A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

An Elderly Moment

Theo made the decision to go to her while she was drinking her afternoon tea. 

“Hello. My name is George, oh! But most of my good friends call me Theo” he said, extending his hand.

She placed her teacup back onto the table.  Theo took her hand and admired the feel of her thin, delicate fingers intertwined in his own.

“Janine,” she said, “and what a beautiful thing to say George.”

“Janine,” Theo said, “you have the most beautiful hands. You must be the most beautiful woman here.”

She smiled at him. “Why thank you – George “.

Her teeth were whiter than the porcelain that held her tea. She withdrew her hand and picked up the teacup again and sipped lightly.

“I moved here about a month ago. I’ve been wondering who you are,” George said, gently settling into a chair nearby. He leaned his cane against the table and wondered if they were her natural teeth or dentures. George decided it felt better if he thought they were her own teeth.

“I noticed when you arrived,” Janine said, wiping a small smudge of lipstick from the teacup. She thought to herself that George or Theo was one of the better dressed men there. Today, he was wearing navy blue slacks (with a sharp crease – she like that), black loafers (and they were freshly shined – she liked that even better), a cream colored dress shirt (slightly stained and frayed around the collar and where was the cravat or tie?), and a tan-colored sweater vest (rather plain but then he was an elderly gentleman). His thinning gray hair was brushed away from his face. His left eye was cloudy and grey. His right eye was a faded shade of blue.

“That’s wonderful,” he said, grinning. “I noticed you as well. How long have you lived here?”

“About five years,” Janine said.

“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened?”

“It’s a long story but the short version is I fell and I broke my hip,” she said, slowly swiveling the wheelchair around to face him.

George would liked to have heard the longer version but time had become very flexible lately. “That’s unfortunate, though that clearly has not affected how you move yourself… or other people.”

“You’re charming,” she said, smiling coyly at him and flashing those teeth again. “And you? What has brought you to the Hillcrest Nursing Home?”

“About six months ago, I had a stroke,” he murmured. After a pause, he said, “I can’t move around quite like I used to yet but I am told that I will make a full recovery. Be back to how I used to be. Fit as a buck rat.”

“Oh,” she said. “That’s too bad. Not the rat thing but the stroke”

She resumed drinking her tea. He watched her. She was indeed a striking woman. There was an awkward silence

“How have you been spending your time since you’ve been here?” she eventually asked. “Does anyone come to visit you?

“I have a son, but he lives far away.” George looked steadily at her. “I’d like to spend more of my time getting to know you.”

Janine smiled and adjusted the red bow that was tied to the armrest of her wheelchair. “George, ummm Theo. This is a nice place, but like all things good it costs. How do you pay for the rent here?”

George looked at her quizzically before replying, “Medicaid. Why do you ask?”

Janine frowned. “Just wondering,” she murmured. She turned her wheelchair back to the table and took another sip of her tea. She didn’t lift her eyes from the cup afterwards.

George cleared his throat, wondering what had just happened. After taking a deep breath, he said, “Janine, perhaps we could meet for dessert after dinner tonight? I could bring a pastry to your room.”

Janine pushed the teacup towards the center of the table. Before wheeling herself away, she said, “George, no money, no honey.”An Elderly Moment


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