probs, I’ll see you then, thank you.”

Harriet clicked over to her phone calendar and put an entry in for Friday Morning ‘Meeting with Sarah, 7:30am.’ She then went to put in an entry to mark her first day at work for the following Monday but hesitated. I won’t put that in, just in case I don’t have a job after the meeting she thought, and then closed the calendar.

Harriet lay back on the bed with one leg dangling over the edge, her toes on the back of Monty’s head as he lay beside the bed. Monty was aware that Harriet was unwell but he wasn’t sure why. He decided it was best to be close to her anyway to keep her safe. Harriet’s head throbbed and her sinuses hurt. She felt like she had a bad case of flu and just wanted to curl up and sleep forever, but she also knew it was just side effects from the vaccine that should suddenly pass, according to everyone else she knew. But still, it would be nice if someone… someone called Daisy… was there to administer to her fevered brow and bring her mugs of tea. But for the lack of a Daisy in the workshop Harriet dragged herself up and went to put the kettle on. Her joints ached “Ugh, this is awful! Sorry Monty, you’ll have to make do with the garden, I don’t fancy walking anywhere right now.” She opened the workshop door and let Monty outside as she waited for the kettle to boil. He sniffed around and had a wee before coming straight back in.
Harriet settled back on the bed with her tea and paracetamol, and eventually dozed off.


“Oh hi Daisy!” Harriet was woken by her phone.
“Ugh, rough. I’ve been asleep.”
“Can you? It’ll be great to see you.”
“Yeah, Monty would appreciate that. He’s been glued to me all day.”
“Great, see you in a bit.”
Harriet got out of bed and staggered down to the workshop. The sleep made her feel worse, headachey on top of all the other flu like symptoms. She unlocked the workshop door so that Daisy could make her own way in and then went to the bathroom to freshen up.

“Hello Monty!” Daisy let herself into the workshop and ruffled Monty’s fur as he bounced excitedly. “Hi Harriet, it’s me!” She shouted up the stairs.

“I’m in the bathroom, with you in a mo…”

“Tell you what, I’ll take Monty out for a walk first. Back in a bit.” Daisy called back as she took Monty’s lead from the back of the door and clipped it to his collar. “Come on Monty, lets go for a wander.”

Harriet came back down to the kitchen and put the kettle on. As she waited for it to boil she drank a glass of water and started to feel a bit better. Though that was a good thing, she would be able to enjoy Daisy’s company, she also felt guilty that Daisy had come over to ‘nurse maid’ and the patient was much improved.
Then her phone pinged.

Da Bella: Fancy fish and chips? On me. x

Me: Fish and chops on you would ne lovely! 😋X

Da Bella: I guess ur feeling better then! 🤣 xx

Me: I am, and hungry too now. Xx

Da Bella: OK. Back in a bit. Can Monty have a sausage? xx

Me: Only a small sausage. Xx

Da Bella: Story of my life! 😏 xx

Me: Wouldn’t know! 😣 xx

Da Bella: Haha, you’ve not missed anything! Xx

Me: You won’t either! 😘xxx

Da Bella: Promises promises! xxx

Me: I’ll warm plates. Xx

Da Bella: Cool. xx

Me: No, warm!😉 Xx

Da Bella: 🙄😜

Me: You love me really!😀

Da Bella: I do! But don’t push ur luck! 😘 xxx

Me: 😲😜 xxx


“Morning Elías!” Daisy called out as she sat down to eat breakfast. “There’s stuff in the cupboard if you want breakfast.” She nodded in the direction of the cupboard by the fridge.

“I’m fine, I have breakfast earlier. Good morning, Daisy. I hope we not disturb you.” Elías looked a little sheepish as he stood by the kitchen door.

“Huh? Oh, no, not at all. It’s fine. You off to work now?”

“Yes, I’ll go to work now. Fran has her day off. We should coincide our days one day but difficult to have two off on the same day.” Elías shrugged his bag over his shoulder wheeled his bike out side. “See you later, Daisy.”

“See you later!” Daisy called out behind him as the door closed. They would be likely to cross paths more then once during the day with little need for more then a quick wave of acknowledgement in passing.
Daisy finished munching her mouth full of granola as she took her bowl to the sink to wash up. She clicked the kettle on again to make her flask of tea and went to the fridge to get the packed lunch she made yesterday, ham and salad sandwiches. Fran walked in to the kitchen in her dressing gown yawning.

“Morning Daiz!” Fran said brightly. “Coffee! Come to me coffee, I command you!” She waved her hands at the kettle as if conjuring a spell.

