Passing the flower shop, he bought the usual – a beautiful bouquet of red carnations, she loves carnations on Saturdays.
Whistling, he walked slowly to the boulangerie and ordered his basket of the usual, grabbed a free newspaper and waited – he is a man of habits, formed over three scores of existence.
The tram pulled up, boarding along with other passengers, the next thirty-five minutes trundling ride was spent in a light conversation with the gentleman who sat beside him; they talked of little things and their rheumatism – he made a mental note to tell her about the interesting fellow who still wore his old tweed jacket and a dated fedora cap.
‘How is she today?’ He perfunctorily asked the stoic-faced nursing assistant and walked down the familiar corridor, passing room numbers 28, 29, 30 and then opened the door to her room, number 31; everything was as it should be.
Bert took off his coat, planted a cool kiss on Ida’s pale shrunken cheeks, patted her hand in a familiar dismissive mode and sat down to eat whilst he regaled her with little anecdotes of the past week; she stared at him with vacuous eyes, lost in a caged world of her own which he preferred, the staged accident was quite effective, he had grown tired of her nagging.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
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