In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.
As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.
A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.
Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.
Knight after Knight. Chapter nine, part four.
“Do you want to talk about that, Hannice?” Max asked.
“Not really, but I think I probably should.”
“I know it will be difficult, and painful, but it will help you,” Kanene said.
“Are you saying that as a friend, as a counsellor or as a shaman?” I asked.
“All three. And as someone who cares for you and who owes you and Max a debt of gratitude she can never hope to repay.”
“Okay then. Over the years, during my recovery from that stupid fall, I have had reason to be grateful to a number of people: Ayesha Subramanium, the doctor who looked after me in Dar; Harry Khan-Smith, who was my spinal consultant in London; Fan Yung, who tortured me into walking again and I mustn’t forget Lockhart at the KGT clinic. However, there was a constant thread going through that lot. That thread was Sophie. Her combination of pushing and pulling, threatening and cajoling, driving and supporting was exactly what I needed to motivate me to try harder. And when she accepted my proposal subject to my walking down the aisle with her, that gave me the impetus I needed to make supreme efforts. I think I sometimes forgot that, in addition to my health, happiness, fulfilment, confidence, well-being and self-esteem, I also have to thank Sophie for my mobility. Without her, I believe my recovery would have taken a great deal longer, and I may never have achieved what I have. And now she’s gone, and it’s too late to tell her just what a massive change she made to me.”
“Now let me tell you a few things, Hannice Knight,” Max said, “things you know but don’t know how important they were. Yes, Sophie was brilliant with you when she was helping you to regain your mobility, your independence. But you need to remember that you were there, and being brilliant during the early stages of her pregnancy, in fact rather a lot of the period, when she was so sick. And you were there for her when she was suffering from menopausal symptoms. You allowed her to remain close to her parents, even making accommodation for them in your home. You were like a son to Eddie – he told me as much. And through Sophie’s final illness, you remained patiently supportive and did every last thing you could to make her happy. I think she knows how much you love and appreciate her.”
“Don’t you mean loved and appreciated?”
“No, Hannice. I don’t believe your love and appreciation have diminished simply because Sophie isn’t physically here.”
I started crying. Again. Through my tears, I could swear I saw satisfaction on Max’s and Kanene’s faces as the looked at each other. That apart, they just sat there silently whilst I blubbered. I must have been weeping for almost ten minutes when I slowly calmed, took some deep breaths, looked at Kanene and said, “Your turn!”
Kanene laughed. “Okay,” she said, “I don’t know Sophie anything like as well as either of you, but I can tell you this. From the day I did those changes in Nocturne to make it easier for when you came in your wheelchair, Sophie has given me massive support and boosted my confidence no end. I know it was not just her, that you both supported and encouraged me, Hannice and Max, but Sophie was independent of the company. You should have seen her when it was just us girls running through design ideas for your bedrooms and other things in Knight Towers. We threw ideas to and fro while giggling like a pair of schoolgirls. Some of the ideas would never have amounted to anything, but they were stretching our imaginations – thinking outside the box, she called it, although when I asked her about the box, where it was, how big and made of what, she just laughed. But the silly ideas fed the sensible ones, and I think the result was fabulous. That’s what she meant to me.”
“Thank you, Kanene,” I said, “I’m glad you made me talk about my Sophie. I think I should call David and Jess now, don’t you?”
“That may have to be a job for tomorrow, Boss,” Max said, “No signal here. We should be okay when we get to the villages in the morning.”
“Dinner and an early night, then?” I said. No-one objected.