English Girl in New York

By: Scarlet Wilson

‘Let it out,’ he said. ‘Cry if you want to.’

‘I’m not going to cry,’ she declared. ‘I’m all right.’

But as he held her he knew she was far from all right, perhaps not weeping but shaking violently. He drew her close to him, patting her shoulder but saying nothing. Words would not help now. He could only offer friendship, knowing that even that was feeble against the blow that had struck her.

At last she looked up and he saw her face, pale and devastated.

‘I’m here,’ he said. ‘Hold onto me.’

Even as he said it he felt foolish. Yes, he was there, the person whose clumsiness had helped to bring about this disaster. But there was nothing else to say.

At last the hotel came in sight, and at once he knew he had another calamity on his hands. The front was crowded with people watching the street for interesting arrivals.

‘Oh, no!’ he groaned. ‘The word’s got out already.’

‘And they’re waiting for me to come crawling back,’ she said. ‘Look, someone’s got a camera.’

‘Then they’re going to be disappointed,’ Jackson said grimly. ‘Driver, there’s been a change of plan.’ He gave his own address and the car swerved away.

‘They’ll never find us at my place,’ he said. ‘You can stay until you’re safe.’

‘Thank you,’ she whispered. ‘But will I ever be safe again?’

‘You will be. I’ll see to it. Just hold me. Everything’s going to be all right.’

If only he could believe it.

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