The final stop on the ‘A Random Act of Kindness’ is here with me, TWG, where I will share an extract from Sophie Jenkins’ new book. Thank you, Avon, for having me on the tour!
Anyway, I can get no enjoyment from wearing Enid’s blouse after remembering that. I’ll try it on again in three days’ time. So I hang it back up again, put my shirt back on and once more I’m at a loose end in my empty house. I ring Betty. ‘The undertakers have been,’ I tell her.
‘Oh, Kim,’ she says. ‘Poor Enid. Poor you.’
‘Yes, well. No use brooding. I’m going to ring a chap called Cato Hamilton to clear her belongings.’
‘Kim,’ she says quickly, ‘it’s far too soon to get rid of things. George might want them. Don’t do anything you’ll regret. Just try to go on as usual for now.’
George won’t want them. He has his own things. ‘I can’t go on as usual without her.’
‘No. Of course not.’ She’s quiet for a moment.
‘Do you want anything of hers?’ I ask.
‘Kim, if you want my advice, you’ll wait a bit.’
I grunt a laugh. ‘Why? In case she comes back?’ I can hear Betty suck in through her teeth at my admittedly tasteless remark. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s come over me,’ I say apologetically.
She breathes out a forgiving sigh. ‘Grief affects everyone differently,’ she says. ‘I expect it’s different for men. The sentiment, I mean. I didn’t feel right getting rid of Stan’s clothes. I felt it wasn’t enough that I’d lost him, I was giving away what little of him I had left. I gave his watch to my granddaughter’s boyfriend and when they broke up, I regretted it, but she was heartbroken and I didn’t like to bring it up. I know I sound rather mercenary, but I still think of tracking him down now and then, you know, to ask for it back. I wouldn’t mind paying him for it.’
I nod. ‘You should do that,’ I tell her.
‘Young people don’t wear watches anyway.’
‘Don’t they?’ I doubt this is true, but the sense of the world getting away from me comes over me strongly. I want to ask her what proof she has of this.