Tell A Tale in 500 Words

If Not Now, When? By Chris McLoughlin

If not now, when?



Diary Property of: Herbert K. Phillips

Age: Seventy



24th May

Been forgetting medicine. Doctor Phelps (young brat) said keep diary for four weeks. Include diet. Pointless. Memory fine. Mary insists. Mary cooked spam egg chips. Two pills.



25th

Mary cooked chop egg chips. Two pills.



26th

Mary cooked gammon pineapple chips. Left pineapple. Two pills.



28th

Missed pill yesterday, wasn’t my fault, Mary was at doctors appointment, then knitting club, had to drive her. Mary cooked sausage egg chips. Two pills.



29th

Mary cooked chop egg chips. Back hurt. Two pills.



30th

Mary cooked steak egg chips. Two pills.



1st June

Forgot pills. Mary cooked chops and chips. No eggs. Two pills.



2nd

Mary’s bloods back. Want to treat her. Don’t know why wrote that. Chinese takeaway. Can’t stand muck. Mary likes it. Two pills.



3rd

Mary in hospital. Doctor Sureshi said routine check. Brought her Take-A-Break. Jam toast for tea. Two pills.



4th

Visited Mary. Much better. Water infection. Will pass. Brought her HELLO. She likes wedding pictures. Sandwich. No butter. Two pills.



5th

Mary died in night. Sandwich. Three pills.



6th

Sandwich. Two pills.



7th

Sandwich. Two pills.



9th

Forgot. Sandwich. Two pills.



10th

Mary’s service. Not enough people. Buffet. Potato salad. Three pills.



11th

Leftover. Two pills.



12th

Sandwich. Two pills.



23rd

Found diary. Forgot. Been taking tablet regular, I think. Three pills. Nap in afternoon.



24th

Chip cob from shop. Two pills.



25th

Went into Mary’s room. Photo album on bed. Couldn’t look. Sandwich. Two pills.



27th

Forgot again. Photo album of us. Went soft when I saw the wedding picture. Dancing. Back of album, list of places Mary wanted to visit, first one Tenerife. Didn’t know. She didn’t say anything when we went Butlins. Sandwich. Two pills.



28th

Boiler broke. House cold. Two blankets. Sandwich. Three pills.



29th

TWO HUNDRED QUID! Sandwich. Two pills.



30th

Picked up Mary’s ashes. Late. Put her in cupboard? Sandwich. Two pills.



1st July

Fella fixed boiler. Good lad. House still cold. Sandwich. Two pills.



2nd

Tenerife Advert. No bread. Cheese crackers. Two pills.



3rd

Toast. Two pills.



4th

Gone mad. Decided to bring Mary ashes to Tenerife to spread. Booked it. Two pills.



5th

Wobbly about Tenerife. No refunds. Ham egg chips. (Yolk solid. Chips burnt. Ham alright). Two pills.



6th

Ham, egg (better), chips (crunchy). Two pills.



7th

Packed suitcase. Not for another week, but wanted to. Hidden Mary in a shoe. Hope she doesn’t mind. Sandwich. Two Pills.



8th

Last day. Show Dr Sureshi tomorrow. Bought diary. Proper. Leather. Cheap. Halfway through year. Ham egg chips. Two pills.

Pictures of Mary and me in other shoe. Miss her hair. Pillow smells like pillow. Looking forward to holiday with her. Still dream. We dance. Remember holidays when young. Remember kissing cheek every night in bed. Remember runny eggs. Said in hospital she was happy. Hope so.

Diary turned me soft.

Two Pills.

Sometimes, when I’m dozing in front of telly, I feel her.

Soft.


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