The kettle started to scream then, and Kathleen went to fetch it and pour them both a cup of tea. Sybil wrapped her fingers around the warm up and breathed in the scent of the liquid. At Downton, she would sometimes have a cup of chamomile just before going to bed. The tea Kathleen provided wasn’t like that, but without even taking a sip, she could feel the tea’s soothing balm wash over her, thanks to the care her sister-in-law was providing.
"Alright…" Kathleen sighed, placing her own cup in front of her and folding her hands on top of one another as she gazed at Sybil with concerned eyes. "I’m going to guess that this has to do with Tommy?"
Sybil felt her body tremble at the mention of her husband. She opened her mouth to speak then, but quickly closed it…and despite her best efforts, her face crumpled once more and another sob escaped her throat.
"Oh!" Kathleen reached across the table and despite Sybil’s efforts to hide her face behind her hands, grasped one of them and squeezed it. "There now, it can’t be as bad as all that! I mean…Tommy loves you! And you love him! I’ve never seen two people more deeply in love—"
Sybil shook her head. “No, no, he…” she hiccupped. “I…I’m sure he despises me—”
"Nonsense!" Kathleen interrupted, her face stern and her hold on Sybil’s hand even tighter. "Tommy loves you, Sybil, he adores you! Worships the ground you walk on, I dare say—"
But again, Sybil was shaking her head. “Oh Kathleen, if you had seen his face, if…if you had been there, you wouldn’t be saying such things.”
Kathleen looked more confused than troubled by this. “Alright, well…start at the beginning then. I mean, did this all happen tonight?”
"No," Sybil sighed, taking her handkerchief and blowing her nose. "No, it…" she closed her eyes and recalled the all too painful and vivid memory of when the trouble had begun…