Sunday Scribble No.4
I don’t know if you noticed, but Casual Perfection, Marion’s Day and Aunty Em were all chapters in a story – and although that was part of my Daily Despatch during my week of writing every day, I wanted to carry it on. So here goes….
The listening ear
She was deep in her sense of grief and, if she was honest, panic about her own future, when she bumped into Angela. She was unable to keep the news to herself, even though she had been told to keep quiet for as long as she could. They accepted that the press would get hold of it before long, but Marion and Mr Tate were working hard to come up with ways to manage the news. Angela was too perceptive to accept ‘I’m coming down with something’ as a reason for the black cloud that seemed to surround Thea. It came spilling out.
Angela put her arms around her, aware of Thea’s need for comfort and support. Thea hadn’t been comforted for so long – or was it ever? She found herself shaking and weak. They went into Angela’s house; her tidy shiny kitchen. All of a sudden the difference in their circumstances became irrelevant, and all she could feel was Angela’s concern and kindness. Tea and tissues were produced, and Angela listened as the whole sorry story came out. Thea wasn’t completely out of control, so she edited any information about the management of Oakdale Grange, but she felt the need to unburden herself of the weight that had fallen on her shoulders since she had discovered Em’s cold body.
Angela listened to the tale of discovery, medics and Coroner, Gordon and Iris, the police and the threat of legal action, the questioning by inspectors, and the paranoid suspicion that she now felt towards all of the staff. It was likely the Care Quality Commission would close them down and she would lose her job – they were already making plans to move all of their residents. The team drafted in by social services were all very nice but the residents were upset and needed someone familiar to reassure them, but all of the people they trusted had been suspended and weren’t allowed to talk to them. One thing seemed to lead to another, in a sickening chain that didn’t seem to have an ending. She couldn’t believe that someone she knew could be capable of, at the very least, manslaughter.
Angela’s gentle questioning wasn’t intrusive, it was just designed to clarify as the facts came tumbling out, and she gave reassurance and perspective. It was cleansing, and bound them together. “I’ll come and see you tomorrow and we can go for a walk” she said, as Thea left.
When Gordon came home, it was natural for Angela to tell him what Thea was going through. She was completely unprepared for his response, which had never even occurred to her. His mother had died in that home.