One Small Act of Kindness 3 (Pages 106-224)



Pippa starts remembering.

So the next thing she manages to recall is her parents and her name. She is not Pippa. Pippi is what her dad used to call her after Pippy Longstocking as she had long plaits as a child. Her real name is Alice Robinson. Libby and Alice start trying to find out more about her, but she has no Facebook page, and the only thing that they manage to discover is her A-levels and where she studied.

Then one night Jason goes to rugby training with his mates and a drink afterwards, and he later appears completely drunk. Libby and Alice come out to find him throwing up in the umbrella stand. Libby notices the man who is helping him, and she realises it is Luke, his older brother. Luke explains he was in the area doing some business, and as he dropped by the pub, he noticed Jason drunk as a lord. What happens next is that Luke recognises Alice.

Luke tells them that he met Alice in the pub she worked, and they used to talk. He also tells them that Alice has a boyfriend, Gethin. Alice is disappointed because even though she doesn’t remember Luke, there is something in him that she can’t put her finger on. The way Luke acts around Alice makes me think that something happened between them, and maybe since she was in another relationship, they thought it had been a mistake. Whatever it is, Luke won’t tell.

That night Luke takes Alice to the pub where she supposedly works. The owner, Tony, tells her that as far as he knew, she and Gethin had gone on holiday somewhere, and that was why she was never missed. So if she and Gethin were supposed to be away on holiday, why was she in Longhmapton and heading for Libby’s hotel instead? Tony gives them Gethin’s mobile phone number and the address where he and Alice live. Alice tries to call him, but it goes straight to voice mail. When they reach the house, Alice has no recollection of being here at all. The house is in darkness, and when she rings the bell several times, nobody answers, so she leaves a note, explaining the situation. They return to the hotel, and Gethin doesn’t call the next day or the others that follow. It is on Friday when Jason and Libby are out, celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary that Alice calls Libby, telling her that Gethin has called and he is on his way to the hotel, so Libby and Jason rush back. I am curious to know why Gethin hasn’t tried to find her before. What was that about the holiday? Maybe she and Gethin had broken up and she was going to the hotel to stay there for a while.

Now that Luke has turned up, I like him very much… much more than his brother Jason. We now know that the reason why he was sacked was because he gambled on the stock market, and he lost all their savings. Jason has a problem with money, and even though when he is with Libby and shows how much he loves her, he is nice, but I think once she is not around, he forgets about his responsibilities and promises. For example, when he goes for a drink with his mates, he gets drunk even though he promised to Libby he wouldn’t drink just a couple of beers. I also suspect there is something he is hiding from Libby. When they wondered how to pay the builders, he mentioned that there was some investment he could do, but Libby panicked because of their past history, and Jason promised not to do it, and Libby had to ask her stingy father for a loan instead. What if Jason has ignored Libby? And where did he get the money for the diamond earrings he gave her for their anniversary?

In any case I like Luke, and I think his mother is unfair to treat him so hideously. Libby thinks that comes form his wild past when he was a teenager, and Jason thinks that his mother blames Luke for giving their father the high blood pressure that eventually sped his death. I have the hunch that there is something we don’t know about Margaret and Luke. I just feel sorry for Luke, and the way Margaret treats Jason in comparison is not right. Margaret acts as if her younger son was perfect and didn’t do anything wrong, when we know that is not true. I really want to see more of Luke, and I hope that Alice and he end up together, because it is obvious there is something there.


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