Chapter 19 Fears, Hopes, and Cars in Shadows

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A few minutes later, Winifred opened her front door for Victoria. "I hope nobody followed you," She said nervously.

Victoria glanced behind her at the darkening street. She'd taken the precaution of parking her Hudson Hornet away from the streetlight in case anyone from the newspaper happened to be in the neighborhood. Behind her car, two ferries were crossing in the bay and their lights danced along the water in low smooth lines.

"I've always adored this time of year," Victoria said as she turned back to her friend. "Not only is it gorgeous with the changing leaves but the earlier sunsets make it easier for me to shake snoopy reporters." She put her umbrella in the stand and took off her coat and hat.

Winifred had dark circles under her eyes, but she smiled.

Victoria followed friend into the kitchen. "Oh, it smells good in here!"

"It's just leftovers from Sunday's roast. I hope you don't mind, but since Philip is a guest speaker at the club tonight the portions were perfect."

Victoria beamed. "I'd happily take your leftovers over a fancy French restaurant any day."

Winifred put the kettle on and leaned against the counter. "It will only be another twenty minutes or so."

"How are you holding up?" Victoria asked as she grabbed a couple cups.

Winifred took down the tea jar. "I'm shaken me up a bit, but I'll not broken. And very soon the case will be solved and everything will go back to normal."

"What about that trip you're always talking about?" Victoria suggested. "It might do you good to have something fun to plan and anticipate."

Winifred sighed. "The clinic is still so new Philip says he won't be able to get away until next year."

"I'm glad it's doing so well."

Winifred nodded. "Yes. Philip and his partner have already taken on two additional doctors. I was a little nervous at first, because it took up almost all of our savings, but now that things are up and running he's home every evening and we have most of our weekends." The kettle whistled and Winifred poured it into the teapot. "Philip says that by this time next year, he'll be able to golf every occasionally during the week, and we'll be able to take a long vacation at least once a year."

"So you'll visit England?"

Winifred frowned and spoke softly. "I don't know. I had been looking forward to it, but then I... I've started having nightmares again."

"Since Friday?"

Winifred nodded. "I wake up in panic, I can't breathe and I feel like I'm falling, and even though I know it's not real, when the terror passes, I can't stop crying."

"Does Philip know?"

Winifred shook her head.

"I'm sure he would understand."

"I know he would," Winifred said, "but I'd rather not worry him. Besides, maybe it won't be as bad as it was last time. Philip has enough on his mind without having to worry to that he wife might be going crazy."

"That was 10 years ago," Victoria said. "I know must be frightening, but you are stronger now. Maybe it would help you to see London again without the bombs might help you to move forward."

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