‘Will you two stop whispering behind my back. I have cancer, I’m not deaf!’ Rachel fixed Jack and Ben with a disapproving stare. They’d taken her to the local garden centre to pick up a few plants and bits after Rachel had complained her garden was looking too drab.
‘Sorry, Mum. We don’t want you overdoing it, that’s all. Ben can push the trolley, can’t you, Ben? He’s been working out at the gym recently. If you look really hard, you might spot a bicep.’ Jack winked at Ben, who flexed his right arm Popeye-style.
In truth, Rachel felt exhausted, but she wasn’t one for taking to her bed, apart from at bedtime. For the past few weeks she was rarely alone when it was time to sleep. Ralph hadn’t moved in, exactly, but he came around most evenings. Usually they just ate, chatted or watched TV. He accompanied her on her visits to the hospital and they slept together, his arms encircling Rachel until she got too hot or uncomfortable. And they made love. Not every night, but when the mood was right, and they both needed the solace it brought. Rachel enjoyed it, but what she loved most was the feeling of joy it brought her. The sense of being alive and sticking a metaphorical finger up at the disease which threatened to end her days.
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