At eighty-three Geoff Weetman was still active, admittedly not as spry as in his youth and with a lot of curses for the stiffness of his joints, but active nevertheless. Although a member of a number of social clubs and groups, he was lonely and had been for the past fifteen years following the death of his wife, he smiled at the memory of her. Their time together had sped by, it had been a shock when she had been found to have cancer, she'd died within a year of the diagnosis and right up to the end she had taken great pleasure in the act of sex with him. Shaking his head, Geoff turned his attention back to the old biddy murmuring away beside him, just as quickly he blocked out her voice again and wondered why he came along to the Monday Senior Citizen's club every week, virtually all the folk that came here had one foot in the grave, and their heads wholly in the clouds. Maud, the old dear he'd blocked out, had spent the last half an hour talking about her granddaughter and looked like continuing for the next half hour. About all he'd taken in was that the granddaughter was named Patricia, she was nineteen and was coming to visit, the rest had been, and still was, about the girl's life history.
"Excuse me." Geoff said as he stood up.
He had to get away from the table before Maud drove him potty with her wittering, bored he wandered around the room listening to snatches of conversation at other tables as he passed, all the conversations seemed the same, children and grandchildren. He and Clara had never been blessed with children, not for the want of trying mind, but it was not to be, he wondered whether, if they had been blessed, he would now be like these old folk here, nothing to live for except to relate tales of the 'kids'.
"Excuse me?" a melodious voice said from behind him.
Turning Geoff found himself facing an attractive and very well proportioned young woman, eighty three though he was Geoff could still enjoy the sight of beauty and took a couple of seconds to gaze upon this young lady.
"Yes, can I help you?" he asked.
"I hope so," the young woman smiled, "I'm looking for my grandmother."
"Your grandmother?" Geoff repeated, "Your name wouldn't happen to be Patricia by any chance?"
"Yes it would." she replied grimacing.
Geoff deduced that she did not like the name 'Patricia' and wondered what she had shortened it to while he pointed out the table where Maud was still jabbering away, he was very aware of the scent the girl was wearing as she leant over to look where he was pointing. Thanking him with a warm smile the young woman trotted over to her grandmother, Geoff watched her for a moment then walked outside into the centre's garden.
Patricia hadn't been able to spot grandma Maud when she walked in, she'd noticed a rather distinguished old guy standing nearby, he'd looked bored, she felt bored already and she'd only just walked in the door. She'd asked him for help and had been surprised when he had looked at her with a twinkle in his eye before answering, she'd needed no second guesses as to how he'd known her name, grandma was no doubt telling anyone who'd listen, but had shuddered at the full form of her name, she preferred to be called Trish. When he had spoken she had been astonished at how strongly masculine his voice was, he couldn't have been a day under seventy after all. He had pointed out the table at which sat grandma; thanking him she walked in that direction composing herself for the meeting. It had not been her idea to come and see grandma Maud, her parents had made that decision for her, Trish dreaded her meetings with her grandmother, the old woman would embarrass her with tales, in front of all and sundry, of what she did as a baby, cackling and pawing at her as she did so. However, Trish knew that her parents doted on the old dear and she loved her parents, so when asked to visit grandma Trish had gritted her teeth and said 'okay', what she hadn't expected was that it was to be a two week visit, with Trish booked into an hotel, grandma living in a home as she did, for the entire stay.
Geoff sat down just outside the centre and looked at the garden, small birds were hopping in and out of the plants, enjoying life in their own way. Looking over his shoulder he found he'd placed himself near one of the large windows, in the hall he could see Maud still wittering away and beside her sat the granddaughter, her face fixed in polite smile. Geoff grinned at the sight, he wasn't the only one that was bored by Maud and he wondered if the visit was entirely 'voluntary', it looked as though the girl was there more as a duty than anything else. The young woman's head turned and her eyes met his; he smiled at her, but didn't turn away.
