He was doing it again. Day for day, the same thing. This was not how she imagined retired life to be. Admittedly they were both no longer the youngest and not the most mobile, but someone had to do the action, so it was the fittest that plunged into the daily routine of going to town, shopping and making sure of survival.
She left after lunch leaving him with his nose stuck in the Kindle, as he had done so during morning. Morning conversation was reduced to a good morning, just to remain polite and “dinner is ready” when he actually moved to the table to eat. Everyone has to succumb to their needs, she thought, although her needs were basically keeping the place clean and tidy and making sure that everything was where it should be in case of emergency. You never knew if suddenly there might be an accident: it was always a good thing to have clean underwear and food in the fridge – you never know. And so she dragged herself to the store, bought the necessary and dragged it back home. Did he leave the chair, put his Kindle on one side, and come and see what she had bought? No, he did not, the book was more interesting. And then there were the times when she perhaps remarked on something, nothing important, just perhaps telling him who she met when she was in town, or even what she saw.
He might nod, but she had to tell these things at the right moment. It could be that an interesting passage was found in the book, or perhaps he had found something interesting on the iPad. His interest was still there for political events. Perhaps there was an election in the country, a crime committed somewhere. Even a new president would take his interest, but it had to be someone he had heard of. If she met someone he used to know, it was most probable that he had forgotten who it was, or not interested. She noticed that he had soon lost interest and was back to his iPad or Kindle. Modern electronic devices were good, but did they really have to replace conversation.
And so life went on – for him. She decided this was no life for her.
One day she went shopping. He only noticed when it was time for the evening meal that there was nothing on the table. Not even a plate and no familiar smell in the kitchen of something cooking. Of course he was annoyed, He did not notice so much that there was no breakfast, because he had given up that some time ago, and a cup of coffee was enough chased by a cigarette. He really felt hungry at lunch time, but he found something frozen in the fridge and even managed to cook it. There was even a few frozen loafs of bread. After a week of living on frozen food, and still waiting to hear the familiar sound of a key in the door he gave up. He had done a quick check and realised that there was only enough frozen food for the next two days.
A few years later he read an obituary from a local senior home bearing her name. “So that was where she had been hiding all those years” he thought. “What a snitch and a selfish woman she was”.
Nurse Mabel entered his room at the care home.
“Time to put your book away and sleep” she said. As she left the room she thought “Day for day the same place in his Kindle, the same words and same story.”RDP Sunday: Snitch