••• The International Writers Magazine - 23 Years on-line - Life Moments
Scenes From A Life - Stages
It's all bliss in retirement isn't it?
Parker was in their covered patio reading the paper after breakfast. His wife Betty was in the kitchen putting away the dishes. She came out into the living room and Parker noticed how slowly she moved, slightly bent over, an old white-haired woman. He knew that he looked that way himself, an old, stooped bald guy. They were living out their last years in the Northern California retirement community they’d moved into 25 years ago. After breakfast, Betty would do the crossword on her iPad. He’d go to his computer, see what e-mails had accumulated overnight, do some writing until his shoulder started to hurt. They’d have lunch and maybe they’d read or do something to get through the afternoon. Then dinner and they’d watch television until time to go to bed. Two old people living out their last years.
* * *
It was the 1960’s. Parker and Betty were living in Sacramento, the capital of California. Parker worked for the State and they’d moved there from San Francisco so he could get a promotion. Like almost everyone he knew he didn’t especially like his job or working for the State, but it was secure and like almost everyone he knew he was already looking forward to his retirement. He’d planned it all out. They already had two boys but keeping their expenses down and saving as much as they could he could quit, that is, retire in fifteen more years.
“You’d better sit down,” said Betty.
Parker had just returned from work. He sat down. “What?” he said.
“What? That’s impossible.”
“I know,” said Betty. “I can’t believe it either. It’s just one of those accidents.”
“Huh!” said Parker.
“You’re okay, aren’t you? We’ll be able to manage, won’t we?”
“Yeah, we’ll manage.” He wasn’t sure about that. He hadn’t planned for a third child. That changed everything.
In bed that night Parker lay awake a long time before finally falling into an uneasy sleep.
* * *
It was the 1950’s. Parker picked up his new wife Betty and carried her into their new apartment. She was slender with dark hair and thoughtful gray eyes that lit up when she smiled. He thought she was beautiful. He worked for the State in San Francisco and eventually they’d move to Sacramento so he could get a promotion. But now that was the last thing on his mind. Betty was a nurse who worked in a hospital in Oakland. They’d spent weeks looking for a place in Oakland, having decided apartments in San Francisco were too expensive. They’d finally found something they thought was suitable, and, importantly, affordable.
Betty examined all the things in the kitchen. Parker sat down in the living room chairs. The apartment was small but it was all theirs. They went into the bedroom. “What do you think?” asked Arnold.
“We should see if the bed in alright.”
“Yes, we should.”
Holding each other and laughing they fell on the bed. After, while Betty was showering in the bathroom Parker lay in bed in perfect contentment. The future lie ahead and anything was possible.
* * *
In their retirement community, Parker and Betty lie in bed after their usual night of television watching. As they always did, they held hands before going to sleep.
© Martin Green September 2022
Scenes from a Life
mgreensuncity at yahoo.com
It was the Depression year of 1939 but Arnold, eight years old, didn’t know they were poor.
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