Slumped on the bench, staring out into the grey nothingness that is the North Sea on most days, she huddles down into the old & too thin coat and wonders how the hell she got here. Checks her watch and glancing nervously about, starts to rummage in her bag for a magazine.
“Bollocks” he says, peering at the mess that seagulls have just made of his hat. Wiping it on the grass he jams it on his shiny head, trying to remember what it was he was supposed to be doing today. Finding a seat he folds down on to the flaking green corporation paint and rests awhile. Takes out a grubby tissue and polishes his glasses, pushing them back on to his rather hooked nose.
After what might have been minutes or hours, she can’t be sure, and realising that she had nodded off in a midday snooze whilst being bored with the exploits of so called celebrities. She notices a companion sharing her bench [she thought of it as hers, after all hadn’t she sat there often enough to claim possessory title?] Squinting a little, she realises a male shape is invading her space.
Through rheumy eyes he studies himself. Threadbare trousers that were good quality, but have suffered unfair wear & tear, some dubious stains of unknown origin, scuffed shoes with odd socks. Faithful Viyella shirt & patched tweed jacket, both about twenty years old. Deceitful self flattery convinces him that he can still get any girl he wants, despite the stick and the dodgy hip. Turning to his left he eyes the other party on the bench.
She sighs softly and begins to regret not using the toilets earlier when she had the chance, it’s difficult to get anywhere in a hurry if all you’re worried about is your bladder. Feeling slightly uncomfortable, she reaches into her bag and brings out the faithful old Tupperware box containing a meagre lunch, and places it neatly on the space beside her. It is then she notices the hand edging toward her from the other end of the bench.
His once powerful arm stretches out, and his hand moves along the bench toward the woman seeking out its prey as if with a mind of its own. Indeed the reaction is purely automatic and without conscious thought on his behalf. It’s not like he hasn’t done this before, and the muscles & joints move with a slow assurance that all will be well soon.
She pops the lid of the lunch box, savouring the aroma of cheese & Marmite that curls upwards toward them both. Reaching in to the tub she hesitates for a moment as if thinking better of it, and trawls instead through her cavernous bag for the stainless steel flask. Finding its reassuring bulk and weight she pulls it out with surprising speed and tosses it across the bench with great accuracy towards the man.
“Howzat?” he cries catching the thermos in his already outstretched hand, and delicately unscrewing the lid says “I love you Mrs. Jones”
Finally she speaks “and I love you too Mr. Jones”,
“Will you be Mother?”