Later that day, David introduced Kay to his father James, and his daughter Amelia, who was in bed unwell.
‘I’m very happy to meet you,’ the little girl said to Kay, ‘are you going to stay with us, can she father?’ Amelia pleaded with David.
‘We will see.’ David said to his daughter. ‘Now you get some rest.’
And he kissed the little girl on her forehead and ruffled her hair.
‘How long has she been unwell?’ asked Kay as they left Amelia’s bedroom.
‘Since yesterday evening,’ replied David ‘I know she doesn’t look to bad at the moment but this illness can change quickly and has many times been the death of the young and old within the village and I have to admit I am worried for her.’
‘She’ll be fine,’ said Kay.
‘Will she?’ asked David.
‘Yes she will…. you’re forgetting that I know,’ replied Kay smiling.
David returned the smile. However Kay could see that despite the letter he had written to himself, the notebook and the long discussion they had had that morning, David was still unsure.
I'd like to meet with Joshua and his family as soon as possible,’ said Kay who was desperate to see Edward again.
‘I will take you tomorrow,’ he said.
‘Can’t we go today?’ asked Kay ‘I really do need to see them and soon.’
‘Miss Thompson,’ said David.
‘Kay, please call me Kay.’
‘Very well Kay,’ he sighed and then continued ‘I have a lot of sick people to call on today I also have a sick child to worry about so taking you to meet with the Leigh’s will have to wait until tomorrow.’
‘And that, is my final word,’ he said before she had the chance to object. ‘My other self told me to be firm with you,’ and with that David walked into the sitting room leaving a stunned Kay stood in the hallway blushing profusely.
His unexpected comment had her head in a spin. Is that what David really thought of me she worried and she was about to follow David into living room to talk it through with him when she saw that Mrs Jackson was coming down the stairs.
‘Kay would you come in here please,’ she whispered.
Kay followed her.
‘Do you want me to do something?’ asked Kay.
‘You can help me prepare the vegetables if you like,’ said Mrs Jackson.
Kay picked up the knife and began hacking at the carrots not noticing that they hadn’t been peeled.
‘You’re not used to this are you?’ asked Mrs Jackson with a bemused expression on her face.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Kay ‘I’m afraid I’m not very domesticated.’
Nan had tried with both girls to teach them the basics of cooking, but neither Kay nor Marie had ever been interested with that side of things. The eating was far more pleasing and as they often told Nan, “no one could ever compete with her cooking skills.”
“You never will unless you try” she told them which of course she was proved right because neither Kay nor Marie ever learned to cook.
‘Don’t pay too much attention to the doctor just now.’ Mrs Jackson was saying. ‘He’s run off his feet poor man, what with his father and daughter ill along with half the village he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.’
Kay listened, opened mouth wondering just how much of the conversation Mrs Jackson had heard.
‘It’s a good thing he’s got you,’ said Kay and Mrs Jackson’s cheeks tinged with pink.
‘I do my best for him,’ she replied.
‘You won’t leave him?’ asked Kay.
‘Why would I do that?’ asked Mrs Jackson.
‘Oh no reason, but I don’t know how he’d ever manage without you.’
‘I won’t leave the doctor, I promise,’ said Mrs Jackson.
Kay felt relieved, hoping that she had managed to save the doctor from the dreaded Mrs Brown.
‘So it’s the Leigh’s you want to see?’ asked Mrs Jackson.
‘Yes, do you know them?’ asked Kay.
‘Oh yes everyone knows Joshua and Eleanor, a kinder couple you you’ll go a long way to meet. They’ve had their fair share of troubles though.’
‘Like what?’ enquired Kay.
‘Lost two sons in this awful war and then they’ve got a daughter whose ill.’
Kay suddenly felt panic hit her. Is this it she thought has Isabella started being ill?
‘Not well?’ Kay asked tentatively.
‘Yes their oldest girl Beatty, she has something wrong with her they reckon she won’t live to thirty.’
Then Mrs Jackson suddenly realised she had said too much probably from the shocked look on Kay’s face.
‘Oh I shouldn’t have said anything, oh promise me you won’t repeat that.’
I promise I won’t say anything I expect Beatty doesn’t know.’ asked Kay.
‘No one knows but Joshua and the doctor, they won’t even risk telling Eleanor after what’s she’s been through with losing the boys.’
Kay now realised why Joshua had taken Isabella forward to Edward and not to his daughter. He must have assumed that by that time Beatty would no longer be around.
Kay sat there lost in thought for Joshua and his family who had been though so much and knew for them it wasn’t over yet.
‘If you want to meet the Leigh’s, I’ll be going over to visit them myself later, you can come with me if you like.’
‘I’d like that very much,’ said Kay ‘but what about the doctor.’
‘Don’t worry about him; I’ll have a little word with him tell him I’m taking you out with me on errands.’
If Kay was anxious about her first meeting with the Leigh’s it was nothing compared to how she felt now.
