Tuesday, 7 August 2012

RRC #72 - Getting Old

Getting old

It was one of those hot days of summer where it seemed as if there was a large vacuum cleaner somewhere in the sky sucking up the fresh air. Most people enjoyed summer weather, wearing their light clothes and sandals on their feet, flaunting along the streets showing more skin than usual.

Joe and Eileen liked the summer days as well, but preferred to stay at home. It was a choice they now had. For some time. Joe was retired from his work on the building sites. Eileen was also retired. She had split her life between raising the family and earning some extra money in a factory. They could now take it easy and please themselves. Today they had to go out. There was some shopping to do and they both had to collect their medicine from the chemist shop. Life had taken its toll over the years, and Joe had balance problems resulting in a couple of bad falls, Eileen had trouble with her blood pressure. Together they helped each other and relied on each other. It was still morning, and they had managed to buy all they needed.

“You look tired Eileen” said Joe “now you sit on that seat and take it easy.”

“But I have to go to the chemists to get my tablets” Eileen answered.

“You wait there Eileen, I will get them for you, after all the shop is just around the corner” and before Eileen could stop him he was on his way.

She felt tired and was glad to be able to relax for a few minutes. After a while she started to look around, wondering where Joe was. Admittedly she was a worrier and as soon as Joe left her she had started to look in the direction he had gone, hoping to see him return soon. She suddenly heard the horn of an ambulance approaching. Her seat was opposite the main road and the vehicle soon flashed past her.

A glance at her watch showed that it was now almost ten minutes since Joe had left her.

“Something has happened, I am sure” she thought. “He had one of his turns and fell, breaking an arm or a leg, or perhaps even fell on his head. He is unconscious and cannot speak and only he knows that I am here waiting. She stood up and decided to make her way in the direction Joe had taken after he left her. The heat, the worries, it was all too much for her and she collapsed on the pavement.

She was soon surrounded by people wanting to help. Everything seemed to be happening in the distance. It was then that she heard a familiar voice.

“Eileen, Eileen, what happened?”

“You know this lady?” asked one of the helpers.”

“Yes, she is my wife? Eileen can you hear me, what happened?”

It was then that Eileen seemed to slowly come back to the world again. A familiar voice sounded through the fog that was now slowly clearing from around her head.

“Joe, Joe, what happened. Are we in heaven.?”

“No, Eileen, you are laying on the pavement and I have just returned from the chemist shop with your medicine.”

“But I heard an ambulance. I thought you had fallen, perhaps even unconscious or worse. I was on my way and I just don’t know what happened afterwards. You were away for so long and I was worried.”

“I know Eileen, there was an accident at the corner of the road. Two cars collided and the people were injured. The road was blocked, as well as the pavement until the injured were taken away in the ambulance. I had to wait. How do you feel Eileen, shall I call an ambulance?”

Eileen tried to stand, but she was still very shaky on her legs. Joe decided to call an ambulance just to be sure.

Two days later she was released from the hospital. Everything was fine, it was just a temporary weakness due to the heat and the shock.

Joe and Eileen still go shopping together, but if Eileen needs to take a rest she makes sure that Joe stays with her.

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