Dad was right. As they collected their spades from the church garden shed and started to work they found the wet soil was heavy to move. But it had stopped raining and the sun was coming out. Nisha was happy collecting together some rocks and pebbles for embellishment. She chose to build the tomb and worked on leaning together the smooth rocks for this purpose, when her thoughts were interrupted by a friendly greeting.
“Wotcha’ doing there then?” a heavy Northern accent called from over the top of the churchyard gate.
“Oh, hi!” Nisha replied, lifting her smudged face to see a group of year 6 boys from her school. “Dad and me, we’re making a garden for Easter.”
“What d’ya mean, for Easter?” continued the cheery tone, as the boy came in to have a closer look. His companions grew impatient.
“We’ll be up the park, if you want to catch us Matty,” they called, hitching their skateboards under their arms as they moved on.
Matthew, however, was intrigued by the garden activity before him.
“D’you want some help with that diggin’?” he ventured, kneeling in the wet grass beside Nisha, and taking up Dad’s spade. “Me granmum has an allo’ment and I just love getting into’t earth.”
Nisha was grateful. She didn’t know Matthew well, since he was in the year above her at school, but he often had a cheery word for her on the playground.
Rahul returned to find the ground being cleared at top speed. He recognised the boy before her.
“Oh, it’s Matthew, isn’t it? How’s your granmum?”
Nisha raised her eyebrows but carried on working. She was surprised that her dad knew Matthew’s granmum.
“Oh, she’s a lot better now, thanks,” came the reply. “I made her stay in bed for a few days but she’s OK. When I came out wi’ me mates she was over to’t allotment....grand, she is, me granmum.”
The children carried on digging for a moment while Rahul sorted out some pebbles he’d found. Nisha stopped in her work with a surprised exclamation:
“Look, look there, shining in the sun, it looks like....”
And there it was. Auntie Spardha’s cross and chain, half hidden in a clump of grass.
“Nice spot Nisha!” exclaimed Dad, as Matthew glanced at it curiously. “That’s wonderful. Keep it safe and we’ll ring her when we get home.”
“I bin thinkin’” commented Matthew, standing up suddenly and wiping his hands. “Granmum has lots of plants up the allotment....would you like some.... We could go and get ‘em now if you like.”
“Oh, can I go?” cried Nisha, turning her excited face to dad. “I’ll look after Auntie’s cross and we won’t be long....”
“Oh, go on, then,” laughed Rahul. He liked Matthew and trusted his Granmum. Plus, some extra plants would be helpful. “Come home when you’ve got them. I’m leaving here very soon.”