Head high, she swept out of the room. A second later, head even higher, she swept back in, snatched up the money and was gone again.
Tom glanced at Jane.
Not my daughter – he could almost hear her thoughts. He sighed, raised his eyebrows, then stood.
“Right, let’s go. Kelly can meet us there when she’s ready.”
“If she wants, “Jane said.”Don’t make her.”
Don’t make things more difficult: more words they couldn’t say. He took Jane’s hand. “Is the Italian going to be all right?”
“It’s fine. I don’t feel that sick any more, in fact, I’m hungry!”
In the car on the way to the restaurant, he said, “Do you think she’ll …?” then he stopped.
“Meet us there? Buy her Mum a gift? Just give her time, Tom, she’s a good kid.”
“I know, but she’s angry right now.”
“It isn’t easy – new house, new step mum and now,” she glanced down, “new baby brother or sister.”
Tom half-smiled. “I heard her on the phone to a friend – apparently it’s gross!”
“The thought that we’re having sex!”
Jane laughed at him. “I remember feeling like that when Mum got pregnant with Lucy, I was 12 then, not quite as old as Kelly.”
They were sitting near the window, menus open, drinks on the table, one space still vacant. The waiter lingered nearby and Tom looked at his watch. “We should order.”
“Give her a few minutes more,” Jane said. “Look, there she is!” Kelly was hurrying up the path to the restaurant, her arms full. “I think she’s got her Mum something too.”
Tom exhaled. Mothers’ Day might be going to work out.
Kelly burst into the restaurant, then thrust her package at Jane. “Happy Mothers’ Day.”
Jane flushed, then started to open her gift.
As she did, Kelly said, “Dad, I need more cash to get a gift for Mum!”