The Call Of The City – Episode 42

daily serial the call of the city the people's friend

It wasn’t long before Andrew was feeling the need to put his feet up, and as Kerry tidied away the tea things she waited for her mother to enlighten her about what was going on.

“I’m very glad your father is doing so well,” Meg began as they washed up. Outside, a flurry of gold and red leaves drifted down. It was mid-October. “And that everyone seems so optimistic.”

“But?” Kerry prompted. “I’m sensing there’s a ‘but’.”

“There is.” Meg sighed. “The truth is, Kerry, your father and I have decided to sell the house, and move somewhere more sensible.”

Kerry nearly dropped the teacup she’d been holding.

“Sell?” she repeated.

“I haven’t wanted to tell you or Grace because I know it’s hard,” Meg continued. “You were both born in this house. It’s the only home you’ve ever known, although now you have your own, and even more so when this baby comes along.”

Kerry shook her head. She wanted to deny the awful truth of what her mother was saying.

She couldn’t imagine life without the comfortable, wonderful familiarity of their home here – her childhood bedroom upstairs; the old apple tree in the garden; the family meals they’d had; the evening chats and card games by the fire . . .

“I’m sorry,” Meg said quietly. “It’s just become too much for us. The upkeep, the garden, all of it.”

“We could help with the garden,” Kerry protested. “Why didn’t you say something, Mum? I would have come over more.”

“Kerry, you’ve been helping loads already, and you’ve got your own life, your own family, to think about. We can’t depend on you to keep us going here, and there is a natural end to things, to all stages of life.”

“But you’re both still so young,” Kerry blurted out. “You’re only in your fifties!”

Meg shrugged.

“Even so.”

“Won’t you miss it? You and Dad? I can’t imagine you not here.”

“We’ll both miss it, terribly. Of course we will. But we’ve both agreed it’s the right thing to do, and we’ll still be close by. We’re hoping to buy a bungalow in town, closer to all the amenities.”

“Right.” Kerry nodded slowly. She could hardly argue with her mother, yet she felt a surprisingly deep grief at the thought of losing her childhood home.

With a sad smile, Meg pulled her into her arms.

“I know it’s hard, love,” she said quietly. “But we’ll still be here, same as always.”

To be continued . . .