Posted by: writingwitch2013 | February 21, 2013

The woodpeckers song (2)

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  “Alice who are you talking to?” Startled, I turned around. What was he doing here? No. Where was I. My mind scrambled for information. David and Jude where still with me but we were no longer by the stream. How long had we been back at the house? I presumed that they had lingered because John had surprised us all and there had been no time for us to separate and say our goodbyes
 I got up quickly from the table and looked around. He was home early. I hadn’t done his tea, ironed his shirts or cleared the breakfast dishes. I felt ashamed. He had been working all day and here I was, to all intent and purposes, still sitting at the table and  staring out of the window, daydreaming.
  “Nobody.”
David and Jude stood there with their hands on their hips out of sight of the window. Jude was wagging her finger. David raised his eyes. He was miming ‘tell him’. Now wasn’t the right time to tell him.
  “Nobody.” I repeated.
John grunted.
  “I’ll get your tea ready.” I mumbled as I passed him to go to the kitchen. He didn’t move to let me past so I had to slow down and squeeze between him and the wall. I sensed he was looking at me so I didn’t stop until I got to the freezer and opened it.
  “There’s chicken or salmon.” I announced to the freezer, “which do you fancy? I could do rice or potatoes with it.” I was waffling, we both knew that, but like the weather food had become a topic of safe conversation.
 He didn’t reply so I eventually looked around to see him leaning on the door frame. A look of bewilderment on his face and something else, concern? That was it, genuine concern.
  “Are you ok? You seem… strange.”
  “I’m fine. You’re home early, that’s all. I’m a bit behind with my jobs , and haven’t got your tea ready. Sorry. You’ll have to wait about…,” I did some quick calculations in my head, “… about 40 minutes before its ready.” I had been rambling on to fill the awkwardness of the situation and had finally run out of more things to say on the subject of food. In the lull John grabbed the opportunity to speak.
  “Alice. It’s only quarter to eleven. A pen leaked in my pocket and I’ve nipped home to change. It’s not tea time. I’ve almost a whole day to work yet. What is the matter?”
  It took me a while to process this information and when it finally dawned on me that he was right, it was still the morning, relief washed over me. I looked for David and Jude but there was no sign of them. They had gone. I wouldn’t see them again today. All I had to look forward to now was the two hours worth of ironing and the heap of washing in the laundry basket. I groaned.
  John looked at me with tenderness. “You look washed out, Alice.” He said, removing my hand off the freezer and closing the door. “Is it those migraines again?”
Before I could answer he guided me to the chair in the dining room and sat me down. “Stay there,” he said firmly, “I’ll get you a herbal brew. I may as well stay for a cuppa and work through my lunch. Close your eyes and you’ll feel better.”
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