|The next morning, Jo was woken by the general noise of everyone going about their business. She sighed and glanced at her watch. Seeing it was half past eight, she climbed out of bed intending to see if she could borrow some washing things. Just as she stood up, there was a knock on the door and her sister came in with a tray.|
“You’re up! I didn’t expect you to be up, yet. I’ve brought you some breakfast.”
“Thank you. I was just going to come and see if I could borrow some things to have a wash.”
“Of course. You eat this and I’ll go and fetch them for you.” Jo obligingly climbed back into bed and Madge set the tray across her knee, before heading off to find the requested items. When she returned, Jo had almost finished. She waited and took the tray so Jo could get up, before directing her to the nearest bathroom.
“Come down to the drawing room when you’re ready, Jo.”
“Can do.” Jo collected her things and headed off in the direction indicated whilst Madge made her way back to the kitchen with the now-empty tray.
Half an hour later saw Jo making her way to the drawing room. When she arrived there, she was immediately seized upon by three pairs of hands.
“Auntie Jo, come and help us make people chains.”
“Yes, please do, Auntie Jo. Josette can’t do it by herself.” Jo laughed.
“I’ll help, by all means, but I should warn you that I won’t be very good at it. Art and craft were never my strong point.”
“You’ll be better at it than Josette. She can’t do it at all.” Sybil was scathing of her small sister as she pulled her aunt towards the table in the corner of the room.
“I’m not so sure, Sybil. I was thrown out of art class at school because I was so bad at it.” Even so, she was happy to sit down at the table and join in with their efforts, though her sister laughed out loud at her attempts to make a chain of people.
After they had had their elevenses, the children went out for a walk, leaving Jo and Madge alone. The sisters enjoyed the time together, catching up on news and sharing a letter from their brother, which had arrived in the post that morning. Letters from him were scarce at the moment, thanks to the war, so they relished them when they did get through. When lunch time came, Jo happily ate everything put before her. Jem said nothing, but he was glad to see she had regained her appetite, realising that yesterday had indeed been an exception. Once they had finished, Jem ran her back to her own home in the car. He dropped her off and continued on to the Sanatorium, whilst Jo let herself in and went to lay down for a couple of hours.
It was three o’clock when Jo woke up. She quickly washed and made her way downstairs to the kitchen, where she turned the ring on underneath the kettle. Just as it began to boil, she heard the front door bang and Robin and Daisy appeared in the kitchen. There were rapturous greetings between the three, though Jo was careful not to let them hug her too tightly. Robin noticed her flinch slightly.
“Are you all right, Jo?”
“Yes, I’m fine, Robin. I was at the Sanatorium yesterday, so I’m a little sore, that’s all.” Jo went to fill the teapot and brought it to the table. The three of them sat down to chat. “How was your week at school?”
“It was good. I’m in a dormitory with Beth and Gwensi, so we get to spend even more time together. Beth is our form prefect, too.”
“I hope you intend to do some work, too, miss. Pass on my congratulations to Beth, won’t you. What about you Robin?”
“Oh, Jo. They’ve made me Head Girl!”
“Head Girl! That’s wonderful news! Congratulations, Robin! I knew Cornelia wasn’t coming back, but I didn’t know they were going to appoint you in her place. I wish you every success.”
“Thank you. I’m still not sure if I’m on my head or my heels, yet. It was such a shock when Miss Annersley told me. I hope I’m up to the job.”
“You’ll be great Robin.” Daisy replied. “You’re the best person for it.”
“Of course you are. Don’t worry about that. You’re more than capable of doing it. You wouldn’t have been chosen, otherwise.” Robin still looked unsure, so Jo turned the conversation, asking them about what they had been doing during the week. The three of them prepared dinner together as they chattered on, the talk taking them right through until they had washed up. They settled down in the lounge, Robin and Daisy making a start on their preparation and Jo with a book. A companionable silence fell on the room, only broken by the sound of scratching pens and the occasional turning of a page. At half-past eight, Jo went to make them all a hot drink. On her return, she told the girls to pack up their work and come and relax for a while before bed. They spent the time discussing plans for the next day, before they finally departed for bed.
The weekend passed all too quickly for the three of them and before they knew it, it was time for Robin and Daisy to head back to school. Jo waved them off and went back inside feeling a little deflated. She had had a lovely weekend, and now she was alone once more. She found it difficult to settle down to anything she tried and, in the end, gave up and found her coat and shoes. Maybe if she went for a short walk, she would feel a little better. She locked the door and headed off towards the fields, not noticing the storm clouds brewing in the other direction.
Jo had an enjoyable walk through the fields nearby and felt better for the fresh air. When she finally turned for home, she noticed the clouds above her were very dark and threatening.
“I hope it doesn’t start to rain before I make it back.” She knew she couldn’t quicken her pace without causing herself much discomfort. Unfortunately, she was only halfway home, when she felt the first drops on her head. She looked around her in the hopes of maybe finding some shelter, but there was none. She had to keep on going.
When she finally reached home, she was wet through. She made it indoors and shed her coat and shoes, before going into the kitchen to make herself a hot drink. She was starting to feel cold, now. She dug a hot water bottle out of the cupboard and filled that, before making her way upstairs to the bedroom. Tucking the hot water bottle into her bed, she undressed and wrapped herself in her dressing gown and went to run a bath. She sank into the hot water and lay there, allowing it’s warmth to heat her body back up. Only when she felt warm did she climb out and dry herself off. She quickly dressed in her pyjamas and climbed into bed, hoping she had managed to avoid catching cold. She wondered whether she should ring Jem, but she found she had no energy left to climb back out of bed to go to the telephone. She decided to see how she felt in the morning.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Many thanks for your lovely comments. I'm afraid I have no idea who was ringing Jo, either, so it will have to remain a mystery.