I am sure many of us can relate to this!
When Madge was little her Grandma frequently joked, “make the most of your youth, love. ‘Old age don’t come alone‘.” The words puzzled Madge and she wondered who arrived with old age, but Grandma said one day she’d understand.
She used to study her Grandma in wonder as they played board and card games. She had to be very careful when they played Snap because if she hit the back of Grandma’s hand too hard it bruised real easy. Grandma’s glasses rested on the end of her nose and wobbled when she laughed.
Her skin had creases like washing dried in the hot sun and her knees creaked like her father’s wonky wheelbarrow. Grandma also had whiskers growing out of her chin which tickled when she kissed her and best of all she could take all her teeth out and leave them in a glass to clean them while she slept. Grandma looked funny without her teeth. And she smelt of the mauve flowers that grew in her garden. Grandma said it was lavender.
Every time she went to visit she wondered if ‘old age’ and his friend would be there but they never were.
When Madge was nine she arrived at Grandma’s to hushed voices. She went to rush in and greet Gran as usual but mother held her back
“I’m really sorry, Madge, but Grandma’s now with Jesus.”
“Jesus?” Puzzled, Madge paused to reflect. “Did old age bring him?”
“Sort of …”
Sixty years later as Madge’s arthritic bones creaked like her father’s old, wonky wheelbarrow, her face now crinkled and creviced, her body bent into a permanent question mark and her teeth slept in a glass by her bed, and pubic hairs grew out of her chin, she finally understood. Old age did not come alone.
Max Words: 300
Join our writing community and check out prompt suggestions for next week’s Friday Flash Fiction