I walked out of the room in a daze not knowing where I was, who these people were and why this was happening to me? I did not know in what direction my room lay or who to ask for directions. The need for water overwhelmed me and I descended the main stairwell that I found which was elegantly decorated. Following the hustle and bustle I located the kitchen to the left and back of the hall off the staircase and approached with caution. Inside there was no sound to be heard and, summoning all my courage, I pushed the door open slowly.
Inside there were small quiet sounds from the table where I had eaten dinner the night before. The faces of five women looked up at me from a card game in progress.
'Kathleen, how are you?' a friendly voice asked as Juliana leaped to the floor and flung her arms around me embracing me tightly.
'Good, thank you.' I said with a smile.
'Are you hungry? You were not at breakfast and we had no orders to bring food to you', she asked uncertainly.
I nodded in reply and added 'Water?' in desperation. I looked around at everyone at the table and felt them stare back at me in sympathy or compassion. Juliana guided me to a seat and as the group continued their game, Juliana fixed me a breakfast of eggs, brown bread and porridge. She gave me my breakfast on a tray with a single daisy which she plucked from a window basket outside the scullery door. Alongside the tray lay a tankard of water which I reached for before it touched the table. I drank the liquid down in three lengthy gulps and felt life fill me again and the headache subsided momentarily. The other women laughed as Juliana went to refill the vessel. I felt embarrassed but began eating the food put in front of me.
Slowly their attention waned and they got back to their card game but more talking was done than playing and every now and again a hostile glance would shoot my way. Once my meal was finished I helped Juliana clear the table and she brought me back to my room where I looked out the window and thought about where my brother could be. I missed him terribly and did not want to be anywhere now but home with the family who welcomed me as one of them.