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Love

Ally: Hi…mum, mum, can you hear me?

Catherine: Ally…Ally, is that you? It’s great to hear you

Catherine closes her eyes and breathes a deep sigh of relief, then signals a thumbs up to the waiting face peeking through the glass pane in the door. 

Ally: It’s a really bad line mum, can you hear me?

Regaining her composure, Catherine answers 

Catherine: Yes love, I can hear you, are you okay?

Ally smiles and her eyes redden

Ally: I’m fine, what’s happening at home?  

Catherine responds nervously and quickly

Catherine: Oh, you know how it is here, same old, same old. Next door’s kitten got stuck up our tree… again. The fire service ought to start charging them, that’s the second time this year. I was considering chopping the thing down and then misery guts at number 10 stuck her oar in, moaning about natural light. She can talk, how about she naturally parks that heap in front of her own house…

Ally: Oh mum, it’s so good to hear your voice

Catherine: Sorry I’m rambling love, how are you coping with the freezing cold?

Ally looks at her bandaged hand

Ally: It’s worse at night, but you get used to it?

Catherine: Does that mean I can keep the thermostat down when you get home?

Ally: Of course mum anything you want. I’ll never complain about being cold again, after this.

Catherine: How far have you got to go now?

Ally: We’re… fighting the elements. There was a storm a few days ago and we lost… a few things but we’re, hanging in there.

Ally tugged nervously at the hanging strap from her knitted hat

Catherine: We all dream about doing something amazing with our lives, but you’re doing it…I’m so proud of…

Ally: Mum, mum…you’re breaking up again…

Catherine: …and no matter what happens it’s a great achievement….

Ally: The test results, did they come back, what did they say?

Catherine: Oh something and nothing. You know what these doctors are like. More… tests they said, to rule out anything serious. Don’t worry. You keep your mind on staying safe and reaching…

Ally: …I can hardly hear you, mum…I don’t think this connection will last much longer…thanks again for the camera I can’t wait to show you the photos if…when… 

Catherine: …the views must be amazing I can’t wait to see the photos…

Ally: I found the homemade biscuits you hid in my pack, they’re a real treat after all the freeze-dried stuff. I shared them with the girls and we all talked about the things we miss…

Catherine: …a taste of home to keep your spirits up, I read about it somewhere…

Ally: You’re breaking up again…

Catherine: …I dreamt you came home in the middle of the night. You popped your head around my bedroom door as usual. I got up in the morning and made you breakfast…so funny how the mind works…I completely forgot you weren’t here…

Ally: …I’m still here mum, but I have to go soon…

There is a gentle tap at the door, Catherine moves the phone to one side and turns her head

Catherine: Okay, just a minute, love I’ll have to go soon. Can you hear me? 

Ally: Don’t worry mum, I’m…we’re gonna make it…

Catherine: We’ll have a nice big party when you get back and invite all the family…I’m so glad you called, especially when I heard about the storm…

Ally: Mum, mum, it might be tricky to get hold of you again over the next couple of days, there’s some rough terrain… take care mum…miss you…

Catherine: Can’t wait to see you, take care love…

The line goes dead

Nurse: Is there anyone else you need to speak to?

Catherine: No thanks, just my daughter, I’m good to go now.

Nurse: Okay, let’s get you down to the operating theatre.

 

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