A little while ago I met a lovely lady who lives nearby called Annie. She may be in her late eighties but Annie is still in her twenties at heart.
I see Annie in the park often, feeding the ducks alone. Or sitting on a bench alone. This is when I find we get a chance to talk.
I listen to stories that often involve George, her late husband. He died fifteen years ago but I can tell the pain is still as raw. They’d never had children and Annie is very much on her own. But she’s so spirited and content it’s hard to tell if it ever bothers her being on her own.
She had been married to George for over forty years after meeting at school. She often mentions Harry. He was George’s best friend and the three of them together “were trouble”. She described how every Boxing Day she, George and Harry would go escape their families and go for a long walk across the park with a hip flask.
I recently asked her whatever happened to Harry.
“Oh Harry married a wonderful girl. Harriet. Harry and Harriet. She makes him so happy. They have four beautiful children.”
I followed up the question by asking if she still saw Harry.
“Oh yes. We go for a long walk every Boxing Day. Just the three of us. Harry, myself and our hip flask.”