Welcome to the first of the short stories this weekend from volume two of What’s in a Name. Meet Queenie who finds new purpose in her life following the death of her husband.
Queenie – Coming to Life again
Queenie Denton contemplated the crumbs on the plate in front of her. She barely remembered eating the toast and marmalade and wondered if she was losing her marbles.
It was six weeks since her husband of fifty-five years, Donald, had died peacefully clasping the silver cross he had bought at a charity shop in the high street the month before. He was not a religious man, but he had worked for an insurance company as man and boy, and she supposed he thought it prudent at eighty years old to cover his bets. She on the other hand went to church every Sunday and was a member of the church ladies group that arranged the flowers and kept the place spotless between services.
They called themselves the Holy Dusters, and she realised with a pang that she missed seeing her friends every few days. They had been marvellous of course, bringing around Victoria sponges and sitting with her in the first few weeks, but she had then begun to ignore the doorbell; sitting in solitude in Donald’s recliner.
She must make the effort and get back to normal. She could just imagine what her husband would have to say about the state of the house, and the fact that she had not put her make-up on for weeks.
There were a few other things she had neglected since Donald had suddenly collapsed and been rushed into hospital. She had cancelled her regular Wednesday morning hair appointment and she could see that her normally pristine and beautifully manicured nails needed immediate attention.
She picked up her plate, cup and saucer and popped them into the kitchen sink before reaching for the telephone on the wall.