“No you don’t! That’s mine for my flask!” Daisy scolded. “Anyway, sounded like you had a good night!” She gave Fran a wicked grin.

“You heard?!!!” Fran put her hand to her mouth, embarrassed.

“I think half the street heard!” Daisy laughed. “At least they’ll all know Elías is doing it right!”

Fran leaned against the worktop burying her face in her hands. “Oh God, don’t….”

“That wasn’t what you were asking God for last night!” Daisy laughed loudly as she finished making her flask and packed her rucksack.

“Oh G… Oh hell, I won’t be able to face the neighbours now!” Fran peeped between her fingers at Daisy. “Was I really that loud?”

Daisy reached over and put her arm around Fran’s shoulders. “Nah, but loud enough.” She said softly.


“You’re happy, so don’t worry about it. Just as long as you took precautions.” Daisy patted Fran’s shoulder to reassure her. “Kettle’s all yours now.”

“Yeah, we both did Covid tests at work. Still negative.” Fran replied, as she refilled the kettle. “But yeah, better safe then sorry.”

“Oh yeah, I meant STDs. Did you…?”

“Ahhh, right… Yes! Yes we did.” Fran blushed.

“Sorry, force of habit. When I was your age, and younger we still had the AIDS thing on our minds. I was at the STD clinic before and after every ‘boyfriend’,” Daisy made the inverted commas with her fingers, “Just to be sure.”

“Too much information, Daisy!” Fran groaned. “But sensible, even nowadays, I guess.
“Anyway, why haven’t you invited Harriet over? And you didn’t even stay out last night!”

“Ummm….” Now it was Daisy’s turn to be embarrassed, “I’ve gotta go to work. See you later, Fran!” Daisy rushed out and shut the door.

“Haha, that gotcha back, Daiz!” Fran called out the back of the closed door.
Fran made her coffee and sat back in the chair enjoying it’s warmth and grinning while thinking of last night with Elías. Then she wondered about Daisy. Why hadn’t Harriet visited? Covid probably, but if she or Daisy had Covid, then Elías and Harriet would also have it. Fran decided to ask Daisy if she wanted to form a bubble of the four of them. It would be good to see the woman who had finally stolen Daisy’s heart. They should all have dinner together one weekend.

As Daisy walked to work she pondered Fran’s questioning. Why she hadn’t yet felt comfortable about doing any more with Harriet then kissing and enjoying a few hugs. Would Harriet be disappointed? Does she want more from their relationship? Probably, but Daisy didn’t feel ready yet, and Harriet hadn’t made any issue of that. Getting drunk might help things along a bit, but Harriet didn’t drink and Daisy didn’t want a reason to cause any regret afterwards. She felt, perhaps, that they both had reasons to want to take their time but Daisy also thought that she needed to talk with Harriet about it to make sure there wasn’t going to be a problem later. There was still so much she didn’t really understand about how she was feeling having never been in love before.
‘Being in love’, that was a phrase Daisy never thought she get to use about herself. She played with the way the words felt in her mouth “I’m in love with you!” she said quietly as she walked. The words felt comfortable. “I love you, Harriet.” That felt comfortable too, she smiled, and then quickly looked around, blushing in case anyone was within earshot. No one was. She smiled and tried it again, “I love you. I am in love with you.”. The nervousness was fading and Daisy felt a warmth rise up through her as she said the words. She was in love with Harriet, and she believed in it. Of all the glamourous people she had known in her life and it was a tough practical woman, with saw dust on her clothes and an interest in big machine tools, that had done it. Daisy smiled, “I love….”

“Morning Daisy!”

Daisy jumped. “Oh, morning Linda. You ok?”

“Yeah, fine. I made you jump though. You were lost in your own world there weren’t you?”

“Ha, yes, I was a bit. Lots to think about.”

“Still pondering that house?” Linda probed. “I think it sounds odd that someone who does up houses isn’t doing it up, and wants to sell it off quickly. Must be a reason.”

“Huh? What? Oh yeah, yeah, it is odd. I should see if I can find out what’s behind it.”

“That wasn’t what you were thinking about I take it? Well, if you need to talk about something, I am all ears. We can head out in Beryl if it helps.”

“Oh thanks, but I think I’ve got it now. Thank you. We can still go out in Beryl if you like, just for the change.”

“Okay, lets! And if you do feel like a talk that will be fine too.”

(Chapter 43 here)
(Chapter 45 here)

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