nine (the man in the blue coat)

by nike, September 9, 2014
Richard Pawlak. Man in Blue Coat. Acrylic on paper. 2014

Richard Pawlak. Man in Blue Coat. Acrylic on paper. 2014

They stood just inside the doorway, wrapping themselves in coats and scarves. Finally, the grandmother grasped the young girl and pulled her close, kissing her on both cheeks. ‘One kiss is yours,’ she said. ‘The other is for your husband.”I don’t have a husband,’ said the girl.

Her grandmother buttoned her coat and opened the door. ‘It’s a pity, that,’ she said.

The women walked into town, arms linked. There was plenty of time before the bus was due to arrive. They ate a bowl of chips in a café, without taking off their fingerless gloves. When the bowl was empty, the grandmother licked the salt from her fingers. She nodded at the window, as if her bus was coming, but when the young girl turned there was just a stranger in a blue coat.

‘There he is,’ the grandmother said.

The young girl sighed. What was it with her grandmother, trying to marry her off all the time? It’s not as if her grandmother’s marriage had been happy, or even content. There were rumours that her grandmother had tried to poison her husband, on more than one occasion.

But then the girl looked again and saw that the man in the blue coat was, indeed, her husband.

If not yet, then soon. Soon.

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