Here is my entry for WEP February 2019 challenge
The couple sat in the lounge by the fireplace
Surrounded by wood panelling and heartache
Two souls not talking, no conversation
With each other for a long duration
The spell was broken as she turned her head
At the sound of the birds fighting over the bread
Burnt toast crumbs scattered over the lawn
Hetty broke the silence and said, look at those birds, Sean
The warmer weather is coming, there’ll be worms galore
Waiting for the hard-baked soil to warm up some more
Her husband tore his gaze away from the window
Looked at his wife’s face, her wrinkled brow
His gaze took in the years of love and happiness
Joy and comfort and of course some sadness.
They didn’t have long left in this place
Their home for many years, their base
For many long years their memories encased
In the fabric of the walls, cement, bricks and mortar
The fights of their two children, a son and a daughter
They’d turned the page of the calendar
Although the numbers were a blur
February had finally come
It was time to leave their home
The tears welled up in her eyes
Pupils dilated with her fears
A journey in to the unknown
A different part of town
New people to meet and greet
Independence slowly abating
The loss of dignity
Superseded by security
So said their family
With love in their hearts
They helped them depart
Their lovely home and abode
As the minutes sped and time slowed
Their lives past before their eyes
They gathered their supplies
Speeding up and slowing down
With a laugh or a frown
They were ready to say goodbye
Hetty marked off the last day of February on the calendar. Twenty-eight days they had lived here now. When would it feel like home? Probably never she thought. Her home was gone. A lively, young and vibrant family of four had bought it and would make their own memories there.
She could hear Sean moving around, he would be out of the bedroom soon, dressed in his shirt and tie, blazer ready over his arm. Not for him the casual look of today nor her if she was honest. She styled her hair every day, she wore clean clothes every day, used a pinafore to keep her clothes clean when she cooked. She wasn't going to be a little old lady with grease spots and old food marks all down her front.
Sean settled himself in the armchair with the newspaper while Hetty scurried round in the kitchen readying the teapot and cups and saucers, checking the biscuit tin was full of Liz’s favourites.
Their granddaughter was a great comfort and support to them. Always ready to take them to their appointments now they were no longer able to drive. That was a big blow to their independence. Hetty sighed deeply, life goes in cycles she thought and this was the start of the last cycle of their life.
They were safe, secure in the knowledge that they had some independence but with help on hand if it was needed. What more could she ask for? Her youth back? No point in looking back she chided herself, things weren't always rosy back in her younger days, two small children, none of the benefits of central heating. Life wasn't hard just different from today’s conveniences. They managed. In some ways there was less stress, still stress but a different kind of stress.
So now here they were still in love after 66 years although there were times when they weren't happy with each other – ha! They worked through their differences and didn’t give up on each other.
Sean stood to open the door and greet Liz. She was the apple of his eye, his one and only granddaughter, the one most like his beloved Hetty. The generation gap seemed so small to him today as he saw hope and love and comfort in her eyes.
Settling down to their tea and biscuits Liz announced her good news.
‘Ben and I are going to be parents which makes you great-grandparents.’ Beaming with delight Liz accepted the hugs and kisses from the two members of the older generation.
Such wonderful news to complete the first 28 days of this new phase of their lives. Hetty was already planning many knitted outfits for this new life to come, neutral colours to begin with until Liz told them the sex of the baby. No surprises or guesses what the baby would be for this young couple.
‘This was the best move we could have made,’ muttered Sean in to Hetty’s grey hair. She wrapped her arms around his thickening waist. ‘We’ll make the best of it, you’ll see,’ came her response.
Word count: 796