He heard his grandmother come into the sitting room.
She looked at him, worry in her eyes, but as usual she spoke around what concerned her.
“Eleanor and I are such fans of Amantha Masterton. Her and yes I know it’s a he but I still feel that she is a she and I know it will all become clear when I meet him I’m getting into such a muddle like that time in France when your Grandfather had a funny turn on the Metro and I couldn’t think straight and forgot all my French which is ridiculous since I learnt it as a child from dear Mde Bertrand so kind I had quite forgotten her till this very instant and I forgot all my French too which was most awkward because I kept on calling for “docteur, docteur” but of course it’s médécin I went quite dilly with worry.” She was looking at him now with great anxiety and he knew his grief was showing clearly on his face. He answered her unuttered question.
“I was thinking about Brent, grandam. I’ve made new friends here, far more than I thought I would. And I’m very fond of them. But …”
“Quite. I used to go round the house looking for things which reminded me of your grandfather but it was silly I knew it was just that it all helped. I had rather a row with Canon Green about it and the justice of God there’s some word for it which I forget—“
“—theodicy—“ interjected Jason.
“—well there you are exactly such a strange word like Theodore who was a friend when I was up at Oxford and come to think of it I’m sure he was queer but he was a very dear man. Where was I?”
Jason wondered which of all these effusions she would fix on. His lips quirked up a little. As usual, his grandmother had improved his mood. Her good-humoured babble and her underlying love and care warmed his heart.
She continued without waiting for his answer. “Oh yes, quite so, theo-whatsit and Life which seems to me to be another word for God but Canon Green disagreed and he is so passionate about God’s Love and was quite discomforted by my mentioning Job which always seems to me to be a very bleak view of the world and of God so duplicitous and really one shouldn’t do good just because there is some reward on earth or in heaven so complicated but because you must. In the end, you know, it was you and Amanda and Mark and my friends and Parker who helped me recover after your grandfather’s death. And your friends will help you and it’s good you’ve made them.” She smiled tentatively at him.