As mentioned in the newsletter, maybe some of you like writing short stories for pleasure. If you would like to send yours in, I will reproduce it on the website. The first one has been sent in from Sharon Boothroyd and is a light hearted romance. Sharon came up with the idea!
Jenny rushed through the revolving door and quickly scanned the information on the wall in front of her. Her eyes took in the scattering of multi- coloured arrows pointing this way and that, but where was A and E?
This floor. Down the corridor and turn left. She took a deep breath and followed the directions. She hoped her mum, Kitty wasn't in too much pain. How an earth had Kitty's first date with Reg ended up in hospital?
She was about to find out... in the packed waiting area, Jenny urgently searched the faces and picked out her mum, dressed in her casual but smart finery, slumped miserably.
There was a bespectacled man with a neat grey beard, seated beside her. Jenny presumed this was Reg, who Kitty had met via a dating website for the over sixties.
'Jenny!' Kitty waved. Jenny swooped over to join her and took Kitty's trembling hand.
'I've injured my ankle. I fell over on the ice,’ Kitty explained.
Jenny frowned. 'The ice?'
'We went ice skating,' she said.
'I see.' Jenny remained calm, but inside she was seething. Just what sort of chap takes a seventy- something woman ice- skating on a first date? The idea was utterly ridiculous!
It was bound to end in disaster – and it had!
'I've never been skating before. I couldn't get the hang of it,' Kitty stuttered.
'You might need an x ray,' she put in.
Jenny glared at Reg. She'd noticed that he'd kept very quiet. Well, she fumed, he could at least apologise!
At last, Reg spoke. 'I rung for a taxi when Kitty tripped. I wasn't sure if her injury merited a 999 call and -'
'Are you okay, dad?'
Jenny spun round. The man calling himself Reg's son was a jean- clad, slim, attractive man around Jenny's own age. His deep brown eyes matched a mass of dark curls. Her pulse unexpectedly quickened.
'Of course he's okay!' she spat. 'It's my mother who's the injured party here!'
Jenny wasn't in the mood to deal with a stranger's concern.
'Right. I didn't quite realise who'd been hurt. Is she okay?'
'Look please, stop fretting everyone. I'm sure my ankle's not as bad as we think.' Kitty tried to brush her injury off. It didn't work - Jenny still felt ill at ease.
'Dad called me around twenty minutes ago. He mumbled something about going to casualty. I got here as quickly as I could.' He ran a harassed hand through his curls.
Jenny sighed. What a confused mess!
'I panicked when Kitty stumbled,' Reg went on. 'I wasn't thinking straight. Kitty had called her daughter, so.... anyway, now you're here, perhaps you could run me home later?'
'Of course. Look, why don't we start by introducing ourselves? We've probably got a long wait ahead of us. I'm Tom and this is Reg, my dad.'
He took a seat.
'I'm Jenny, and this is my mum, Kitty. You two don't need to hang about,' she said frostily.
'I want to wait. I feel responsible,' Reg said 'This is entirely my fault. I should have done what Tom suggested and taken Kitty for a cup of tea instead.'
'I think she was hoping for more than tea,' Jenny said 'A true gent would have taken her to that new nice Italian bistro for lunch.' She was overstepping the mark, but she was still very het up!
'Yes, he should have,' Tom added. 'But a cuppa and a cake was still a far better option than his original plan.'
Oh. Jenny was taken aback by this. It appeared that Tom had tried his best to deter Reg from taking Kitty skating .
Kitty cleared her throat. 'Actually, the ice skating was my idea.'
Jenny was astonished ' Your idea?'
Jenny was speechless. Yet she also felt very silly. She'd just made a complete fool of herself by having a go at Tom and Reg!
She turned to her mum. 'Why did you want to go ice- skating?'
'I've always wanted to try it,' Kitty replied.
'It's news to me,' Jenny muttered.
Tom cut in. 'My dad's first idea was to take Kitty to the indoor climbing wall.'
Jenny paled. 'What?'
Tom shifted uncomfortably.'My dad likes to think he's some sort of action man.'
'I've been up and down it six times,' Reg bragged.
'Surely you're not expecting my mother to climb it with you?' Jenny was horrified. The idea was utterly absurd!
'Sounds far better than a cup of tea,' Kitty grinned.
Tom happened to catch Jenny's eye. He began to smile. She smiled back. Well, she reflected, smiling was far better than biting each other's their heads off. And, was it her imagination, or was there a special spark between her and Tom?
Jenny decided to switch focus before she blushed!
'Shall we find a coffee vending machine?'
'Good idea.' Reg promptly jumped to his feet and trotted off.
Jenny and Tom burst out laughing.
'I meant me and you fetched them,' Jenny explained.
He nodded. 'I know. He can't keep still for two minutes!'
A nurse appeared.
'Kitty Johnson?' she called.
Jenny helped her mum hobble. A kind doctor examined Kitty's ankle and said she didn't need an x- ray. It was simply sprained.
'It's RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation will take care of it,' he assured them.
As they rejoined Tom and Reg, Jenny realised that Kitty hadn't complained about the pain at all.
'The ankle's not broken, is it?' Reg asked Kitty anxiously.
'No. It's just a sprain. Thank goodness.'
'Good. Sorry, I couldn't find a coffee vending machine,' Reg said.
Kitty waved her hand. 'It doesn't matter.'
An awkward moment fell. It crossed Jenny's mind that she ought to thank Tom and Reg for waiting. Plus, she still hadn't apologised for tearing a strip off them earlier. She was about to do this when -
'I guess the question is – is there going to be a second date for Reg and Kitty?' Tom addressed the couple, yet it was Jenny who answered.
'As long as there's no more of this leaping about nonsense.'
'Oh but we like this leaping about nonsense don't we, Kitty?' Reg winked.
'We certainly do! Anyway, never mind us. 'You two should see each other again.'
Jenny was startled. 'What?'
'What do you mean?' Tom, too seemed surprised.
'It's clear as day that Jenny likes Tom', Kitty explained.
'And Tom, you like Jenny. Ask her out. Why not take her to that new bistro?' Reg suggested.
Tom was clearly embarrassed. 'Dad! Will you stop meddling? Jenny might not want to go out with me. Plus, she could have a Significant Other.'
'She hasn't,' Kitty cheekily piped up.
'And just for the record, Tom hasn't either,' Reg stated.
'I'd love to try that Italian bistro with you, Tom,' Jenny said shyly.
Tom looked pleased, and a warm glow wrapped around Jenny's heart.
'Good. That's settled. Let's go home,' Reg declared.
As they headed out, Jenny pondered over the afternoon's events. Was it really possible that both she and her mum had found romance right here in casualty? Well, she smiled, a hospital was certainly the right place to pick up a prescription for tender loving care!
Written by Sharon Boothroyd