She makes a nice cup of tea for granny as usual, and they take their time, chatting and sipping at the strong brew. Nicholas is sitting on an embroidered footstool with his fizzy drink.
Afterwards she shakes the pillow and straightens the sheets while Nicholas plays with granny’s collection of tiny glass animals. After all the years of nursing her hands move around of their own accord. She wipes granny’s mouth and straightens her reading glasses which sit a bit lopsided. She brushes the soft, white curls meticulously, and finally she folds the newspaper so it is easier to handle. Now everything should be okay until the district nurse comes by in a couple of hours.
“Come and say goodbye to granny!” He is so small that she must lift him up before he can take the lollipop from the arthritic fingers. He sees nothing but the red and white sugar stripes which wind round and round, but when she nudges him, he shouts a happy bye bye, chubby fingers tearing at the transparent cellophane.
“Has she filled him with sugar again?” Frowning, George looks up from his damn accounts for a second.
“Don’t worry, dear. She has so few pleasures nowadays, and I only bring him with me once or twice a week.” She smiles at Nicholas who climbs onto his daddy’s lap and gives him a sticky kiss.
The little chap certainly deserved his reward. He is her only witness that granny was alive and well at four o’clock when they left her flat.
Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen is a female teacher from Denmark, teaching English at the upper secondary level. She is married and has three grown-up children. The family lives near the North Sea. In her spare time she reads and writes crime fiction, and reviews novels in English and Danish.