We meet most Sunday mornings. She is much older than me but I don’t care. Funny how she always seems surprised as I gasp ‘Good morning’, as if she’d never seen me before. ‘Good morning’, she answers back. Then we are apart again.

Shuffling along with her stick, skirting Grouville Common, set on a destination unbeknown to me. To her daughter’s house maybe. A cup of tea and a chat. Looks forward to seeing her grandchildren.

She certainly has a past, a long one too. What stories could she tell if I were to fall into conversation with her? Of her Jersey childhood, the village school, visits to the nearby beach, a weekly visit to the town of St Helier. Then the arrival of the Germans and the five long years of hardship before the Liberation. Love, marriage, a family. Maybe none of the above. I know nothing about her.100_0870

Perhaps she was a champion swimmer as a young lady. She wishes someone would ask her about her medals. Now she walks to keep fit, unbelieving that her body could ever let her down.

And does she know, or care, that this puffing stranger is also raging against the dying of the light? One day, sooner or later, we’ll meet no more.

I wonder who will let the other down?

Advertisements