'Well, thanks a bunch!' Sophie directed a ferocious hiss at the tail-lights of the lorry which had drenched her and the antiquated pram with a breath-snatching spray of icy rainwater. Frustration and growing anx¬iety tightened her delicate jawline. If she didn't get across this wretched road in the next few minutes she was going to be late getting to the address in Finsbury Circus.
Last night, in response to her frantic phone call, when Tim had agreed to give her a roof over her head just until she'd got herself sorted out, he'd stressed that he would only have a half-hour window in his lunchbreak to let her into his flat. Already there was a scant fifteen minutes of that time remaining.
Sophie's temperature rose another few hectic de¬grees. If Nanny Hopkins's landlord hadn't been late turning up to collect the key and the final week's rent she would have made it to Tim's fiat with time to spare. But now—
Poised to take advantage of any gap in the traffic, she took a deep breath and made herself remember that dear old lady's firm stricture when things, as they usually did for her, went drastically wrong to 'look on the bright side, child. You'll always find one'.
Nanny Hopkins's little homilies had always been predictable, but were almost always dead right. So Sophie made a conscious effort to relax her tense shoulders and remind herself that things weren't all bad. At least her sleeping seven-month-old son and their possessions were dry beneath the capacious hood and apron of the ancient contraption that would have caused passers-by to cast superior stares in her direction if scurrying through the murk and rain of the gloomy late-January day hadn't preoccupied them.
And if Tim had to give up on her—mindful of his hopes of promotion to manager of the travel agency—then she could always find a modest cafe where she and her baby would be warm and dry, and nurse a cup of tea until Tim was due to return in the evening. No problem—well, not a huge one....