Daily Prompt – No, Thanks

Daily Prompt: No, Thanks.

Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?

Hamish knew exactly where this was heading. He knew where the conversation was leading to, and he was not going to stick around for it. With a great heave he pulled himself out of his chair and leaned heavily on his stick. The conversation in the dining room ground to a halt as they saw him approaching. They dithered as though he was incapable of hearing them from the other room. He wanted to scoff at them but he was too tired.

“If you’re going to talk about me, I suggest you wait until I’m dead.” He huffed. “Or at least out of ear-shot. I’m old not deaf, blind, or mute.”

“Hey Gramps.” His daughters oldest grinned. He was a slimy little toad and Hamish knew exactly what he was after.

“I am your Grandfather, not Gramps. If you can’t get that right, why should to get anything at all.” He threatened with a sniff. “Abigail, get the car will you?”

His niece, lovely girl, nodded and left the room without waiting for the ‘family council’ to give their approval.

“Dad we know you’re not deaf.” His oldest daughter, Millie. Sweet thing, worries too much, married a lout.

“Or blind, or mute?” He prompted.

His daughter chuckled. “You are most certainly not mute. But I bet you couldn’t see us from the other room?” She dared.

“Doesn’t make me blind. I know what you’re up to and it’s not going to happen.” He said with a thump of his cane on the floor.

“We’re thinking about what’s best for you, Dad.” Eric, his son, always a bit weedy, smart as a whip though.

“You’re thinking about what’s best for you.” Hamish responded. “Once you got Angus put up, thought you’d turn to the baby brother. Don’t see Abigail helping you in your quest.”

“Dad..”

“That’s because she’s been, with me. We’ve seen him in that place, forgetting who he was. Forgetting me and her. You keep living your lives and living through your cell phones. We got in that car every damned day and visit my brother. When’s the last time you visited your uncle, Millie?”

She halted guilt plain on her face.

“Did you even stay five minutes after unpacking his things into that box of a room?” He demanded of his son. “No. You didn’t you were too busy. I’m old not dead. You won’t put me in a box until it’s my coffin, so don’t try convincing me with pamphlets. And don’t you dare talk about it at my brother’s wake. I’ve seen the hell he lived in, sitting by the phone as if it were his only line to life. Did any of you call him? Did you wait until it was too late and cry that you had meant to do more? Oh you’d planned to visit if only he hadn’t up and died before you had the time?”

He stared at the shamed faces of his family. Not one dared to meet his eye, even the slimy toad was flushed red at his part in the tragedy that was his brother’s final days.

Abigail stood in the doorway stone faced, her tears long since cried out. He nodded to her and leaned heavily on his cane. “That said, it’s been a horrible afternoon. And just so you know I will not be signing up for a stay at any retirement home/village/or any such nonsense. I’ll die at home or in a hospital and without the tender care of any assistance workers. You will excuse me now. I’ve just lost my brother and my family’s trying to sweep me under the carpet, I think I deserve a drink.”

He grabbed the whiskey glass from the table next to his son. It was the good stuff. He drank it in one swift gulp and wiped his lips on the sleeve of his suit.

“Come Abigail. Someone sober needs to drive me home.”

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

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  8. jwdwrites
    Mar 04, 2013 @ 19:48:04

    Ah, homes for the elderly. Don’t fancy that much myself. Good story.

    Reply

  9. 1yellowfish
    Mar 05, 2013 @ 02:42:29

    Thanks! Not a big fan myself, although I’ll admit some really are wonderful. Just can’t see myself in one, and neither could my friend Hamish up there. 🙂

    Reply

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