The following Sunday, Allison wakes up early, from a recurring dream: she needs to catch a bus to her parents’ house, it is urgent, something awful is happening there, but she cannot find the right bus. Sometimes, the bus she needs is going the wrong way; or it’s due to arrive, but doesn’t; or she gets on it, but then it turns down a different street and she realizes it’s not the right bus after all. Most of the time, as on this particular day, the bus she needs is just pulling away from the stop as she arrives, and she awakes with a jolt of fear and frustration.
Allison decides to stay up, and pours herself a strong coffee. The temperature is mild under a cover of thick clouds, unusual for this late in the spring.
Good for planting, she thinks, and a flush of warmth rises from her solar plexus to her cheeks. She’s picturing Emil, for the thousandth time since they met in Jeeves’ garden. He’s there most Sundays, she remembers Jeeves saying.
Well, I could use a walk, shake off the lingering anxiety from the dream, maybe swing by the coffee shop for a treat.
Allison pulls on shoes and a fleece, adds her hat in case the clouds turn to drizzle, and heads out her front door.
“Morning!” Jeeves and Kassandra are already out, walking away from Jeeves’s house. “Going for a walk? Want to join us?” Kassandra offers.
“Um, well,” Allison hesitates, unsure why.
“It’s a planting morning, isn’t it, Allison?” Jeeves says. “If you like, head over to my place. Emil is there digging up a new bed. He can give you some tips.”
“Oh, okay,” Allison answers. “Thanks.”
Kassandra is about to say something else, as Jeeves takes her by the arm. “Now then, what were you telling me about River and your project?” She waves Allison off. “Enjoy the morning, dear!”
That woman sees right through me, Allison considers, and I’m not at all sure how I feel about that. But her feet take her toward Jeeves’ garden, and Emil.