Hey everyone, so this is the part 2 of my story "Old Love" that I wrote a little while ago for Contest #93. Hope you enjoy it!
Julia King clambered down her stairs gently, so as not to upset her fragile bones. After all, she wasn't young and spry anymore, and needed to be careful.
She couldn't stop turning over the events of the previous night in her mind. I could have been nicer to him, she told herself over and over again, but then she shook her head in denial. Don't be stupid. Mr. Turstin doesn't need kindness from me. Not after what he did.
The widow King hobbled into her kitchen to make some food.
Since Julia was so stubborn, she wouldn't get someone to cook for her, and didn't let her daughters come to do things for her. She believed in taking care of herself, and she did it rather well, considering she was on her own in her little cottage in the outskirts of Gravenhurst, Ontario.
After Mrs. King made herself some delicious breakfast, she went outside to sit on a cedar bench in her beautiful flower garden.
She had worked on her garden for about twenty years, and she had loved every second of it. Before he had passed on, her husband helped with the building of the raised garden beds and he had built the benches and flowering archway that was standing at the entrance to the hedge maze.
Julia had plenty of property that her husband had left her, property where she could have built a large house, but she preferred small, cosy cottages. She also loved gardens and plants and outdoorsy things like that.
She sighed with contentment, drinking in the fresh air and the smell of fragrant flowers. This was her favourite place to be, and her getaway from regular life. And Matthew Turstin, the bane of her existence.
The widow took her time with her breakfast, sipping her cherry-blossom tea and admiring her blooming lavender plants.
"Well, I'd better get up and on with my day," she said unhappily to herself, getting up off the bench. And stay away from Mr. Turstin, she added in her head. To the best of my abilities.
But, since Julia King was quite an unlucky person, Matthew Turstin was exactly the person she saw first.
Julia rummaged around in her kitchen drawer, looking for her Senior Citizen's Bus Pass. Her hand closed around a plastic rectangular card and she withdrew it from the drawer.
"Here we are!" she exclaimed triumphantly. "Now I can go to the supermarket. There happens to be some food and other necessities I need to buy."
When Mrs. King arrived at the store, she got a shopping cart and headed for the fruits and vegetables aisle. She consulted her list and surveyed the different kinds of lettuce.
She tapped her fingers on the handle of the cart. "Hmm." She reached out and picked up a big head of iceberg lettuce. "This'll do."
She heard shoes tapping on the floor behind her, and she wasn't quite sure what to do.
"Here, let me get that for you," she heard the person say. A hand reached out and plucked the lettuce head from her hand.
She looked up into the face of Matthew Turstin, the Human Devil himself. (In her mind.)
"Well, if it isn't Mrs. King herself," he said with a smile. "Glad to help you on this fine, fine day."
"Hmph" was Julia's only answer. "Very well then," Matthew said, still with a smile on his face. "I will see you around, Mrs. King."
Not if I can help it, Julia thought.
That afternoon, Julia King went on a walk in her neighbourhood with her new Siamese cat, Marietta. Julia decided to visit her daughter, Lilly, and her family, so she headed over that way.
Upon reaching Lilly and her husband Ryan's house, Julia stepped up to the door and knocked. Almost immediately, Lilly's daughter Nikki answered. "Hi Gran! Mummy's on the phone, she'll be done soon."
Julia smiled, because how could she not love that little shining face looking up at her? "I brought you some sweets," she told Nikki. "Don't show your mother, or she'll eat them for you."
Nikki giggled. "I won't. What kind is it?"
Julia took a little package from her pocket. "Assorted."
"Yum! Thanks, Gran!"
"You're welcome, sweetheart."
Nikki led Julia into the living room, where they sat down on the couch and waited for Lilly, Nikki's mum, to finish her phone call.
"So? How's school?" Julia asked. "Did you pass your math test?"
"I got 99 percent on the test! My teacher said that's the best score she's seen in ten years!"
"That's amazing, Nikki darling."
Julia liked to think of herself as rather 'new-fangled' and 'hip', so she had a phone and called her grandchildren by their nicknames rather than their full names.
Nikki's full name was actually Nicole, but a) Nikki was a cuter name and fit her little-girl personality better and b) Nicole takes too long to say anyhow, so no one called her that. Just like Lilly's full name was actually Lillian, but no one called her that either for almost the same reasons as Nikki's.
A few minutes later, Lilly was off the phone and came to greet her mother. "Hey Mom, do you want to stay for dinner? We've got plenty of food."
Julia tried to decline, but her daughter insisted.
"It wouldn't be a trouble at all. We were going to make extra anyways so we could eat leftovers tomorrow."
Lilly sat down on the sofa, and Nikki climbed into her lap. "Besides, you need to be more social. You spend too much time in your house by yourself. Come on, one night won't hurt."
Mrs. King finally caved. Lilly told her that Ryan would be making supper shortly, and to just relax until then.
And that's how Julia King ended her day, surrounded by family. It almost made her forget about Matthew Turstin. Almost.