Ooh, She's Had Another Fall

Molly  -  She’s never been the same since that fall you know.

Mildred  -  Ooh I know.  She goes on and on.  I can’t take anymore of it.  It sounds bad but I avoid her when I can.  I feel awful.  I’ve been friends with her for so many years but that first fall changed everything.  Her whole life!

Molly  -  Oh don’t I know it.  I saw her at the supermarket the other day.  I tried to sneak past her, but she spotted me and immediately went into great detail about that first fall and how much it scared her.

Mildred - She’s proving to be a damn nuisance. I get fed up of listening, she goes on and on. I just haven’t got time for her anymore. When we meet our whole conversations are around that bloody fall. Oh no, she’s over there. See you Molly. I’m going before she sees me.

Molly  -  So am I.  See you at Bingo Mildred.

They don’t want to know me anymore. Friends I thought I’d have forever have disappeared. They’re avoiding me, unavailable by phone; don’t answer my texts. I don’t think they even know how to text.

You’d think in your late seventies people you’ve known since childhood would be with you forever. But since that first fall…I know I’ve changed, I know it may be difficult for others to understand. You see it did it did scare me…it took my breath away. I thought I was going to die and I didn’t want to die this way. I was afraid to die.

Well now it’s different. When I had my second fall I wasn’t scared. It still took my breath away, but I relaxed and enjoyed the whole freedom of floating through the air, eventually breathing steadily and freely. That’s what free-falling does for you. It’s given me the opportunity to become in touch with myself. I’ve just booked my sixteenth free-fall. This time in France.

I’ve travelled all over the world from Dalston to Dusseldorf, Appleby to Adelaide, making new friends in all these places – free spirits who are living the life of Reilly with me. We text, we tweet, we email and one adventurous lady who’s ninety-three, always insists on writing.   

My old friends are dropping me one by one, their lives centred around knitting, crocheting, bingo, lawn bowls, light lunches in between looking after their grandchildren. They purposely avoid me. I’ve grieved their absences long enough. They’ve become my past as my future lies in living ...

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Eileen O'Reilly
Sep 7 2020

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I love how you "show not tell" in this story, and the last line is not only brilliant, but inspiring!

Paul Sterlini
Sep 14 2020