Steph’s entire body shakes under her hands until, finally, she turns, letting herself cry into Miriam’s shoulder. She hasn’t let herself stop, or feel the loss until now.
She knows, she can feel, that her hands are bleeding, but she can’t stop. The hurt won’t stop washing over her.
Miriam is wordless, instead letting Steph cry, holding her friend tightly and letting her cry. Hating that this is all she can do. All anyone can do.
They are joined later by others, Erica, then Alison, then Theresa, slowly the group comes together, a family made up of one village’s WI.
Steph doesn’t know it, but Little Stan has been the one to find them, all of them, ask for help, knowing that his mother is hurt, and may hurt herself if she can’t be stopped.
He had promised his father to look after her, and he would. Always.
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