To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
As John folded clean washing he realised that he was looking forward to taking Fanta and her sisters to Emily’s place the next day. He knew that Emily would like Fanta and imagined she would also like Nancy and Ruby. John wondered whether Nancy and Ruby would enjoy playing with Emily’s kids and realised that he couldn’t remember how old Emily’s kids were or even what their names were. John realised he hadn’t been a very good uncle to Emily’s kids and made a mental note to try harder. Then John wondered whether he should also be making more of an effort to look after Ruby and Nancy and decided that he would -starting straight away. He went to the phone and called Fanta at work.
“Would you like me to pick up your sisters from school so you can stay longer at work and walk home with Syafika?” said John.
“Yes, I would like that” answered Fanta. “Thanks!”
When Ruby and Nancy saw John waiting for them at the school gate they started laughing and whispering to each other.
“Can we get an icecream on the way home?” asked Ruby.
“Ok” said John, remembering that he needed to go to the shops on the way home anyway.
As John and Fanta’s sisters left the shops John noticed a lady getting off a bus carrying a baby and a folded up stroller. She tried to unfold the stroller with one hand while holding the baby in the other but couldn’t manage it so John offered to help.
When her baby was safely in the stroller the lady thanked John and said “Your girls are lovely”
John felt embarrassed and wondered whether he should explain that they weren’t his kids.
“I bet they make you really happy. My baby boy makes me happier than I’ve ever been. And you know what I realised when he was born?” said the lady.
“What?” asked John.
“When I felt the love I have for my boy I realised how much my Mum loves me” said the lady.
John wanted to reply but he couldn’t think of anything to say so he just smiled, but on the walk home all he could think of was about how much his Mum must have loved him when he was a baby and that maybe she still did.
When they got home John suggested that Ruby and Nancy watch TV while he started making dinner. He hardly noticed when Ruby came into the kitchen to get a couple of pairs of scissors and when John came out of the kitchen an hour later he discovered that there were tiny pieces of paper all over the rest of the house.
“We made it snow” explained Nancy.
“Does Fanta let you do things like this?” asked John.
“No way” said Ruby.
John had just finished vacuuming up all the paper when he saw Fanta and Syafika approaching the house. John smiled as he watched Fanta walk up the steps.
John, Fanta and Syafika had just sat down with cold drinks when D’arby arrived home.
“Can you tell us your news yet?” asked John as he poured D’arby a glass of water.
So D’arby sat down and told everyone about RenewBank and how Anthony had been trying to blackmail them.
As they listened John noticed that Fanta and Syafika looked at each other and raised their eyebrows.
“But what happens now?” asked John. “Now that RenewBank isn’t secret anymore”
“All day we had people from other groups coming to the office to discuss how they could help us” said D’arby. “It was amazing actually. There’s this feeling that what we want to do is the missing part of a whole new system – people were even starting to suggest that we might be almost at that magical tipping point that everyone is always hoping for.”
“But what about all the people who don’t like your plans” asked John.
“Yeah, we don’t know what they will do but we expect they won’t roll over. But with all the support we have we feel we might have a chance of surviving whatever is thrown at us” said D’arby. “And if they do stuff that gets our plan into the public eye we’ll probably get even more supporters, who will eventually become customers – we could look at it as free advertising”
After D’arby finished speaking there was silence as everyone digested the news. Eventually John suggested it was dinner time and he got up and went to bring the food to the table.
When everyone had been served John looked around the table to see how everyone liked their first bite. Nancy and Ruby were eating fast, which meant they liked the food. Fanta and D’arby both complimented John as they tasted their food but Syafika wasn’t eating.
“What’s wrong” John asked Syafika. “Don’t you like the food?”
“It’s not that” said Syafika. “It’s Anthony”
“What about Anthony” asked D’arby.
“What does this mean for him? And what does this mean for my investigation into Anthony?” asked Syafika.”Because I have new evidence that he is up to something else as well, something even closer to home”
“What?” asked D’arby.
“I think he is spying on someone in my family” said Syafika and she told everyone about Anthony knowing she’d run home barefoot and how he’d been interested in hearing about Rose giving money to the lady who lived in the park.
“It could be nothing” said John. “What if it was a coincidence that he saw you running barefoot? Or if he was watching you walk home because he is stalking you?”
“I think there might be something going on – or at least enough chance of it to warrant further investigation” said Fanta. “I want to help. Who else wants to help?”
“I will” said D’arby.
“Where D’arby goes, I follow” said John.