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.

'Didn't 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 think.

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