Mary stood at the bus stop in her chocolate wool winter coat which Stan had always loved.It hangs so well,he had told her.The optional imitation fur collar had been removed as she preferred natural garments made from wool with no ostentation.As a matter of fact she has one of Stan’s woollen vests on under her gold silk top.Her hair fell in light blonde curls around her pensive face and her eyes looked as if she were seeing a vision of the Matterhorn in midwinter.
Suddenly she realised the bus was there and she put her card up to the machine before looking for a seat.The bus was rather full so she sat down next to a youth with an i phone hanging from his hand.Suddenly it rang.His chosen theme was, Please release me, sung by Tom Jones.Mary smiled as, if she were near Tom Jones she would need no invitation to free him.The youth began to speak rather louder than normal.
Mary tried not listen but it was impossible.She was too hot.Wearing Stan’s vest was a mistake as the bus was overheated.She turned pink like sunrise over ICI in Billingham as the pollution had a beautifying affect.
I’m sorry I wore your vest,she told Stan.I should have given them away but I was trying to save money on heating.Still I will be home soon.
Where is your microphone, the youth demanded.It must be one of those new tiny ones.A microphone? Mary said curiously.Yeah, he cried.I assume your phone is in your pocket.
Actually it’s in a pocket in my knickers,she informed h m in a manner resembling that of a mildly autistic scientist.We used to wear these knickers in the gym at school.
Did you not wear a top? he enquired,his eyes running over her hourglass figure like water falling off High Force in Teesdale.
Well.I didn’t have a bra until I got my grant to attend university,she told him sensitively.
Well,that’s news to me,he said.So you had to wear a bra at University? That was before feminism,of course.Did you burn it later?
Certainly not,said Mary.I’d been longing for one but my mother didn’t seem to notice my development which was her way of coping with adolescent girls.Of course my older brothers may have noticed but they were too nervous to tell Mother I needed support.We were all so shy and afraid..Anyway be quiet now,I want to speak to my husband.
Have you had your phone on all this time? he asked anxiously.
No,I don’t need it to talk to him,she responded.
Why,where is he? the youth enquired sardonically.
He’s on my knee,Mary informed him.In this bag.She pointed to her hessian shopping bag.I have just been to the Coop for him.I ought to have got a cab as he is quite heavy.
Jesus Christ,cried the youth,hastily pressing the bell before leaping off the bus into a small pond that had been created b y Hurricane Desmond.He swam away into the cold night.
Well. that shut him up,Mary said to Stan.
Mary,don’t become less gentle and kind,Stan said in her ear.
I can’t be gentle now,she said.It’s a nasty tough world without you to help me and tell me what you think of Jeremy Corbyn.And do I need to have a roast dinner at Xmas or just some toad in the hole?
I am sorry,sweetheart he murmured.Maybe you need assertiveness training.
I’ll just get more aggressive,she replied.Micro-aggressive perhaps.
You’ll need more than micro in this era,he continued.Mary forgot to get off the bus and found herself in the Leisure Centre by the River Trent.
What about the river,Stan, she asked.Would you like me to throw you in.A policeman standing near by ran over.
Madam, is it suicide or murder, he asked her.
No,it’s a life sentence,she said humorously as she put her hand up her skirt to get her phone.That’s a stupid place to keep a phone he said.Anyway don’t call a cab,I can run you home in my car.Have you got any China tea?I could kill for a hot drink.
I have some lapsang souchong,she told him.Do you fancy that? I do called Stan from the bag.The policeman passed out.
I told you not to get a boyfriend yet,he continued to Mary.
I’ll do whatever I feel like,she said rudely.I could use a comforting arm around me.Stan sobbed.
She said,quickly don’t worry.I’ll get Emile to sit on my knee.Goodbye for now.Goodbye whispered Stan faintly.Good bye