‘Owwww,’ I groaned, rolling back and forth in the mud. ‘Ow, it really hurts.’

Seriously,’ my brother shook his head, emerging from the river. ‘How many times do we have to do this.’

‘I don’t know why it keeps happening,’ I hissed, clutching my throbbing toes.

‘I do!’ he said. ‘You sleep with your feet in the water!’

‘I thought we could do that!’

‘Why would we be able to do that?’

‘Sleeping under bridges!’ I protested. ‘It’s kind of our thing!’

‘Bridges have sand underneath them too,’ he rolled his eyes. ‘That’s where most of us spend our time.’

‘So…’ I winced. ‘So this isn’t one of the most common foot conditions Cheltenham residents have to deal with throughout their lives, then?’

He shook his head. I took a few deep breaths, trying to stay on top of the pain.

‘Why hasn’t anyone mentioned it to me?’

‘They think it’s funny.’

‘What?’ I gaped, mortified. ‘Why didn’t you say anything?!’

‘I’m mentioning it now.’

‘It’s been years!

‘To be fair,’ he chuckled. ‘It is hilarious.’

I threw something soft at him and he laughed harder.

‘This isn’t funny!’ I growled. ‘Do you have any idea how hard it’s getting to find a place near Cheltenham that treats fungal infections?!’

‘You have burned through a lot,’ he nodded. ‘Sorry again that I lost that connection with, uh… what was her name?’

‘Sharon,’ I glared at him darkly.

‘Oh yeah,’ he grinned to himself. ‘I wonder how she’s do—’

‘She’s great,’ I interjected. ‘Comes jogging over my bridge every morning with her fiancée.’

‘Oh?’ his face dropped, ever so slightly. ‘That’s… nice.’

‘They make a happy family.’

‘Do they?’ his eye twitched. ‘A family, you say?’

‘Oh yeah, them and their two dogs.’

‘Nice, nice,’ he grinned too-wide. ‘Love dogs.’

‘And the baby, of course.’

‘The baby,’ he nodded, eye twitching again. ‘Wait a second – we only broke up six—’