Thoughts, musings and stories

All thoughts and opinions are mine alone and do not reflect those of anyone else, nor those of any organisation to which I belong.

My stories are the copyright of Avril King and infringements will have consequences.

Monday, 17 March 2014


      “Why did you never marry, Benny?” I asked as I plumped up his pillows and made him comfortable.
Benny smiled, toothless, “I was waiting for you me darling.”
      “Oh come on, you old devil, I'm serious. That photo of you in your uniform shows you were a handsome fellow.”
      “Don't want to talk about it.” His smile faded and he feigned sleep.
I checked his pulse and left the room quietly.
There were several of these old soldiers here now. It was a garrison town and many of its inhabitants had stayed on after their service.
Two o'clock in the morning and, as he did every night, Benny shuffled down the corridor to my desk. He liked to sit and have a cup of tea with me.
Tonight he looked sheepish,”I'm sorry, darling, I was rude earlier.”
     “It's OK, Benny, it's none of my business.”
     “No, it's not, but I shouldn't have been rude. That's always been my trouble.”
He sat down and wrapped his arthritic hands around the mug, “You know I nearly did. Marry I mean.”
I held my breath and said nothing. I waited for him to speak.
    “She was an usherette, you know. Down the Regal. She looked a bit like you, green eyes, golden hair, and pretty as a picture. We were courting for a couple of years and then she got in the family way. Her dad beat the hell out of me. By the time I got back from Malaya, they'd moved and I never saw her again.”
    “Oh Benny, I'm sorry. You have a child you never saw.” It wasn't a question.
     “I don't know, don't know if she had it,” he sighed. He stood up and shuffled back to his room.
I couldn't tell him now.
Sister Jackman took over at 6.
    “Everything OK?” she asked.
    “Nothing to report,” I replied as I put my coat on.
There was nothing new tonight.

© Avril King

No comments:

Post a Comment