A Thief Of Time*

“Hello,” Seb says, looking over at me in bed this morning, smiling.

“Good morning,” I say.  “How did you sleep?”

“Not bad,” he says.  

“Well, you were asleep every time I woke up,” I say, stroking his hair, gazing into his turquoise eyes.  “You were making those contented sleeping noises: those hedgehog snuffles and…”

“Oh good,” Seb says.  “Well, I didn’t get any sleep the night before when I had the early morning bat survey.  It…”

“Did you see any bats?” I say.

“Sadly not,” Seb says.

“So when I couldn’t sleep,” I say.  “I was thinking: your friends who we’re going out to dinner with – did you tell them that I’m a vegetarian because…”

“Oh no, I forgot,” Seb says, taking a gulp of his water.  “I’ll send them a message today.”

“I’m excited to meet them,” I say, switching my phone on.  “It’s just, if they’ve booked a steak and seafood restaurant or…”

“I’ll message them, my lovely,” Seb says, putting his arm round me.  “I’m so comfortable here, with you.”

“Me too,” I say.

“I’m sorry I have to go in a few hours,” Seb says, pulling me close to him.  “I thought we were going to have lots of time together this summer but somehow it’s gone and I’ve got to be at university on Monday and…”

“Monday?” I say, “I thought it was the twenty-ninth.”

“So did I,” Seb says, looking embarrassed.  “But I was wrong.

“Oh,” I say, and then I’m crying.  “I’m sorry darling,” I say, wiping my tears with a tissue.  “It’s just…I mean I’m so excited for you that you’re going off to university to have a brilliant time, but it’s at the other end of the country, and I’m going to miss you.  And now it’s getting closer…”

“I know,” Seb says, putting his arms round me, stroking my hair.  “But we can speak on the phone and I’ll come and see you, and you can visit me.  I love you: it’s just a bit of distance.  There’s nothing for you to worry about.”

Let’s hope he’s right.

Attached photo is a hydrangea that Mum liked in Abroad.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*1988.  By Tony Hillerman. Detective novel.

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