Strange Taste, Pt 17 - neighbour

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by AdamCarlton

Alyn was starting to think that testing the concoction on Lindsey and Janis might have been a bad idea.

Alyn was starting to think that testing the concoction on Lindsey and Janis might have been a bad idea. If Lindsey died in hospital, and Janis squealed, there was every chance he would be convicted of her manslaughter and see out his life in prison. He dreamed of Georgie: making love to him on his mother’s double bed, the funeral pyre where he was created; of sleeping with her, and loving her, until sunrise. His sacred surprise. Her eternal dream. He was so preoccupied with preparing for Georgie’s arrival, that he failed to notice Mrs O’Brien from no. 12, bearing down on him in Brierley Road.

Rosalie O’Brien, who lived next door to the abominable, thieving, Harries Clan, was a newly childless widow, and a close friend of his mother. She blocked his passage, politely asking, as she invariably did,

‘Oh, it’s you, Alyn! Would there be any news of your dear mother, sweetheart?’

Alyn cringed inwardly, Sweetheart.

‘No news, Rosalie, I’m afraid. She never changes.’

Toys-in-the-attic. Padded cell. Straight-jacket. Constantly sedated. Totally insane, Mum would never get well. Never come home to see her beloved son. They gave her electrical convulsive therapy which burnt black holes in her scalp. She looked like a female version of Frankenstein the last time he went to visit her. Which was how long ago: ten, eleven months? Mum would never change, not until the day she shifted off this mortal coil.

Rosalie explained, ‘It’s just, I was always very fond of your mother when we worked at the mushroom farm. I thought I might send her some flowers, a nice box of chocolates?’

Alyn stared down at the ground, lost for words. The world needed more kind people like Rosalie. When he lifted his head, he was close to tears, choked up inside by the incredible stress, he lived with, incredible stress,

‘That’s so kind, but inmates aren’t allowed flowers or gifts, in case they cut themselves.’

Rosalie recognized the strain, the grief, their mutual loneliness. She reached out for him,

‘I’m sorry, Alyn. I understand, believe me. Been so lonely since Phil died. Come and give me a hug.’

She took him in her arms, and they hugged, in the middle of the road. For one lovely moment, he was with Georgie, she was reunited with her husband, neither of them had a worry in the world. After a while, they found themselves standing on the pavement by her gate. She wanted him, so badly. She hadn’t enjoyed the feeling of a man since Phil passed. To hell with what the neighbours said. Rosalie was only 32, young enough to love again. Her eyes shone with hope, after all no harm in asking,

‘Would you join me for a cup of tea and a slice of my homemade chocolate cake, Alyn?’

He moved closer to her, smelling her, ‘I can’t Rosalie, not today. Perhaps, another day?’

She smiled sadly, ‘Of course, another day. I’m sorry, I got carried away. I am nearly old enough to be your mother, after all.’

He comforted her, brushing her cheek with his hand, ‘No, you felt good. You were great.’

‘Thank you,’ she was crying, ‘You don’t know how much that means to me. Thank you.’

‘Be seeing you, then?’

‘Yes, be seeing you. Take care of yourself.’

The sun burnt his face. He watched Rosalie walk the shady alleyway back to loneliness.

Submitted: January 11, 2021

© Copyright 2021 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



How very poignant: the alley not taken...

Mon, January 11th, 2021 2:49pm


Thank you Adam, a sad choice, a hard choice that afflicts us all at times.

Mon, January 11th, 2021 4:18pm

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