Persephone looked in the mirror and sort of did a double take, she saw her Mother looking back at her. ‘Oh well thank you!’ , she heard herself say out loud. Not that there was anything wrong with looking like her Mother, her Mother was a beautiful woman, it was just that the reflection confirmed the fact that she was not only feeling her fifty four years, she actually looked them too. Oh blooming joy! At least she had some of those tweezers with a light attached. Now when she looked into the magnified mirror (her eyesight wasn’t what it once was) she could locate those wiry, stray whiskers that seemed to pop out of her skin overnight! How on earth did they get to be that long without her noticing them? How many people had actually noticed those whiskers? OK in reality it was only the occasional whisker, but nonetheless they unsettled her. Persephone remembered tweezering her Mother’s whiskers, her Mother must have been about the same age but didn’t have the luxury of a magnified mirror or light-up tweezers. Poor Mum, she pondered, I wonder how she manages now, how she wished her Mum didn’t live so far away…then she pulled herself up and moved on, she knew it was no good dwelling on these thoughts as they only made her even more depressed.
William had been behaving differently lately, or was it her imagination. Persephone doubted herself so much these days. Her memory was not as sharp as it used to be so she didn’t feel able to have a good discussion about all that was bothering her any more. If she did question him about why he was doing something that took her out of her comfort zone, he just hugged and kissed her and told her not to be so silly. He loved Persephone, with a passion! Oh how she loved him, he was so loveable, charming and funny. The first time they met she had felt a tingle when their thighs touched as they sat down on a park bench. This was only five years ago, goodness five years! Where had those years gone? If I find him so irresistible then surely others must too?
Persephone never thought she would marry again; she had a vision of herself in a pretty little cottage, roses over the door, old fashioned furnishings, all cosy and safe. She saw herself walking around her well-tended garden as an older woman, wearing a wide brimmed sunhat and carrying a trug into which she was putting the dead and dying blooms she had snipped off her rose bushes. That little scenario always made her smile but then William came on the scene and shattered that dream, and Persephone was so glad that he had, living alone must be dreadfully hard. Would she be bothered to cook for herself? Mum had managed since Des had died…nope…go away sad thoughts; it was time to brighten herself up, she was good at that, so she put on her make-up and smiled at herself in the mirror. Actually she found it a relief to smile; frowning caused such a tension in her forehead.
The supermarket had just delivered the weekly shopping so Persephone busied herself with putting it all away, such a hateful job. She had ordered some special food with which to cook delicious meals for herself and William. They enjoyed good food. Tonight they would have sirloin steak, so she left it out of the fridge to get to room temperature before she cooked it. They would have dauphinoise potatoes with the steak and a selection of vegetables. This was an easy meal to prepare, it was only an hour or so until William was due home from work so after preparing the vegetables she went about setting the table. It was such a luxury to have the time to slow down and enjoy such preparations. For many years Persephone had juggled work and family, but now that her son was at university and she was with William, life had changed. Life was easier and she was well cared for, she could relax and slow down…so why did she feel unsettled? Was it guilt?
William was late; the meal had been prepared apart from the steak which she liked to cook as soon as he was home.
About an hour after he usually arrived home, she heard his key in the door.
She just looked at him
“Sorry honey, I gave Adele a lift home from college and she asked me if I would go up to her flat to see what I thought about the new paint effect she had been using in her sitting room”
“Oh” she felt her stomach sink, a surge of anxiety took her over..
“Then she offered me a cup of tea, it seemed rude to say no”
“It would have been good if you’d phoned to let me know”
“Sorry, mmm do I smell dauphinoise potatoes?”
“You do, I’ll go and cook the steak now” She smiled a straight smile; to try and make it look like she was ok, then she turned and went into the kitchen. She felt her eyes sting, she hated it when her eyes seemed to plop out tears of their own accord. She had a little word with herself; he wouldn’t have told you about taking Adele home if there was anything going on now would he? That thought helped her to calm down a little and enjoy the meal with William. They chatted and along with the delicious meal they appreciated a bottle of expensive red wine together. William didn’t appear to notice that Persephone was feeling anxious, thank goodness. She wanted to enjoy the evening in his company; she loved him so much…