The pair of friends sat together, chatting and Tina fussed over the baby, while Faith focused on the cotton blanket she was making. It was important that she followed the careful design she had made. Faith knew that it was vital, especially for the "Trick of the Light" which would make it look like an ocean wave, shifting and changing colour. There was a clear design, showing in her own neat shorthand, what she should do and when. If she pulled it off and did it well, Faith knew, this would look lovely.
As she carefully placed pieces of cotton, she looked at Tina again. "Stop looking at me like that," she smiled at her friend who was teasing her with her glance. "You know, I sleep with a collection of pillows around me." Tina chuckled and nodded her head. It hadn't been very long ago, a matter of trials, that she was in the same situation. "So, have you two thought of names?" Tina asked and Faith shook her head. "What, you don't have a list, organised in order of preference and then, at the back, alphabatically?" Faith pursed her lips and spoke softly.
"We named Rose. It made it harder. We decided not to pick a name this time," she said, her voice soft and as calm as though she was speaking about a cup of tea. Tina's face, however, dropped. "Faith, I'm sorry. I should have thought of that." Faith shook her head, looking up from the neat lines of blue and green which were starting to take shape. She spoke to her friend without any guile, "Tina, you have nothing to apologise for. I would much rather you did not dance on eggshells around me, it is unnecessary. And Famula knows, there are more than enough people doing that at the moment. I would like it if you were not one of them."
Tina grinned and then her expression turned to a frown. "Not Padraig?" She sounded unsure and looked relieved as Faith immediately shook her head. "No, if anything I suppose it is a little the opposite. I wish he would rest more." That was very true. She understood that he felt the same about her and in truth, since he had come back the two of them had caught up on much needed sleep. Together, it was so much easier to sleep, mountains of pillows or not. But still, if she had her way she wouldn't be letting him out of her sight again and, she knew, the same was true in reverse.
"How is he?" Tina asked and Faith smiled. There was a lot in that expression, the two friends knew that Faith was a private woman married to a private man. She wouldn't be sharing details, but then Tina was her friend and as such, she wouldn't be asking. "It was difficult and people died. He'll be fine. He is." It was hard to explain and she would not try. But, focusing on the piece which she had finished, she showed Tina and raised her eyebrows. "What do you think?" Faith asked and Tina nodded her head. "I think you're making something beautiful, and that's a great thing. It's lovely, Faith."
"You're sweet, thank you." Faith said and Tina grinned. "You feed me the best snacks, I have to be nice to you, you might not be my friend any more otherwise." Faith shook her head, Tina was an would always be a dreadful tease she was sure. "I thought I'd edge it with white, but then I thought maybe not. Maybe a dark edging, with a sort of depth of the oceans blue, sparkling. What do you think?" Tina nodded. Yes, the darker colour would offset it more, she said. The baby in her arms started to cry and Tina shushed him. Faith watched and wondered anew.
"I just..." she hadn't even finished the second word when Tina spoke over her. "You'll be great at it. Both of you. You're filled with love and you're both practical people. Especially you." She couldn't entirely call Padraig 'practical', in fairness, Tina worried about him tripping over the baby and wondering how it got there, but that was just a silly image. "You'll find your way. It won't be mine, or even Cyrus and Katie's, it'll be just yours, and that's how it should be."
Please, Famula, Vri and Moseke, Faith prayed. Let her be right. And more than anything? "Well, I just hope that this Bun is the forgiving kind." Faith said, earnestly.
1, 698 words
Needlecraft: "Trick of the Light" technique
Design: Fashion: Designing a blanket to look, and feel, cool.