Patricia Lambert stared at a photo on the mantelpiece. Taken six years ago in Weymouth. She was surrounded by children. All hers. Not biologically of course, but her class of that year. Her aging hands trembled as she picked it up and looked at the writing on the back. “Stamford Church Sunday School Outing 2010.”
“Good times.” she thought to herself, then smiled as she remembered little Tommy Stevens making everyone laugh on the coach home by doing impressions of people off the tele. He was only eight but somehow did the different voices really well. She wondered what happened to him and whether he still went to Church. She hadn’t seen anyone from Church since 2012 when there had been that misunderstanding about the money going missing. She said she’d pay it back but Father Jacobs thought it best if she left quietly. Shame really, she enjoyed teaching the youngsters about The Bible. So many terrific stories in that book and the children loved listening to them.
She put the photo back and heard the Postman at the front door. This was the time of day she dreaded. More mail to add to the huge pile on the hall table. All unopened of course. She didn’t need to open any of them to know what they’d say and look like. They’d be written in Red Ink and have words like “Overdue” and “Final Notice” on them.
She’d long stopped answering the doorbell, except for Vince. He had a special ring so she knew it was him. Two short rings then a few seconds pause, then three short rings, then another pause, and finally one very long ring. He came everyday around noon. She was his first call of the day. She didn’t know what she’d do without Vince bringing her medication.
A cup of tea was what she needed and perhaps one of those nice cream slices she’d bought yesterday at the Bakers.
The kettle had just started to boil when she heard the familiar sound. Two rings, pause, then three, pause, then a final long one. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. Thank god for Vince.
She opened the door to a man in his mid thirties. Dark hair, two days designer stubble, leather jacket and jeans. He had a huge grin on his face.
“Morning Mrs L.”
“Morning Vince. Come in and go through to the kitchen. I was just making a cuppa. Want one?”
“No thanks Mrs L. Got a lot on today so must be quick.”
She followed him along the hallway and into the kitchen. Her voice becoming slightly higher pitched with excitement.
“I’m so glad you’re here Vince. I ran out of everything late last night and had nothing for this morning. I was going to ring you to see if you could come early today but I think my phones been cut off. My hands haven’t stopped shaking since ten o’clock this morning.”
Vince’s face beamed.
“Soon have you sorted out Mrs L. Now what do you fancy? Ketamine, meth, crack, sulphate, or I’ve got some amazing Columbian marching powder.”
Mrs L clapped her hands.
“I’ll take some of each please Vince. It’s Pension day today!”