Sunday 15 September 2019

Present Tense

by Kathy Sharp

bitter lemon

‘I go for a walk in the park,’ says Robert with infinite care. ‘It is nice there. The flowers are pretty.’

‘Very good,’ says his mother, wiping away tears. ‘What else do you see there?’

Robert frowns, squeezes his eyes shut. ‘The children play football. They kick the ball. It goes through the greenhouse window.’

‘Oh, dear,’ says his mother, trying to keep her voice even. ‘That’s a good story, though.’

Robert is all smiles, pleased with himself. ‘Crash!’ he says. And then his face falls and he goes quiet.
His mother pats his shoulder. He doesn’t often speak, not since the accident. But sometimes he tells little stories. It’s all she has left of the man he used to be.

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