Lydia couldn’t follow the next thing Sonia did at all but after a few moments, the white void above their heads began to shimmer and gradually turn blue. At first it looked very artificial, more like a blue painted ceiling than a sky, but as she tweaked it, it began to look more and more like a summer sky. There were even a few wisps of clouds drifting across it. If she looked at it carefully the colour was still slightly off but otherwise it was indistinguishable from a real sky â€“ except for one thing.
â€œNo sun?â€ she asked.
â€œNo moon either and the stars won’t move at night,â€ Sonia said. â€œI could probably pull it off but it’s a bit of a pain to get right.â€ She looked at where the fake sky faded into the still white void of the floor. â€œI’ll talk to Matt about sourcing soil tonight and Drew’s friends are coming over soon. I could do with a rest before then.â€
â€œYou didn’t hurt yourself, did you?â€ Daniel asked quickly.
Sonia smiled and shook her head. â€œI’m fine, Dan. My injuries are healed enough that they won’t reopen unless I do something extreme. This is just natural tiredness from doing something hard. A cup of coffee and I’ll be fine.â€
â€œAre you sure?â€ Lydia asked.
â€œTsk! You two are as bad as Matt,â€ she said. â€œI’m fine. You can check if you want.â€ She opened her screens allowing them to see that she was indeed just tired.
â€œThank goodness,â€ Lydia said. â€œWe do worry about you, mum. You were so sick for so long.â€
â€œI’ll be careful, I promise,â€ Sonia said. â€œLet’s go grab a snack and unpack before Drew’s friends get here.â€
Karen sat in the attic with Kyle. With so many people in the house the den wasn’t going to be much of a retreat for a while, but for now, no one else was in there. She’d even shut the door on Alban and Darya’s faces, much to their surprise.
â€œIs something wrong?â€ Kyle asked as he flopped down on to one of the sofas.
Karen shook her head. â€œNo, I just wanted a private word.â€
â€œThe elephant in the room.â€ She suppressed a smirk at his puzzled frown. â€œI mean our relationship, Kyle, and if we still have one. I think we’ve both been avoiding the subject.â€
â€œWell there’s been rather a lot going on,â€ he said. â€œThe time never seemed quite right.â€
â€œWell, it’s right now.â€ She put her hands on her hips. â€œI still like you. Do you still like me?â€
Kyle turned bright red. â€œThat’s blunt.â€
â€œWhy dance around the subject?â€ she asked.
â€œTrue,â€ he said. â€œI definitely still like you.â€
â€œGreat, then as soon as this stupid curfew is lifted let’s go to the cinema or something.â€
â€œYou’re on,â€ he said. â€œBut that might be a while away, the way things are going. How about a hug for now?â€
Karen smiled and sat down beside him on the sofa, laying her head on his shoulder. â€œThat sounds like a good idea.â€