Trish set her face in a fixed smile and let grandma waffle on, the old woman's tales of Trish's first steps and so on drifting off as her attention wandered. She looked out the window at the freedom the outside world offered and found her eyes meeting those of the old man she talked to earlier, he was grinning wryly, then he smiled broadly at Trish and nodded. It seemed he understood what Trish was going through; in fact he was probably sitting alone in the garden to escape the boredom inside. When he turned away Trish looked back at her grandmother and waited for her to stop talking long enough to get a word in edgewise.
"Granny," Trish said ten minutes later, "who's that man out in the garden?"
Peering through the window her grandmother pulled a disapproving face.
"That is Geoff Weetman," she finally answered, "he's not really part of our club, but comes along every week, though I don't know why, he spends most of his time in the garden instead of in here with us."
Trish could understand how Mr. Weetman felt, she wished she could escape just as easily, but she was stuck for the duration.
"I am so glad you came today my dear," granny was saying, "as I am going away for a few weeks,"
"Really gran? Where are you off to?" Trish asked politely.
Trish was annoyed, she was stuck in this place for two weeks, the hotel having been paid up in advance and her parents having gone away for the same period, at the invitation of granny and the gaga old fool had forgotten to mention she wouldn't be there most of the time. She looked out into the garden again, but Mr. Weetman was gone.
Geoff had sat thinking for some time after catching the young woman's eye, the poor thing had looked as though she were trapped, which, if truth be known, she probably was. Deciding that enough was enough Geoff rose, cursing his stiff joints, and walked away towards his little bungalow and a decent evening meal.
The following day Geoff walked the half mile to the town shopping centre, it was a fine day and for a change none of his joints felt stiff, the shopping didn't take long, the few bits and pieces he'd needed had been an excuse to get out among people. As he walked out of the greengrocer a body cannoned into him almost knocking him over, startled he looked at the culprit expecting to find one of the local lads on one of those skateboard things. Instead he found himself looking into the concerned and apologetic eyes of Maud's granddaughter, the poor girl looked red with embarrassment and was reaching out as though to catch him.
"I'm so dreadfully sorry." she was saying, "I was miles away."
"As much my fault as yours dear," he grinned, "anyway no harm done. At least not to me."
He looked at her from head to toe, taking in her shape in one quick and pleasing glance.
"It seems you have a little damage though." he finished.
"Pardon?" she replied looking puzzled.
"My bag appears to have caught your stocking." Geoff grinned, "I'm afraid it is quite ruined."
"Oh," she responded, "I see, oh well they're only an old pair of tights."
Trish looked down at the run that had appeared in her tights, why, he wasn't sure, but Geoff gained the impression that the young woman was unhappy about something other than ruined hosiery; he fell back on what had always cheered Clara up.
"Old pair or not my dear," Geoff smiled, "I feel somewhat responsible, therefore, come along with me and we will replace the damaged article."
Trish protested, but finally gave way after the old man calmly stated that he would buy a replacement anyway and guess at the size and promised to deliver it via granny. She was extremely embarrassed about the whole thing, she'd been fuming at being stuck out in the sticks and had not been paying attention to her surroundings. The force of the impact had winded her and she hoped that the old man hadn't been hurt, although he had not done more than stagger when she'd hit him and had seemed unaffected by the impact. Thinking about it now she realised that she had virtually bounced off him and she wondered what he had been like in his prime.
Geoff escorted the young woman along the street to the ladies wear shop, many had been the time that he and Clara had come here to select a new frilly or fancy. He realised that this young woman reminded him a little of his late wife, the same sort of build, the same attitude and strangely enough the same way of holding herself.
'The same bounce.' he thought with a smile.
Inside the shop Geoff let his eyes roam around the wares, he hadn't been in here since Clara had died, he'd had no reason to, but apart from the new fashions on display the place seemed not to have changed in fifteen years. An assistant wandered over to them, she seemed bored and disinterested, however, that seemed to be the attitude these days to customers in any shop.
"Now my dear," he said to Trish, "let's start with size."
.... There is more of this story ...