Someone Like You

Read Someone Like You for Free Online

Book: Read Someone Like You for Free Online
Authors: Barbara Bretton
interspersed with melodramatic laments over the welfare of the faeries who lived in the gardens. Joely, who didn’t have a fanciful bone in her body, had to remind herself that these problems were very real to the little girl. Finally she retrieved an umbrella from the stand in the hallway and jury-rigged a way to suspend it over a tiny part of the side garden where Annabelle claimed the faerie children liked to hide.
    Her mother would have known exactly how to handle the situation. Mimi hadn’t been very good at mundane chores like paying the electric bill or keeping the telephone service on, but she would have known how to shield the faeries from the rainfall, then taken Annabelle on a guided tour of every faerie hiding spot in the Highlands.
    Joely winced as she remembered the time she had tried to entertain Annabelle with a double helix made of dried macaroni. The poor child had fallen asleep before the first helix was in the planning stage.
    The off-again/on-again rains finally stopped a little before five o’clock, and the sun reappeared. It was in full bloom at eight when they got ready to head up the hill.
    “You’ll still need a cardi and your Wellies,” Joely warned as they finished a light supper. “It’s going to get cold tonight.”
    Not even the prospect of rubber boots was enough to dim Annabelle’s enthusiasm and, to her surprise, Joely found her mood much improved by the time they gathered up blankets, extra sweaters, the picnic basket, and an umbrella (just in case) and set out.
    “What time is it in Japan?” Annabelle asked as they made their way toward the hill path.
    “Much later.”
    “Is it already tomorrow?”
    “Yes, it is.”
    “So Daddy knows what happened today before we do.”
    She needed more than a master’s in bioengineering to field that question. “Everything is happening at the same time,” she said, gripping Annabelle’s hand as the child’s clogs slipped on the wet grass. “It’s just that it’s later in Japan than it is here.”
    “But you said it’s already tomorrow.”
    “Yes, but—”
    “If it’s already tomorrow, then he knows what happened today.”
    “No, he doesn’t, Annabelle, because it hasn’t happened yet.”
    “But it must have if it’s tomorrow.”
    She stopped and put down the picnic basket, then held out her left wrist toward the child. “What time is it?”
    Annabelle peered at the watch. “Half six.”
    She pulled out the stem, adjusted the time forward three hours, then pushed it back in. “What time is it now?”
    “Half nine.”
    “That’s all there is to it, honey. We play with the clocks, but time itself remains constant. It may be tomorrow in Japan, but your father is still living in the same moment as we are.”
    Annabelle had a quick and curious mind. She peppered Joely with questions about the nature of time that would have stumped her old physics professor at MIT. She was glad when they reached the top of the hill, and Annabelle spotted her best friend Louis and ran off to tell him all about time zones.
    Louis’s mother Sara motioned her over to her blanket. “You look like you need a glass of plonk.” Sara had been a Sloane Ranger in the early 1980s and occasionally slipped back into the slang of her misbegotten youth.
    Joely spread out her own blanket and settled down next to her friend. “I love cheap wine,” she said, accepting a plastic cup of red. “William thinks I’m a peasant at heart.” She made Sara laugh with a recounting of the rain-soaked garden faeries and her own struggle to figure out a way to keep them from drowning.
    Sara topped off their cups. “So how are you coping without Mrs. Macdonald?”
    Joely took a long sip of wine, grateful for the meager warmth it sent into her system. The sun might still be out, but the temperature was beginning to dip. “We’re doing fine at the moment.”
    “What about when you go back to work?”
    “I’ll figure something out.”
    “Shouldn’t that be her

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