The cushion

The cushion

“What did the doctor say?” I asked letting the brown paper bag of groceries slump on the kitchen table.

“Careful, there are eggs in there.” Winifred shuffled to the stove. “Just leave it, I’ll do it. You know I don’t like the way you put things away.”


“Well, what?”

“What happened? At Doctor Bean’s?”

“Nothing, it was just a check up. I go for a check up once a week you know.”

“I know, I drive you there.”

“There you go.”

“Next time I’m coming, Wini. I want to ask him a few questions myself.”

The percolator began to gurgle and sputter. Wini stood with her back to me and I could see her struggling with the knobs. Drops of coffee fell from the spout and sizzled as they hit the range.

“Here, I’ll get that,” I said. “Why don’t you just ask when you need help?”

“The cups,” Wini said. “They’re washed. You might have to open a new carton of milk. I always keep some for you.”

“Sit down, relax. I’ll do that. Do you want your cushion?”

“It’s in the bedroom.”

“I’ll get it.”

“I feel fine, you know. You don’t have to fuss.”

“I’m not fussing.”

“You don’t have to fuss over me.”

“I’m not,” I called out from the bedroom. “Where is it? I can’t find it. It’s not under the bed. Where’s your bedpan? Wini?”

“What’s that, dear?”

“I can’t find the cushion. Are you sure it’s in the bedroom? Or did you leave in on the balcony?” I came back into the kitchen carrying a bundle of dirty sheets. “Wini?”

Wini was sitting on that old teal barkcloth chair which I hated so much. She looked up expectantly and a tear rolled down her liver-spotted cheek and lodged itself in the furrow next to her mouth. “Look,” she said holding up the bulge of patchwork fabric. “Here it is. I found it for you.”

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