The Corner Shop

“Mr Kaur, I do apologise but I need to return the shopping I bought from here yesterday. My son is no longer able to visit, so won’t be needing me to cook dinner.”

“That’s not like him.” Mr Kaur put on his sympathy face. “Put the items you want to return on the counter and I’ll give you the cash back.”

“You’re very kind Mr Kaur, I couldn’t imagine Tesco’s doing that but I do appreciate it. You know I live alone and a visit from Alan was going to brighten my day. He’s ever so busy you know. These are all the things he liked to eat, but it’s not my thing.”

“I do understand Mrs White. It is not a problem.”

Mr Kaur began to ring the items through the till and calculate what he owed her back.

“You are returning the flowers too? Are you sure?” He looked at Mrs White and could see her eyes beginning to brim. “Keep them, they will brighten the home.”

“Mr Kaur, you are such a kind soul.” She took the change and replaced the flowers in her bag. “I’ll be off then, see you soon.”

Mr Kaur strode to the door to open it for her and wish her a good day.

“I thought she would never shut up” said the man in the queue who’d parked on the yellow line outside and only popped in for a much-needed packet of cigarettes. He paid and stomped off.

Mr Kaur knew what it was like to lose a son, to live alone with that grief, never wanting to admit the painful truth. He hoped she’d take the flowers to the grave and tell her son she missed him and one day, given time, she might tell someone else; like Mr Kaur.

Winner: Weekly Write Week 18

to be published in Issue #31

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