Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Old Age By Jacqui Robinson

‘I’m cold, lonely, bored and I miss you so much my love’. If Jim held the framed photograph very close to his face he could just about see a picture of his beloved wife. He rose, slowly from his favourite arm chair, where he spent most of his time slumped in front of the TV. He shuffled along the hallway to the kitchen, muttering to himself, touching the walls for support as he went.

He pulled a frozen meal from the freezer and placed it in the microwave. He took a plate from the cupboard and turned the hot meal onto a plate. Some went on the plate, some went on the floor. He stayed in the kitchen to eat his meal, standing up. He’d tried to carry it into the dining room where they used to have their meals, but he found it difficult to walk and carry the plate so he now stayed in the kitchen.

It was cold in the London flat; the central heating wasn’t working for some reason. As he couldn’t see very well anymore and as he didn’t have anyone to help him sort it out, it stayed off. It had been mild, but as winter approached the days were getting shorter and the temperature was dropping. The darkness, loneliness and cold were taking over.

In Madrid, Emilio rose from his chair and stretched. His grandchildren had woken him from a short nap and were tugging on his arms imploring him to come and play. ‘Later, later’ he said, ‘I have to help your Mum first’. He walked steadily to the kitchen, a short, stout elderly gentleman, brown and wrinkled by the sun, but fit as a flea with a wicked twinkle in his eye.

‘I’ll lay the table’ he said to his daughter, ‘that smells wonderful, as usual, your Mamma taught you well’. Emilio called out to his son-in-law and the children. Gradually they all appeared and joined him and his daughter at the table. They held hands and he gave thanks for the food and the family around him and they ate.

With all the windows open, light flooded in and the sound and warmth of three generations filled the air.

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