Angels in Our Hearts by Rosie Lewis

Angels in Our Hearts by Rosie Lewis

Author:Rosie Lewis
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: 2018-10-26T16:00:00+00:00

After settling Hope into her crib for a sleep half an hour later, Ellen handed me a cup of steaming tea. She was looking at me carefully, and a moment later she sucked in a breath as if readying herself to say something. I felt my pulse quicken, but before she could get any words out the telephone rang. ‘It’s probably someone selling something,’ I said, with a little shrug of my shoulders. I was ready to ignore it but when the shrill tone finally stopped I knew the moment was lost; Ellen had turned away and was folding one of the small cardigans my mother had knitted for Hope. Cupping the mug of tea in my hands, I stood staring at Ellen’s back, but when the insistent ring started up again, I answered it after only a moment’s hesitation.

It was Graham, Hope’s social worker. ‘How’s it going?’ he asked. We hadn’t spoken for a couple of days but I knew he was in the process of compiling a report for the interim court hearing. Without positive feedback, he was likely to proceed with a request for a reduction in contact. ‘Erm, OK. Ellen’s here at the moment. Can we talk later?’

‘No can do, I’m afraid, Rosie. I really need to finish this report and I’m tied up in meetings for the rest of the day.’

Cupping my hand over the mouthpiece, I whispered to Ellen’s back, ‘Sorry, I’ll nip in the other room to take this.’ Feeling faintly embarrassed since there was only a wall separating us, I told Graham that there wasn’t much to report.

‘She still hasn’t even picked the baby up?’

‘Um, no,’ I said hesitantly, ‘but I get the feeling she wants to. Something’s holding her back.’

‘Yes,’ Graham said heavily. ‘She’s a very troubled girl. The sooner we get Hope sorted the better.’

My jaw grew tight, knowing that Graham was talking about adoption. Despite a strong desire for Hope to settle into permanence as quickly as possible, I couldn’t help feeling sad knowing it probably meant lifelong separation from Ellen. ‘Graham, I really think that with support –’

‘Rosie,’ he interrupted sharply, ‘Ellen’s making no effort to bond with Hope. I’m not feeling optimistic at all, especially not with her past. No, I’m afraid it’s all looking a bit grim.’

Nettled, I didn’t take everything he said in. ‘It’s been less than three weeks,’ I said with a slight coolness, ‘I don’t think –’

‘Look, to be frank, Rosie, you’re not paid to think.’

I caught my breath and said nothing, his words about Ellen’s past beginning to register. After a moment he seemed to realise he’d been a bit sharp and rushed to cover himself. ‘What I mean is, leave us to worry about the care plan. Ellen can’t go swanning in and out of the child’s life whenever she feels like it and not even lift a finger to care for her. You’re doing an excellent job with young Hope so just carry on doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep you informed.


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