“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten! Every year it’s the bloody same.” Jemima felt like she could squeeze her smartphone until it splintered. “And don’t give me that guff about the date changing every year. I send you enough reminders.”
She listened, waiting for her brother to mutter some expletive. But, to his credit, Damon remained silent. Well, good, thought Jemima. He hasn’t a leg to stand on.
“So,” she returned to her list, “you’ll organise the transport. There’ll be you, me, and Mum of course, oh, and I thought this year we could take Belinda along.”
She heard Damon’s intake of breath and decided to pre-empt his objections.
“I know what you’re going to say, she’s only our half-sister from Dad’s previous marriage but, well, Mum brought her up as one of us. As much as she could anyway, with Belinda being off at university and starting her own life. But it’s the nice thing to do, to include her in the occasion. Her own mother—”
Grumblings from Damon cut her off. Jemima made noises as though listening but as soon as he paused for breath, she jumped back in.
“I’ll organise the picnic. Yes, yes, I know all about your allergies. I won’t use the same place as last year. And I thought we could ask Belinda to sort out the flowers. Nothing too fancy… No, not a bloody wreath! You have a sick sense of humour at times. I’ll leave it to Belinda’s judgment. You just focus on getting us from A to B… What do you mean, where’s A and where’s B? A is where Mum is. Belinda and I will make our own way there. And B is the cliffs overlooking the beach. It’ll be a full moon that night and I think it will make a lovely spot for a picnic…Well, you can use your GPS. Honestly, do I have to think of everything? Right, so we’re agreed. Rendezvous with Mum at midnight, then it should only take an hour or so to get to the coast, which leaves us plenty of time for the picnic and we can get Mum back before the cemetery gates open at nine… Yes, I know it means you won’t be drinking. Tough. And it’s probably for the best. You know how maudlin you get, and it’s not fair on Mum on her special night out. If there’s any problems, send me a text.”
Jemima rang off before Damon could launch into a string of invective with his recurring theme of how he had always loved Mum best.
“He being a little shit as usual?” Belinda raised an eyebrow from the couch.
Jemima rolled her eyes. “He’ll get over it. Honestly, I’d say we go without him but he’s the one with the van.”
Belinda nodded. “Still, it’ll be good to see Mum again. Thanks for including me.”
She reached for Jemima’s hand and gave it a squeeze.
Jemima’s face darkened. “Damn it; I forgot to remind the little shit to bring the shovels.”