Cat knows when she’s finished speaking that she must be flushed with emotion – it’s a practised spiel that nevertheless works its way through her body every time, like a form through canvas. But she looks up and Talitha is smiling at her, tentative, luminous.
“We could do this again,” Cat says, suddenly. “I mean, it’s nice to have company at lunchtimes. It’s been lonely since everyone up at the base started to leave.”
“I’d like that,” Talitha says, and she’s smiling again.