The thought of seeing Edward again filled her with joy but she was also about to meet Joshua and Isabella the two people this dilemma evolved around and whose lives she was about to change.
Mrs Jackson chatted away as they walked through the village pointing which were the best shops to buy from. However, Kay’s interest was elsewhere.
The walk through the village couldn’t have been more different than on Kay’s previous visit.
Even though the villagers had been advised to keep apart for fear of spreading the sickness it seemed that very few of them were taking any notice.
Children were running barefoot in and out of each other’s gardens and men and women some of whom Kay recognised as Mrs Brown, Mr Taylor and his friends gathered in little groups talking and above the chatter and laughter coughing and sneezing could be heard.
Conversations halted temporarily as they watched Mrs Jackson and Kay walk by, a few said; ‘hello,’ but many did not.
‘Pay no attention to them,’ said Mrs Jackson sensing Kay’s unease.
‘What’s wrong with them?’ asked Kay.
‘There’s a few in this village who think they’re better than the rest, “bullies” I call them,’ replied Mrs Jackson ‘but they’ll get what’s coming to them sooner or later.’
Kay didn’t bother to ask who it was she had meant, she had met Mr Taylor and his group before.
It didn’t seem long before they had reached Worsley cottage and this time Kay paused at the gate to take in the view.
She hadn’t noticed before but neither the thorny climbing rose nor wisteria that graced the home she knew was there. The garden now was a full flush of colour from the Delphiniums, bleeding hearts, chrysanthemums and roses bushes.
Mrs Jackson knocked on the door which, was opened quickly by a small child.
‘Mother Mrs Jackson is here.’ called the little girl and Mrs Jackson followed the child into the back room where all the family were gathered.
‘This is Nurse Kay Thompson and she’s visiting the doctor and his family.’ said Mrs Jackson.
Kay surveyed the faces before her.
Edward was seated at the table next to Beatty. Eleanor and Joshua had a seat either side of the fireplace and little Isabella had climbed onto her father’s knee.
Kay was greeted with warmth and both Beatty and Edward gave up their seats for their visitors.
Kay was about to sit in Edwards chair when she became aware of someone standing in the doorway behind her.
‘This is Abraham Lancaster,’ Joshua announced looking towards the door.
When Kay turned to face Abraham she was so shocked by the sight of him that she stumbled backwards, missed the chair completely landing in an unladylike heap on the floor.
Everyone gathered round much to Kay’s embarrassment.
‘Are you alright?’ they asked as Kay was helped up from the floor by Abraham.
‘I’m fine,’ said Kay but she wasn’t.
‘I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to startle you,’ he said.
‘Oh you didn’t,’ she lied ‘I just lost my balance.’ and she forced a smile determined to hide the shock she felt within.
‘How are you feeling now?’ Mrs Jackson asked Kay on their way back to the lodge, ‘did you hurt yourself.’
‘Oh no I’m fine, just a slight graze on my elbow and I’ve lost a button off this sleeve.’ she muttered to herself worrying what David would think of his wife’s clothes being damaged.
‘Abraham has that affect on all the women,’ smiled Mrs Jackson ‘such a handsome young man isn’t he?’
‘I suppose,’ said Kay ‘who wasn’t thinking quite along the same lines at all.’
Yes, he was young and handsome but that wasn’t the reason why Kay was so shocked to see him.
This young man Abraham- the man who owned the pendant, the man who went through to the future with Isabella and Joshua was none other than a young Alan Gerrard.
She didn’t know why she had never thought of it before, why she had never asked herself what became of the man. But she certainly knew now.
Mrs Jackson and Kay eventually reached the lodge. ‘You’ve not heard a word I’ve said have you?’ asked Mrs Jackson.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Kay who felt as if she had done nothing but apologise all day. ‘The fall shocked me more than I thought.’
‘It wasn’t the fall that shocked you. You should have seen your face when you turned and saw him, I’ve never seen anyone so startled in all my life.’ said Mrs Jackson laughing as they entered the house.
‘Anyway a good cup of tea with a little brandy should help settle you, it always works for me.’ and Mrs Jackson went into the kitchen leaving Kay in the hallway with David who had opened the door of the living room and now stood in the doorway.
Kay saw him looking at the dress. ‘You seem to have lost a button.’ he said indicating to the sleeve.
‘Yes I know. I noticed it missing after I left the Leigh’s house, I promise I will find it and replace it,’ she said earnestly.
David held out his hand and there in his palm was a black button just like the ones that decorated the cuffs of Graces dress.
‘Where did you find it?’ she asked.
David smiled ‘just a little experiment,’ he said.
‘I don’t understand,’ said Kay.
‘I wondered what would happen if I cut a button from a dress that I would give you in the future and now I have the answer. This button was removed today from the very same place as the one you have missing.’
‘How could you do that when I was wearing it?’
‘Oh not from this dress but from the one upstairs in the wardrobe,’ replied David ‘Now I am sure that you are from the future.’