“Meeky used to love those slippers, didn’t she?” he’d said, as she kicked them off and slid her work shoes on. And he was smiling like it was nothing. “Are you showering first or shall I?” he’d asked.

Her eyes are stinging. “Used to,” he’d said.

How could he? Meeky’s coming back, there’s no “used to” about it. How could he have said that?

The carriage jolts gently, and “the next stop is Westminster.” She blinks, consciously now, feeling tears in her eyes. But if she reaches up and wipes them with her gloves they’ll start to flow. People will stare if they aren’t already.

Meeky has been missing for six weeks, but cats stay out longer. How could he say “used to”?

Panic rises again, and she tries to funnel it into annoyance at Phil’s thoughtlessness. But it’s not working. For weeks she’s panicked over Meeky, over whether he’s cold or injured or worse. But now it rises at the thought that six weeks is too long to hold out hope.

She raises her gloved hands to her face.


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