Peter, half-dressed in boxer shorts and t-shirt, is standing at his bedroom window, his female tabby by his side on the windowsill, both transfixed, and a little terrified, by the sheer size of the Grey Heron regally perched on the garden fence.
“He named his tabby cat Tabitha.” Margot is telling her daughter.
“What’s that supposed to mean, Mum?”
“If I’m wait for Peter to ask, I’ll be ninety before we marry!”
“Does he know?”
“What do you think?” Margot laughed heartily.
Her father used to sing a song, he’d made up himself, that Margot had come into this world during a-once-in-a-lifetime tropical storm. All BS and rum-fuelled romance, what you gonna do? for a story she had believed, happily so, through many a year.
Margot hears heavy footfalls approaching and, looking up from the table, she sees the tall figure of Alison beckoning her from the doorway…
“Oh, Margot, Margot,” Alison flutters, “you must come and see this…”
The sixty something, short-haired lady at the counter is delicately tapping the screen of her phone. The previous week she had purchased a 1000-piece jigsaw of His Holiness Pope Francis. Unfortunately, several pieces were missing.
On the screen of the Nokia was a photograph of the jigsaw depicting Pope Francis in his white cassock and zucchetto. He is amongst his people; relaxed, arm raised, a lovely smile on his face, and a gaping hole of missing jigsaw pieces where his crotch should have been.
A joyous – some would say innocent – laughter filled the sun-lit charity shop.
During the summer his neighbours had fitted a pond in their garden. This explains the scary Heron on the shared fence. Peter is seated on a park bench. He watches Margot approaching.
In her shabbily chic dark velvet hat, faded denim jacket, and the purple pleated culottes tucked into her weather-beaten cowboy boots, all Margot needed was an ammunition belt and an old carbine… Arriba la Revolución!
“She’ll do” Peter mused. When he should have been thinking, “Here’s my girl.”