“I saw you on Sunday, playing with the band,” a lady who was waiting on one of the chiropody clinic chairs called. “It was grand, just like when I was a girl. We often went to see the bands in the park.”
“Hello, Mrs Morris,” Bethany said with a smile. “Is it that time already? It doesn’t seem five minutes since I saw you last. I’ll be with you in a moment. Have you got the list?” she asked the receptionist, Sunita.
“Oh, yes, no cancellations this morning. You’ll be busy.”
The love of brass bands wasn’t the only gene that Bethany had inherited. She also had her mother’s caring genes flowing through her veins, and had trained as a podiatrist at university. Now she’d managed to find a job at the local health clinic.
“Feet?” her mother had said, surprised, when Bethany told her what she’d decided to study. “Why feet?”
“I think it’s because Gran had so much trouble with hers,” Bethany explained. “I just wanted to help her and it’s sort of grown from there.”
So here she was, with regular clients who liked the cheerful girl who was so gentle with them. She glanced down the list and one name stuck out. Mrs Latimer-Davies was due for an appointment.
Bethany inwardly groaned. Mrs Latimer-Davies was the queen of fusspots! She always insisted on seeing Bethany because she said the other podiatrists were too rough. But to hear her squeal when Bethany was carefully tending her patient’s feet, you’d think that she was hacking them off with a rusty file!
“I’m very tender,” Mrs Latimer-Davies insisted with a sniff.
Not to her son, she wasn’t! Bethany always felt sorry for the poor man, the way his mother ordered him around when he brought her to the clinic.
The morning went quickly and Bethany was grateful when Sunita brought her a cup of tea.
“Guess who’s next?” Bethany said.
“Oh, no, not Madame herself!” Sunita said with a chuckle. “I saw her on the list. I’d better go and polish the desk. She ran her finger along it last time for dust.”
Sure enough, there was a commotion as Mrs Latimer-Davies paraded into the clinic.
“Desmond, go and park the car nearer the door,” she ordered her son. “I can’t walk that distance again today with my feet.”
“She’d have problems walking without them,” Sunita murmured as Bethany stifled a giggle.
“You should take more exercise, Mother,” the tall, serious young man said.
She glared at him.
“I’ll be back in a sec,” he said with a sigh. “Hi, Miss Douglas. I saw you in the park on Sunday. You were very good.”
“Thank you,” Bethany replied.
“And what were you doing in the park?” her patient demanded rudely.
“I was playing with the brass band.”
“Hmm. Desmond wanted to join when he was younger. I thought it rather common. I made him take piano lessons instead.”
Bethany caught Sunita sniggering behind her back.
Once she’d said a thankful goodbye to Mrs Latimer-Davies, Sunita teased her terribly.
“Ooh, you are rather common! You should have taken pee-ar-no lessons instead.”
“No, thanks. I’ll stick to my brass,” Bethany told her with a laugh. “At least I won’t have to put up with her for a few weeks.”