‘Hali? Here eat this. I’ll make some tea. You’ll feel better,’ Zale’s voice called him back.
He turned and saw that Zale had placed a wooden bowl of cut fruit on the table with a spoon. He sat down and began eating. The chair was hard and the table too low, though the fruit tasted good. Blueberries and blackberries popped in his mouth, he crunched his way through the sliced apples and slurped the melon.
Zale placed a cracked teapot and two mismatched cups on the table. He went to the fire, gathered the kettle and poured the hot water into the teapot. In a burst of steam, Zale put the lid on the teapot and the kettle beside the sink. Finally, he took one of the other chairs and poured the tea into the cups.
‘How’s the fruit?’
He nodded, ‘good thanks. What did you call me?’
‘Hali. That’s your name,’ Zale explained.
‘Yes, I remember. We are brothers. Twins.’
Zale nodded, ‘yeah, sounds like its coming back. Here’s your tea. There’s no milk or sugar, ‘cause we need to go shopping still.’
Hali took the hot cup and placed it beside his almost empty fruit bowl. His wooden spoon scrapped the bowl and he put the last of the berries into his mouth. He slid the bowl to Zale.
‘Got any more?’
‘Sure, Bro,’ Zale smiled and got up.
Hali sipped his tea whilst he waited. The warmth drove the last of the chill from him and he began to feel more like himself. He received the bowl back from Zale and tucked in.
‘We’ll have to go out first thing now,’ Zale cut in, ‘you just ate my breakfast.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Hali said through a mouthful.
‘Don’t worry about it. You need it more than me. Do you remember what happened yet?’
Hali shook his head, ‘it still feels cloudy. I know there’s something there, but I can’t see it.’
‘It’s cool. No rush. You should rest though, it’ll probably help,’ Zale added. He picked up his tea and took a few sips.
‘I woke up in the river,’ Hali spoke out after a few moments, ‘no damage done, but I ache all over.’
‘How far away where you? Do you remember?’
‘Not really. I followed the river back up and then weaved off when I saw the smoke. Good job you lit the fire or I won’t have found the way.’
Zale lent back in his chair with a little shake of his head, ‘you’d have found the way. Your feet know it.’
‘Why’s it so important?’ Hali asked as he finished off the fruit.
‘Because he could have flung you anywhere! I guess your argument mustn’t have been so bad this time if he dropped you so close,’ Zale paused then said, ‘don’t remember last time? You ended up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and it took you weeks to get home.’
Hali frowned and Zale pressed on, ‘I found you almost died on the porch. Ah, it’ll come back to you. Drink your tea.’
Abandoning his bowl, Hali drink his tea in two gulps then Zale cleared the table. He ran everything under the sink and left it to dry. Hali got up and went to the fire. The flames were dying down, but the heat was still high.
‘Come. Let’s go up,’ Zale called over and they both turned to the staircase.
To Be Continued…