The shop was more of an emporium with narrow crowded aisles with just enough room for two to pass, never mind the old lady with her walking wheels, her Rollator. She was with a younger man, probably her son, and after seeing me waiting to get past he gently moved both her and her equipment to one side. As I slipped passed she turned to see what was happening.
And our eyes met.
Ten minutes later I was checking out a couple of glass vases, planning to make another one of these .. things,
.. and saw her again, alone this time, standing by a plastic flower display close to the till.
She was dressed in a faded blue frock that looked as old as she was, and as she stood waiting for her son to emerge from the shop depths I could see a constant shaking of her legs, an uncontrollable wobble, and how she gripped the handles of her walker so hard her fingers had lost their circulation, what little there must have been of it.
Her day out. A considerate son. He was probably buying something for her room.
After paying for the vases I went looking for her as she had wandered a little way down one of the aisles, and walking up to her said, ‘You know, if you were running away from me seventy years ago, I don’t think I could have caught you.’
She blinked, her eyes firmly fixed on mine.