Ninety-five

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By Rosemary Noble

“At least, I haven’t got dementia.” A smile lightens her clouded eyes. Rarely used hearing aids sit stubbornly by her side.

“When are you going away?” The missing teeth never fail to upset me.

“In two weeks,” I repeat.

“What?”

“I’ll go and make us a cup of tea.” The visiting hour stretches endlessly ahead. I’m grateful for a diversion.

I watch her drink. Long, tapering fingers clutching the teacup handle. In contrast her unusable, arthritic feet slumber in old lady slippers.

“When are you going away?”

“Two weeks.”

“I’ve no memory these days. At least I haven’t got dementia.”

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