Short Story #21

Trigger Warning: This is a sad one and I don’t mean to depress anyone, but remind us of those on their own, especially at this time of year. I hope you’re all keeping well and enjoying my scribbles. Keep safe and remember the best gift is kindness and love. Most people like to know that they are thought about. Wishing you a fantastic day with much love and care.

Come to Meet Me
She reached for the edge of the bath, clawing at the slippery porcelain to try and pull herself up. For a person with a phobia of germs, the bathroom floor was the worst place to find themselves lying. In her younger days of fun and alcohol she hadn’t cared quite so much, relying on the toilet to keep her upright while depositing the contents of her stomach into it. But those times were a lifetime ago with few cares.
After a long time of scratching and scraping against sharp edged tiles her fingers were raw. She rolled onto her belly and tried to crawl to the bedroom. With one broken arm, a broken leg, twisted wrist and various bruises she moved less than a meter before collapsing. She hadn’t noticed the glass protruding from her leg, nor the pool of blood starting to get sticky with a fresh layer on top.
Pulling the towel that lay in a puddle next to her over herself as best she could she was satisfied with a little dignity when someone eventually found her.
Her mind wandered to her children. Layla would be happy that she could finally get her hands on the cupboard of Royal Doulton. She wished that she would keep it, but knew the money required to keep her in her desired lifestyle. She hoped the pieces would find homes with people that truly loved them. Robert had never been lost for a gift and added to her collection a few times a year. Her favourite was the first figurine she had received – The Old Balloon Seller. That day the old lady had an extra gift about her flowers. An engagement ring and the offer of a wonderful life, which she had accepted and been blessed with.
Catherine wouldn’t be bothered with any of it. Would she even come home? Although she doubted if her youngest child thought of South Africa as her home anymore. It had been about eight years since she had last seen her. She would so have loved to meet her Australian husband and son. She had only seen what they looked like from the internet stalking that her neighbour Mr Jone’s granddaughter had helped her with. Pity he was away on holiday with his family or he might have heard her attempted shouting. Being a softly spoken woman did not build strong lungs. The small inheritance that would amount to very little once converted would be inconsequential to them.
She wondered how the lawyer would get into contact with them. Did they still talk to each other? Graham hadn’t told her much when she saw him last year. He’d made the barest of small talk until she agreed to loaning him some money because he was about to lose his home and his family. They left the bank with promises of bringing her two grandchildren over to visit and that was the last she heard from him. He will be angry when he learns that she had seen fit to deduct the amount from his inheritance.
As her eyes became heavy, she smiled. These years without Robert and the children had been painfully lonely. Perhaps she should have let them sell everything and put her in an old age home when her husband died, but she didn’t know that by declining them she was to be abandoned. It wouldn’t be long before she was with him again. She saw him in the distance coming to meet her. Alone no more.

by Debbie Gravett © 2020.12.15

Image by -MQ- from Pixabay

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