Love Thy Neighbour by R Kennedy-Escott

Alexander waves at his neighbour across the drive. She waits as she watches him open his garden gate slowly, taking his time to lock it behind him. His feet drag in his worn loafers as he makes his way over to her. She notices a bend in his knees as he walks, as they show through his loose trousers. They look worn at the hem, as if he’s owned these since he fit them better. Before his legs became frail in old age. His care about his appearance hasn’t wavered though, as they are neatly ironed with a crisp line running down the middle of each leg. His cardigan is hanging from his frame too, and she notices a button missing. She wonders if his wife would have fixed that for him.

Alexander interrupts her thoughts as he reaches her side of the drive, his dulcet Scottish tones ringing at her ears as he speaks.

‘How ye daein?’ he asks, as he reaches out and hands her a letter with her name on. Another delivered to the wrong house. She thanks him and says she is doing just fine.

They exchange pleasantries, with Alexander swaying slightly back and forth, rocking on his knees, as his hands sit quietly in his pockets. Every time he sways a little too much, she has to withhold the temptation to run and catch him, her fear of him falling and breaking a hip is at the forefront of her mind after her own grandmother had faced a similar fate a few weeks previously.

He eventually pulls his hand out of his pocket and a lone Werther’s Original is balanced on his shaky palm. He had remembered their last conversation, and how she’d commented that she’d never had such a sweet.

‘Go on, try one.’

Winner Weekly Write Week #12

Published in Issue #28

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