He was in Tesco’s again today. Buying his usual: one tiny loaf, one small pack of cooked ham, and a single apple. He could buy something that would last him longer, but these days, he welcomes the routine. He likes being around people at least once in the otherwise too quiet day, spent in the company of himself.
He thinks he’s doing well without her, considering she did nearly everything for him when she was there. At least he goes out. Even if it is just to the shop. And he walks there – so there’s a bit of exercise too. Not that exercise is really that important when you’re in your eighties – it’s a bit of a joke really, to think that you can hold off the inevitable with a few 20 minutes sessions of a raised heartbeat. So that what, you can jog to the pearly gates rather than crawl?
He doesn’t care how he gets there, but he can’t wait to see her again, that’s all. Not to say that she was a saint though – she could be a shrew sometimes, and age made her even sharper, especially when she got sick. But that was a small part of who she was, a part that is easy to forgive, and keep quiet.
She had been his friend for 65 years, his wife for 60, and life was empty without her. But, “chin up”, he knew she’d say, “you’re not the only one with troubles, and certainly not the worst.”
So, for this reason, he gets up every morning, makes sure he’s neatly dressed, and buys his lunch.
It isn’t remarkable, but if people knew the pain he was carrying around inside, they would call him a hero.