and drew the air deep into my lungs. In and out. In and
out, through my nose. In and out, until, gradually, my breathing deepened
and the thumping in my ears eased slightly.
Eventually I opened
my eyes. The nurse stood inches from me, her glasses swinging on a chain
around her neck.
think it safe to just leave you,' she said, her expression one of concern.
'Do you feel ready to come back inside?'
My thoughts spun haphazardly
through the options. The one thing I did know was that I would not risk
coming face to face with her. Not with Bibby. Think, Jetta. For God's
sake, think. And quickly.
'I'm afraid I've had
some rather bad news. I need to go home.' I paused and cleared my throat.
'Perhaps you'd be kind enough to take my name off your list today and
I'll phone for another appointment later.'
Without waiting for
a reply, I hurried across the street, made my way along the uneven pavement
crowded with late morning shoppers, and turned left in the general direction
of Maddison's. There I would find a sweet pastry and a comforting hot
drink. I needed comfort. I needed sugar. Most of all, I needed time to