Short Stories

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With Love …

Dear Aunt Geraldine,

Thank you so much for the lovely embroidered tray cloth that arrived this morning. I shall put it away with the antimacassars you sent for my birthday. Yes, it isn’t easy to buy such items these days and I appreciate the effort you put into finding them for me. I haven’t literally got a ‘bottom drawer’ as you suggested, but I’m keeping them in a rather pretty seagrass basket lined with floral cotton. I am sure they’ll come in useful one day.

In answer to your question, no, I haven’t found Mr Right yet, but honestly, I’m in no hurry. I do know it’s nearly three years since Simon died and I love you for the wonderful support you’ve given me since that awful day. Maybe I wasn’t destined to be a bride, but I really don’t think I’m in danger of becoming an old maid, Aunt G. Things are different these days, careers are important to women and I love my job at the animal sanctuary – I get all the affection and sloppy kisses I could want there.

Mum sends her love. She says it’s ages since you came to stay and you know you’re always welcome. We were pleased to hear you’d taken on a lodger cum companion, Chrissie, isn’t it? Mum’s delighted she’s a medical student; she seems to think that speaks volumes about her character, and it’s great that she helps with the garden and can drive you about a bit.  Must go now. I’m on a late shift at work – got to see a man about a dog, ha ha!

With love, Lizzie x x

Dear Aunt Geraldine,

What a great idea to protect my linens with mothballs! Actually, I have some sweet little sachets of lavender that I might use instead, but thanks for the tip.

Please don’t worry about my job; I’m always careful about letting the dogs lick my face. You really shouldn’t keep sending me presents, but you’re right, it can be cold exercising the dogs and the thermal vests you sent will be useful so thank you. And I know I’m your favourite great-niece, but could that be because I’m your only one?

It sounds as if you and Chrissie had a great day up in London. She’s brave to drive into the city; I’d take the tube any day. Mum thinks Chrissie sounds like the ideal lodger, but she’s a little concerned about the peppercorn rent arrangement. I’m to tell you she’ll ring soon.

It is only a couple of weeks since you last asked, but no, I haven’t found a beau yet. It isn’t a case of not trying Aunt G and I do have a full and exciting social life. As for the Internet dating you warned me about, don’t worry, I have no intention of doing anything so outrageous. And it’s not a matter of finding someone who will match up to Simon. You know I was devastated after the accident, and no one could ever replace him, but if someone comes along, then fine, I’m just not in any hurry.

Have you decided when you’re coming to visit? I’m due a couple of day’s holiday so I could spend some time with you. Let us know, bye for now,

With love, Lizzie x x

Dear Aunt Geraldine

I’m so glad you’re enjoying knitting again, and the tea cosy is lovely, thank you. Those tiny little egg cosies match beautifully; they must have taken you ages to make.

We’re so pleased you can come and stay and of course Chrissie can come too, there’s bags of room and it will be good to meet her. I must admit to being a little jealous. Your description of her and all she does makes me feel quite inferior, but I’m sure we’ll get along if you like her, and it will be much better being chauffeured rather than struggling with your bags on the train. I’ve taken three days off work to make a long weekend, so I thought a trip to the coast would be fun one day with a posh picnic perhaps? We’ll see how you feel when you arrive. Looking forward to seeing you.

With love, Lizzie x x

Dear Aunt Geraldine,

What was it you used to call me when I was a mischievous child, a scallywag wasn’t it? Well, I think that term applies to you now! If I didn’t love you so much I may not be so polite and tell you that you’re a crafty, conniving old witch! You deliberately let me think “Chrissie” was a girl – okay, I know you have a habit of adding ‘ie’ to everyone’s name, it certainly stuck with me, but I think you planned this from the beginning. It could have been embarrassing if I’d made up the spare bed in my room for Chris as I intended; thank heavens Mum decided to spring clean the attic and put him in there instead.

I could tell how much you two thought of each other as soon as I saw the hand-knitted socks he was wearing. As for your funny turn on the morning we were due to go to the coast, well that was just blatant. What’s worse is that I’m pretty sure you’d roped Mum into the conspiracy by then. Even Chris could see through that one. I was so embarrassed: what should have been a day out for the four of us turning into almost a date. You didn’t actually need Mum to stay behind to look after you, did you?

Of course, I’ll have to forgive you. You didn’t tell any lies about Chris; he is rather attractive and intelligent, with a great personality, and he loves dogs as well as little old ladies. And I can’t argue that we’re unsuited as we got on so well on our day out together, and it was good of him to take me for a meal the following day to say thank you.

Aunt G, you are terrible; a matchmaker, an old fashioned romantic, but I must admit you have excellent taste. Between you and me, I do rather like Chris, and it’s the first time I’ve felt like this since Simon. He tells me you’ve asked him to bring you up for a few days next month – can I count on one of your funny turns again? Bless you, Aunt G; you always did know what was best for me, even before I did, and to be honest with you, I’ve been working so hard lately that I feel I could do with a bit of a break myself. Could I come and stay with you next weekend?

Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for all the thoughtful presents,

With love, Lizzie x x