She shuffled out of the ward like an old woman, the nurse supporting her and whispering words of encouragement.”He’s here Michelle, waiting for you like he said he would be.”I held out a hand and immediately felt stupid. “Mickey, I’m here darling,” I said and hoped the emotion in my voice didn’t show.She took my hand after groping for a moment and I hugged her tightly.”Come on home baby,” I whispered. “Doctor Dave at your service.”She managed a grin in spite of herself and allowed me to guide her down the front steps of the hospital to my car.There were hugs and kisses all round from the nurses and her doctor, a lovely man I’d met many times. He leaned into the car and took hold of her hand.”I want you to promise me something Michelle.”I saw her hand squeezing his as she said with a smile. “What?” as if she knew his question.”Come back and SEE us, when you’re better.”She tilted her head back so he could kiss her and there were tears in her eyes as she whispered. “Yes, yes I will,” then she laughed and I thought it was more like the old Mickey, the one I knew, the one I’d been reared with.”I’ve never said thank you to you Dave.””Don’t start that bloody rubbish again or I’ll take you straight back to cell block H.”Her laughter filled the car and I smiled with her.”Yeah I suppose it was a bit like a prison wasn’t it?””Not really Mickey, when the bandages come off tomorrow, you’ll see it. They’re lovely people there you know, so bloody dedicated and working for a pittance.””You don’t have to tell me bro, I’ve been there for three weeks, remember?””What do you want to do tonight babes?” I said, eager to change the subject. They were lovely people there without doubt, but it was the place where our parents had been taken to after the crash, the place where they died and I just didn’t want to talk about it any more.”I’ll need to impose on you bro.””There’s no such thing as imposing Mickey, not as far as I’m concerned.””I want nice music, fine champagne and a lovely, long soak in a hot bath.””So where’s the imposition?””Well you may not have noticed dear brother, but I’m blind and…””YOU ARE NOT BLIND,” I shouted and regretted it immediately.”You’re temporarily without sight.”I felt her hand groping for mine as I turned into the driveway of our cottage, then she giggled. “Okay, Dickhead, don’t get your knickers in a twist.”I laughed with her and squeezed her hand. “Men don’t wear knickers you tart.” And with that, my outburst was forgotten.One advantage of being a twin, is that both of us often know what the other one is thinking, or about to come out with and this was such an occasion. “I can tell you that I won’t look while I help you into the bath if that helps.””That’s not it.””I’ll guide you to the loo and then leave, I’ll even put your hand on the loo roll.””No, that’s not it either.”I switched off the engine and went round to her side of the car and it was then that I saw them. All the neighbours or near neighbours from the village were there, all of them sombre faced but wanting to see her.”Shit Mickey,” I hissed. “All the bloody neighbours are here, oh bollocks.””Oh,” she was as surprised as I was. “They mean well Dave.”And then they descended on us!There were bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates, sympathy cards, get well soon cards, you name it, there was a card for it and every one given with love and affection. Mickey couldn’t see them of course, but she smelled the flowers and her eyes filled with tears. If she said thank you once, she said it a hundred times.I became quite emotional myself, we’d known these people all our lives and taken them for granted, I vowed silently never to take them for granted again!It was almost an hour later before the last one left and to be honest I was knackered, I’d made what seemed like thousands of cups of tea; the British universal remedy, in times of stress. She looked exhausted, but her face showed her pleasure at the welcome home.”Dave?””I’m here sweetheart.””That was lovely.””Yes, yes it was,” I agreed. “And I know you won’t believe me, but it was nothing to do with me.””I know,” she said. “Old Fred told me.”Old Fred was the landlord of our local pub, where our parents had been regulars, a crotchety old bugger with a heart of gold and a nose as long as Pinochios on a bad day!”Dave?””Bath, champagne, nice music?””Oh right, I’d forgotten about that.””Fred said he’d bring champagne.” As if on cue a car horn sounded and Fred leapt out of his ancient Morris Minor clutching two bottles of Moet et Chandon, as if they were brown ale.I met him at the door and reached for my wallet, but his steely gaze stopped me.”If I thought you were going to pay me,” he said and drew himself up to his full height of five foot six. “I’d beat the living day lights out of you, okay?””Okay Fred, Thank you, thank you very much.””Bollocks,” came floating from the car as it wheezed into life again and stuttered down the driveway.”He wouldn’t let me pay,” I said.”I heard him,” she laughed. “Aren’t they lovely people?”I had to agree with her.”Right, I’ll go and draw a bath for you, stay there.””Oh, I was going to go jogging, it’s a good job you told me!”Ignoring her sarcasm, I went upstairs and drew the bath. “Right bath time,” I said and took her hand to lead her upstairs.”Dave you didn’t let me finish telling you what I need you to do for me.”We reached the bathroom and she stood beside the sink while she took off her clothes.”I’m not looking,” I laughed and she said, “Liar, you’ve been peeking since we were eleven, I caught you remember?”She had too, I’d gone up into the tree house to watch her in her bedroom and ended up with a broken leg when I leaned out too far and the branch snapped!She had to lean on me to steady herself as she slipped out of her panties and I did actually look away, I really did! It was then that I realised what she wanted me to do for her.”You need a shave don’t you?””Yes,” she said shyly, “Do you mind?””Oh Christ Mickey.” I was aghast!”Please Dave, it’s driving me absolutely mad.Then she stopped and turned to me and I could almost feel her eyes burning into mine under the bandages.”How the hell do you know that? You said you weren’t looking.”Busted!I stammered and stuttered, I blustered for a while and then went the brightest red I’ve ever seen.”Well I er, it was when, er I mean, oh shit Mickey, I peeked at you one night on holiday when we were in the chalet, I’d never seen a bare one before, I mean that you were, er, you know no hair.””On my head?””No.” Oh God she was bloody well enjoying making me squirm.”Where then?”I hung my head and I must have looked like a naughty schoolboy, I certainly felt like one.”Sorry Mickey.” That was all I could say.”Where are you? Come here.”I took her hands and she reached up to touch my cheeks.”You’re burning up Dave.””I’m embarrassed.””Don’t be, I was only teasing you, will you do it for me then please?””Have you ever known me to refuse you anything?””No,” and I felt her lips kissing my cheek.”Help me in and let’s have the champagne.””Mickey?””What?””Sorry babe.””De nada.”I settled her down in the hot soapy water and turned to go for the champagne when she giggled and said softly.”I knew you were there on the tree you know.”My grin was almost wider than the door! I sat on a low stool beside her while she soaked, she looked lovely naked, even better than I’d imagined. Her breasts were large and firm with beautiful rose pink nipples that seemed to stick out of their own accord. I washed her long blonde hair for her before the water got too cold and wondered what had happened between her and her boyfriend.