Kassandra asks Jeeves before she leaves the coffee shop: “Can we meet up for a walk soon? Now that the ice and snow are melting and the sidewalks are (mostly) clear?”
They set a date and time for the upcoming week, and Jeeves recognizes that familiar small inner delight at having something to look forward to.
The appointed meeting time arrives quickly, and Jeeves pulls on her boots, grabs her sunglasses (the sun is quite bright at the moment, although there are threatening clouds on the horizon), layers on a fleece vest and windbreaker, and heads out. The two women walk a local trail, navigating cautiously around the areas still sunk under a blanket of soft and slippery snow.
The air holds a softness, scented with earth, soil and decayed leaves and mud and life.
“You know, Jeeves, I would love to hear your story,” Kassandra begins. This invitation triggers a flutter of panic in Jeeves’ ribcage, like a little bird stretching its wings. “Where were you born, for instance?” Kassandra continues. “Where did you grow up?”
“Good lord, girl, that is some ancient history,” Jeeves buys herself some time to think how to begin. “Are you sure you have the patience for it?”
Kassandra’s laugh is full of youth and vigor. “Well, we might have to spread it out over several walks, but sure, I’m up for it.”
“All right. You asked for it.” Jeeves slows her steps, veers to the right around a puddle, takes a deep breath.
“I was born in Germany, in fact. My parents put me up for adoption, so that is about all I know. My memories really begin when I was five, and I found myself in the home of an elderly Scottish couple.”
“They’d adopted you?” Kassandra asks.
“They took me in, you might say. I’ve never found formal adoption papers.”
“Wow.” Kassandra shakes her head. “That’s fascinating.”
For you, my dear, Jeeves thinks. For you it’s an intriguing little story. For me, it’s my life.