A Fly on the Wall

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A Fly on the Wall

Behind me, two elderly ladies, obviously grandmothers, exchanged intimate family details about husbands, daughters, grand-daughters, acquaintances.
“Bessy, my granddaughter, you’ve met her, well, she can’t have any children. Something wrong with her womb after that bout with cancer. You must remember that?”
“I do. Terrible thing, cancer. Had her whole womb removed didn’t she?”
“That’s right. Well, she’s thinking of adopting.”
“I don’t like adoptions. All those yellow and brown babies. You’ll never find a white one.”
“She’s working with the church. They say they’ll find her a nice little pink one.”
“That would be nice. Boy or girl?”
“She wants a girl. That’s why they said ‘a nice pink one.’”
“My Annie has breast cancer. They want to cut them off, but I told her ‘no,’ there must be another way. So they’re giving her chemo. They wanted to send her to Moncton, but she said she wasn’t going anywhere near that French speaking lot. So, she’s going to Saint John instead. Her daughter drives her down most days.”
“Lucky to have a daughter like that. So many cut you off when they lave home. They just don’t care.”
“I know. Not the churchy ones, though.”
“Them too, sometimes.”
“How’s your Bert?”
“He walked out.”
“Never!”
“He did. Just up and left. Never said where he was going or anything.”
“Younger woman, probably.”
“Don’t know. Took to the road and went out west, I think.”
“Just one of them things. My husband’s gone, too. Stroke or something. I sat with him in the hospice for a week. He never spoke again. I just sat and held his hand. Poor thing.”
“At least it was quick.”
“A week at his bedside didn’t seem like quick. All those tubes. Stuck in everywhere. And me, left all alone now with the grand kids. I’ll cope somehow, and the fourteen-year old, with her belly already swelling.”
Words settle. Fine dust dances in a sun ray that spotlights floating motes. Lives and worlds end and begin. I spot my beloved walking down the stairs in the heath centre and get to my feet. The two women are silent. I do not turn to look at them. My beloved waves and I walk towards her. Hand in hand, we go to the door and walk to the car. When we are safe inside, we’ll start to talk.

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