BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
These days I try and keep my visits to a minimum; happily popping in for a few hours or so every day, but never doing a full day's work or staying longer than necessary. Keith and I enjoy our coffee mornings, or at least I do and he's too polite to mention otherwise, but I do like to feel a part of the firm I started with Jonathan half a century ago.
I take my time getting ready, the weather looks surprisingly calm after the thunderstorm last night and I debate whether or not to risk a sandal over a shoe. I listen to the news on the radio to see if there is anything of interest; the world we live in is a sadder place than I remember when I was young. The devastation of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers only 18 months ago has had the whole world up in arms. Never again did I think to see the power of man's destruction so vividly in my life time.
Fortunately, the radio has little to report other than the weather and some traffic news. I potter around trying to waste some time and expend some of the renewed energy having an interesting case has given me, when I hear the post plop on to the floor. I scuttle through the hallway and open the front door, ignoring the envelopes on the floor, in the hope I manage to catch Peter before he disappears.
The sunshine is milky out the front door and I cannot see Peter's black hair. It has been replaced by a girl with a pony tail. I call out before I have time to think about what I am doing, 'excuse me, where's Peter?' The girl turns around, her post trolley coming to a halt. 'I'm sorry?'
'Peter? My usual postman, do you know where he might be?'
She shrugs rather than answering the half-dressed old lady standing in the streets, but I can't help worrying about Peter. I hope he uses the card I gave him. I hope even more fervently that he doesn't have to use the card, but somehow I don't expect that to be the case.
I return to the hallway and pick up the envelopes strewn about the floor. Nothing of any interest at first glance and I place them on the table next to the three wedding photographs. I make a move to go back upstairs and finish getting dressed when the phone starts to ring. It's a little early for Polly, unless Sonia has taken herself off to school, and I answer with a bright and cheery, 'good morning darling.' Imagine my surprise when I hear Keith's gruff voice at the end of the line!
'Good morning to you too, petal. Pray do tell what kinds of trouble you have managed to get yourself into this weekend, because I have a lovely gentleman here wishing to ask me some questions about your character.'
Immediately I think Albert Healy has found me, but I know that cannot be the case because I am no longer listed as a partner at the firm. It must be somebody from Summerbees Solicitors. They're more efficient than I gave them credit for.