/ / “Alice and Harriet”

“Alice and Harriet”

debbiestanton.com | Sally Stackhouse

by Sally Stackhouse

Alice pulled up and parked in the designated visitors bay for the warden assisted complex of flats where her gran lived.  She looked forward to these weekend weekly visits with her Gran.  They’d always had a lot in common and never, ever ran out of things to talk about, from Alice’s job, love life, Gran’s reminiscing over past events in her life and how much easier it was for her to live in a one-bedroom flat these days knowing there was a warden to assist if necessary.

The arrangement had taken quite a while to set up as these types of flats were scarce and only became available once in a blue moon.  Now, though, Harriet was firmly ensconced in her new abode and had made such lovely friends.  She also had a more active social life that Alice did herself what with her card games, bingo and organised outings. 

Alice opened the boot of her car and pulled out a brand-new continental quilt for her Gran.  Harriet had been bemoaning the fact that her old duvet was losing its comfort and was getting worn in places.  Alice thought it would be a nice surprise for her.

Greeted with warm kisses and hugs Alice showed Gran the new quilt and proceeded to put the bed cover on it.  Harriet tried to protest at such a gift and wanted to pay for it.  Alice was having none of it.  If she couldn’t treat her Gran once in a while then she wasn’t fit to be her granddaughter and that’s exactly what Alice told Harriet in no uncertain terms.

As they went through to the tiny kitchenette, still talking nineteen-to-the-dozen, when Alice spotted a flower arrangement on the window sill.

‘Oh my, Gran, what lovely flowers.  They are so beautiful with all the colours so well balanced in the container.  Where did you get them from?’

Gran blushed.  Alice was amazed, she’d never seen her Gran redden like that before.  Harriet was one of those women that seemed to take everything in her stride. 

‘Do you have a secret admirer, Gran?’

Harriet’s blush deepened a bit more.  There might be a gentleman friend, she admitted. 

Hoots of laughter emanated from them both. 

Gran said, ‘You are never too old to find romance in your life.’

‘Don’t you mean ‘love’ Gran?’

‘It’s early days,’ she admitted.  ‘What will be, will be.  At the moment we are just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.’

Alice’s eyebrows nearly reached the top of her head.  It was the last thing she thought she’d hear her Gran say.

‘Wait till I tell mum.’

‘Don’t you dare!  I’ll tell her in my own good time, if at all.’ Harriet winked at her granddaughter. ‘some things just need to stay between us.’

Alice promised to keep quiet. 

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