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Outward, the Circles Grow. [3]

Hyle Troy's picture
Submission type:


Silja was not driving fast. Not at all. The red Inty grumbled its way along the road to Hope Springs, an unwilling foot hardly touching the throttle. One by one the kilometres crawled by, Silja sat tight lipped, the one hand on the steering wheel showed pale knuckles. She didn’t want to be making this trip but Kirsten had insisted, even giving her the day off to do so. ‘She is your sister after all, Silja.’

Silja had almost let her temper break when Kirsten said those words but had bitten hard down on her lip. Kirsten was a good woman, she had supported Silja solidly all through the last week or so, a calm mature counterpoint to Silja’s propensity for flying off the handle when her familial history came under scrutiny from others. So that morning Silja had unwillingly set off to Hope Springs to visit Hanne.


On the brighter side at least there was a good chance she would run into Tuki, whom she had not seen for weeks, months even. She missed Tuki. She had called her a few times but always felt as if Tuki, although always happy to hear from her was probably too busy what with the baby, the clinic. Hope Springs in general. Silja felt as if she was imposing and consequently had kept their conversations to a minimum.


The road was empty. The only car she had seen, she had recognised. It belonged to that Frye creep. When she recognised it coming toward her Silja felt herself involuntarily squeeze herself down into the seat. As it passed she noticed Frye’s face, the dark eyes staring fixedly ahead, the scowl apparent. Silja felt her heart rate rising in her chest but the other car had simply passed her and kept onward to Flagstaff. Frye scared her.


Eventually, Silja parked and cut the engine in the clinic car park. She sat for some time, her legs ignoring her the request from her brain to get out of the car. Silja just sat catatonic as the cooling engine pinged and clicked.

She was shocked back into reality by the rapping in the window. She turned to see Tuki’s excited grin peering into the car. The infectious enthusiasm shone through the glass and in a second Silja was out of the car and the two girls were hugging each other tightly amid the girly giggles which always accompanied Tuki and Silja’s reunions.

Heyyyyy ! How are you? How is Anni? Has Joe still got his suede licking face?” Tuki’s questions followed on after the other without even a pause for breath never mind an opportunity for Silja to answer.

Aww, Anni is wonderful!” Silja answered and stepped back to look at Tuki, dressed as she was in her blue scrubs, the stethoscope hanging casually around her neck. “Yeah and Joe is still the bulldog what licks the pisses from nettles!”

More girly hugs ensued until Silja noticed the stern face and folded arms at the clinic window.

Who’s the face ache? Silja asked as she nodded toward the window. Tuki turned and looked.

Oh, Maisie. Remember?” Tuki grinned. “She’s just reminding me how much I have to do.”

Silja’s face fell and the feelings of imposing on Tuki’s time returned but Tuki read her friends face perfectly so she grinned back. “It can wait!”

Tuki grabbed Silja’s hand and almost dragged her into the clinic and to her office, requesting coffee as she passed Nurse Maisie who’s eyes immediately rolled skyward but snapped back down as the look in Tuki’s face reminded her who was in fact boss.


Tuki sipped coffee. She picked her moment carefully. When the initial gushing of catch-up chatter had eased she looked at Silja.

I guess you came to see Hanne?”

Silja took a breath, finally reminded of the actual purpose of her visit she nodded.



Tuki held firmly onto Silja’s hand and she shuffled stiffly into Hanne’s room.



Joe Spivey's picture

Nice pic of Silja. She really looks like she's got the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

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