Saturday 24 June 2023

'Spinning' by Jude Higgins

After her husband left, she thought it would be good for her emotional well-being to keep in regular contact with friends and family. People who cared. Today, she’d rung Daisy, her daughter, several times but she hadn’t answered. A  conversation with her, or anyone would be so welcome. Had no-one remembered it was one year, six weeks and two days since she’d been alone after thirty years of marriage?

To make her mobile ring, she spun her silver cake knives in circles, once every hour. If someone rang and the call lasted two minutes, she would allow herself a cinnamon bun. On the fourth hour, the phone rang,  Not her daughter, but Marco, a pleasant sounding young man from Sunlit Futures. She kept him talking. Yes, she was interested in green energy, yes, she would buy solar panels. She asked him about his working conditions, if many people put the phone down on him as soon as he spoke?

‘Yes, people frequently do that,’  he said, his voice reassuring. ‘And it’s lovely for a change, to speak to someone who appreciates the importance of renewable energy.’

‘It’s lovely to think that energy can be renewed,’ she said, remembering whirling around the ballroom floor in her dancing days, when her husband still loved her.

But after she told Marco she couldn’t give him her bank details and didn’t want a stranger coming round to measure up —  her daughter told her never to agree  to such things —  he said he had to go.

‘I’ll still consider all your offers,’ she added, hastily. ‘Can you phone again?’

‘Of course,’ he said, kindly. ‘What about tomorrow?'

Six minutes had elapsed during the call, so she ate three cinnamon buns to celebrate  then rang her daughter, on repeat, to tell her the good news.

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