Absently, with his eyes fixed on the fire struggling in the grate, he remarked, “I saw a small notice in the Times that all British airmen previously buried near their crash sites have been moved to the Berlin Commonwealth War Cemetery.”
“Um hum,” the reverend responded thoughtfully, and then asked gently, “And why does that interest you so much?”
“Only that I almost certainly would have been in that cemetery if I hadn’t been so bloody-minded as to refuse to fly to Berlin the day after Don was killed. If I hadn’t done that, if I hadn’t been posted LMF, I would have been in the thick of our bombing offensive against Berlin. I would almost certainly have got the chop on one of the remaining fourteen ops of my second tour.”
“If God had wanted you to lie in that graveyard in Berlin, he certainly wouldn’t have had any difficulty arranging it,” the clergyman told his son-in-law firmly.
“You believe that, don’t you?” Kit looked over at him sharply, his expression a mixture of amusement and puzzlement.
“I do. It’s time for you to stop trying to second guess the Lord and accept His plan for you.”
Kit had expected Edwin to say something like that, yet as he struggled in university and Georgina’s beloved teaching career crashed, he felt confused and far from confident in divine benevolence. He would have liked to pursue the conversation with this father-in-law, but Georgina and her mother chose this moment to appear together, cutting the conversation short.
“Edwin?” Amanda opened as she crossed the threshold. “I do hope you have some champagne somewhere in this house because your daughter has some wonderful news.”
Edwin glanced at Kit and then took two quick strides toward his daughter to embrace her exuberantly. “Congratulations! I’m so pleased! My goodness! I’ve been waiting for this since almost before the wedding! Let me run down to the cellar and find something special.”
As he disappeared, Georgina crossed the room and slipped her hand into Kit’s. He squeezed it. It should have been a moment of perfect harmony, yet Kit felt an unnatural tension as if he were about to fly into a flak storm. From somewhere came the sound of aircraft engines flying low, and the tiny silver and gold bells on the advent decorations started to vibrate slightly — only none of the others seemed to notice.
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