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The reply he made was lost to Briony. She heard his dissent or denial. Perhaps it was an obscenity. As Cecilia gripped him tighter, he twisted his whole body away from her, and they seemed like wrestlers as she reached up and tried to turn his head toward her. But his face was tilted back, his lips retracted and teeth bared in a ghoulish parody of a smile. Now with two hands she was gripping his cheeks tightly, and with an effort she turned his face and drew it toward her own. At last he was looking into her eyes, but still she kept her grip on his cheeks. S nike air max sale he pulled him closer, drawing him into her gaze, until their faces met and she kissed him lightly, lingeringly on the lips. With a tenderness that Briony remembered from years ago, waking in the night, Cecilia said, “Come back . . . Robbie, come back.”
He nodded faintly, and took a deep breath which he released slowly as she relaxed her grip and withdrew her hands from his face. In the blazers silence, the room appeared to shrink even smaller. He put his arms around her, lowered his head and kissed her, a deep, sustained and private kiss. Briony moved away quietly to the other end of the room, toward the window. While she drank a glass of water from the kitchen tap, the kiss continued, binding the couple into their solitude. She felt obliterated, expunged from the room, and was relieved.
She turned her back and looked out at the quiet terraced houses in full sunlight, at the way she had come from the High Street. She was surprised to discover that s nike air max 90 sale he had no wish to leave yet, even though she was embarrassed by the long kiss, and dreaded what more there was to come. She watched an old woman dressed in a heavy overcoat, despite the heat. She was on the far pa nike air max classic vement walking an ailing swag-bellied dachshund on a lead. Cecilia and Robbie were talking in low voices now, and Briony decided that to respect their privacy she would not turn from the window until she was spoken to. It was soothing to watch the woman unfasten her front gate, close it carefully behind her with fussy exactitude, and then, halfway to her front door, bend with difficulty to pull up a weed from the narrow bed that ran the length of her front path. As she did so, the dog waddled forward and licked her wrist. The lady and her dog went indoors, and the street was empty again. A blackbird dropped down onto a privet hedge and, finding no satisfactory foothold, flew away. The shadow cheap nike air max of a cloud came and swiftly cheap nike air max dimmed the light, and passed on. It could be any Saturday afternoon. There was little evidence of a war in this suburban street. A glimpse of blackout blinds in a window across the way, the Ford 8 on its blocks, perhaps.
Briony heard her sister say her name and turned round.
“There isn’t much time. Robbie has to report for duty at six tonight and he’s got a train to catch. So sit down. There are some things you’re going to do for us.”
It was the ward sister’s voice. Not even bossy. She simply described the inevitable. Briony took the chair nearest her, Robbie brought over a stool, and Cecilia sat between them. The b cheap nike air max trainers reakfast she had prepared was forgotten. The three empty cups stood in the center of the table. He lifted the pile of books to the floor. As Cecilia moved the jam jar of harebells to one side where it could not be knocked over, she exchanged a look with Robbie.
He was staring at the flowers as he cleared his throat. When he began to spea nike air max 90 k, his voice was purged of emotion. He could have been reading from a set o nike air max 95 f standing orders. He was looking at her now. His eyes were steady, and he had everything under control. But there were drops of sweat on his forehead, above his eyebrows.
“The most important thing you’ve already agreed to. You’re to go to your parents as soon as you can and tell them everything they need to know to be convinced that your evidence was false. When’s your day off?”
“Sunday week.”
“That’s when you’ll go. You’ll take our addresses and you’ll tell Jack and Emily that Cecilia is waiting to hear from them. The second thing you’ll do tomorrow. Cecilia says you’ll have an hour at some point. You’ll go to a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, and make a statement which will be signed and witnessed. In it you’ll say what you did wrong, and how you’re retracting your evidence. You’ll send copies to both of us. Is th cheap nike blazers at clear?”
“Then you’ll write to me in much greater detail. In this letter you’ll put in absolutely everything you think is relevant. Everything that led up to you saying you saw me by the lake. And why, even though you were uncertain, you stuck to your story in the months leading nike blazers up to my trial. If there were pressures on you, from the police or your parents, I want to know. Have you got that? It needs to be a long letter.”
He met Cecilia’s look and nodded. “And if you can remember anything at all about Danny Hardman, where he was, what he was doing, at what time, who else saw him—anything that might put his alibi in question, then we want to hear it.”
Cecilia was writing out the addresses. Briony was shaking her head and starting to speak, but Robbie ignored her and spoke over her. He had got to his feet nike air max and was looking at his watch.
“There’s very little time. We’re going to walk you to the tube. Cecilia and I want the last hour tog ether alone before I have to leave. And you’ll need to spend the rest of today writing your statement, and letting your parents know you’re coming. And you could start thinking about this letter you’re sending me.”
With this brittle précis of her obligations he left the table and went toward the bedroom.
Briony stood too and said, “Old Hardman was probably telling the truth. Danny was with him all that night.”
Cecilia was about to pass the folded sheet of paper she had been writing on. Robbie had stopped in t nike air max 1 he bedroom doorway.
Cecilia said, “What do you mean by that? What are you saying?”
“It was Paul Marshall.”
During the silence that followed, Briony tried to imagine the adjustments that each would be making. Years of seeing it a certain way. And yet, however startling, it was only a detail. Nothing essential was changed by it. Nothing in her own role.
Robbie came back to the table. “Marshall?”
“You saw him?”
“I saw a man his height.”
“My height.”
“Yes.” ③

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