My wife loved sitting on that blue bench by the window in the Quick Clean Launderette.
My wife loved sitting on that blue bench by the window in the Quick Clean Launderette. Said it made her feet feel lighter. She was a woman with troublesome feet, my wife.
I told her only a few months ago, New Year’s Eve, it was, “If you go before me, Grace,” I said, “I don’t think I’ll hang around. I think I might just follow on.” She was ironing one of my old, blue work shirts at the time.
She sat down and said nothing for a while then turned to me with a look that made the breath catch in my chest. “Robbie,” she said, “I need you to promise me something.”
“What’s that?” I asked her.
“If I do go first, you’re to carry on,” she said. “I want to know you’ll be making the best of things.”
A week later she was gone. Tripped and fell under the wheels of a Post Office van as she tried to cross the street. Instant, it would have been, the paramedics said, which was something to be grateful for.
But I kept wishing I could see he…