Mavis & Mary by Darren Arthurs

Mavis and Mary had been friends for longer than either of them could remember. They had become so much a part of each other’s lives that to imagine a world without one another was almost impossible to think of. One had always simply been there. 

They met whilst working in the local textile factory that employed endless girls fresh from school that were only replaced if they fell pregnant and took on the responsibility of raising the children. This was long before the term ‘stay at home mum’ was coined, it was just the way of things. Between them they had five children, a mix of boys and girls and the friends became unofficial aunties and Godmothers. 

Even when the children had grown up and started lives with their own families, Mavis and Mary remained strong friends and, once they retired, and were gifted the dreaded bus pass from the government, they would take the bus into town for a chat over a coffee and a slice of cake at the same cake shop where, more often than not, the same woman would serve them. 

Mavis watched as her old friends’ coffin was lowered into the ground. Surrounded by people she had watched grow from crying babes to weeping adults, she wondered what the future held in store for her. 

Mavis, by habit, took the bus into town and found herself at the counter of the cake shop, “Now what are you going to do?” the kind woman asked upon hearing the news about Mary’s parting. 

Mavis simply smiled and ordered the usual, two coffees and two slices of cake and sat by the window. 

It was what Mary would have wanted.

Published in Issue #12

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