28/01/2016 by paulinebsc
Regretfully Adele turned the heating off and wrapped a blanket round herself. Sean would be here in a couple of hours to check up on her. She turned the fire down low.
‘Hi, Grandma. How’re you doing? Here’s your shopping.’ Sean unpacked the bag onto the table. ‘Are you sure you’re warm enough? You ought to have the heating on in this weather. You need to look after yourself, now that Grandpa isn’t around to do it for you.’
‘But the news people say that heating costs are going up again this year, I don’t know if I can manage. They went up last year, and the year before that.’ Adele’s voice wavered.
‘They won’t be going up as much as last year.’
‘And on top of that taxes are going up. I don’t know how I’m going to manage.’
‘You don’t pay tax on your pension, you know that. And you haven’t got enough savings to worry about giving any to the taxman.’
He knew he wouldn’t get anywhere with that argument. Unlike many her age, his Gran had embraced political correctness. She now hated the ‘Greedy Taxperson’ even more than the ‘Greedy Taxman.’
‘I think I may give up the phone. I never use it, and the line rental is ridiculous.’
‘What if I need to check up on you?’
‘You come round three times a week, why would you need to phone me?’
‘If you get ill or anything I wouldn’t know.’ He thought about his own perilous financial position. ‘I couldn’t afford to pay all of it, but perhaps if I paid half.’
‘Oh Sean. I can’t ask you to do that. It wouldn’t be fair.’ Her voice trembled.
‘Yes I can, Gran. You may need to call for an ambulance, or the doctor. Let me have the bill next time it arrives and I’ll help you with it.’
‘No.’ Adele pulled the blanket tighter around herself defensively.
‘Please Gran, I don’t want to have you get ill and not be able to get help.’
‘Oh, in that case I suppose you can. I don’t want to accept charity young man.’
‘It’s not charity when it’s for family.’
Sean looked at his watch.
‘Oops, sorry, I’ve got to go. I’ve got a performance tonight.’
‘What’s the play?’
‘It’s a revival of ‘Death of a Salesman.’ I’m playing a waiter.’
Adele smiled at him warmly.
‘I always wanted to be an actress when I was young. I never got the chance though. I met your Grandpa and had your dad instead. Women didn’t work in those days.’
‘I’m sure you would have been tremendous Gran.’ She could hear the insincerity in his voice. She knew he regarded her as all but senile. ‘Now, that wasn’t a lot of shopping. Are you sure you’ve got enough to eat?’
‘Stop worrying, I’ll be fine. Now off you go. Break a leg.’
Sean strode away from her laughing.
Adele sprung to her feet agilely and peeped around the curtain to make sure Sean had gone before she turned the central heating back on.
She laughed, remembering Sean’s condescending opinion of her acting abilities, and went to put the shopping away, stripping off the blanket, the old worn cardigan and the woollen stockings that had been her costume for the last few years when Sean came round. She changed them for a more modern silky blouse in a bright red and a pair of jeans. She liked to get into part for each of her roles.
In her bedroom she stretched out on the bed before taking out a top-of-the-range mobile phone. She glanced through a porn site for a while before deciding it was time to get to work. She logged into her working site and the phone rang almost immediately. Adele made her voice low and sultry.
‘Hello, lover, what’s your name?’
Derek? Couldn’t he come up with something more sexy sounding? Still, customer service was the name of the game:
‘Have you got that dildo ready? Oh well, a deodorant bottle will have to do. Are you ready to start?’
Neither Sean nor the taxperson knew about her part-time job. She wasn’t stupid enough to put the money through her own account.
A competition entry. The keyword was ‘phone’