granny stole it

She was about fifty years older than me.

StoryKettle » GRANNY » granny stole it

Copyright © 2011, Michael M Wayman

I was late for Florence's party and I was all by myself. Everybody had got well stuck in, it was one of those parties.

I wandered into the kitchen and found a bottle of red wine and a glass. The doorbell rang, perhaps it was a girl for me.

There she stood with a suitcase, just the sort of woman I wanted, but about forty years older than me.

“Hello!” she said, “I've come to stay with my granddaughter Florence, may I come in?”

“Oh, yes!” I stammered, thinking perhaps that she had arrived two days too early. She walked in, I noticed Florence at the bottom of a heap of bodies, I said nothing, but I think that she saw Florence and said nothing.

“I usually stay in the bedroom at the top of the house.”

I took her suitcase and followed her up the stairs. I had no idea that the house was so big, I didn't count the steps, I concentrated on what was immediately in front of me.

She turned the key on the inside of the door, I don't know why, and put her hat on a peg. I put her suitcase on a small table and she unpacked her things into the wardrobe.

I discovered that I still held the bottle of wine and a glass. She was quite happy to share the bottle and the glass with me. She called me Johnnie.

I sat on the bed and she told me embarrassing stories about Florence as a child and embarrassing stories about her late husband. I asked her if she wanted to go and join the party downstairs.

“Interesting party going on down there.” she said, “We didn't do that when I was young. But, no, it's not for me, besides I've got you to play with.”

“Good morning, granny!”

“Good morning, Johnnie!”

“Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, and you? Did you sleep well?”

“Oh, yes, Johnnie, nice and warm and comfy, tied to you with the soft belt from my dressing gown. You know what granny likes.”

“Yes, yes. Just a moment, I know what granny likes.”

First open the windows. We put the boys on one heap and the girls on another heap. I found a blanket for the girls. We collected the glasses, the bottles, the ash trays, the litter. We collected the clothes, the handbags, the coats.

I vacuumed the peanuts and broken glass from the floor and granny made coffee and buttered toast in the kitchen. We got four boys into clothes and breakfasted them in the kitchen.

I carried Florence and three other comatose girls to Florence's bedroom, Florence's bottom got kissed. We bundled the four boys into Florence's car and I drove them home.

The next four were boys and girls. Larry got a nice pea-green bra and matching knickers, one of the girls got Larry's underwear. I don't like Larry.

I had a quiet breakfast with granny. We could not wake Florence and the other girls.

“You know what granny likes?”

“Yes, yes. Johnnie knows what granny likes.”

I offered to cook for the two of them, I forget what it was, possibly Smitherine of Rabbit in a Red Wine Sauce followed by Throttled Rhubarb Tart with Hit Cream. Florence was still a bit jaded, granny was in full form.

I learnt a lot about their family and what Florence had done with Larry after he passed out. I took the train home.

Sunday is my fun day, but somehow my mind was somewhere else. We were sitting in the park listening to the brass band in the bandstand. It was a lovely day but...

“Bill, where are you? What are you thinking about? Let's go to your place.”

We were chugging away, when “Bill, you know something? This is not working out. We are drifting apart. I think we should stay away from each other for a bit. It's not that I don't want you, but...”

“But, Liz...”

“No, Bill. Let's try something else. You phone me next Sunday if you want to meet me, otherwise no. I'm going to make you come and then I will go.”

My relationship with Liz was always a bit vague and loose, it should not have been a great surprise, but still I was sad.

The phone rang, “Hello Bill!”

“Hello Liz! How yer doing?”

“OK, and yourself?”

“Fine, fine.”

“Good, I wanted to talk to you.”

She put the phone down.

The phone rang. “Hello Johnnie!”

“Hello granny! How yer doing?”

“Good and how are you?”

“Pretty good too.”

“You are coming on Saturday? Aren't you? Florence and I are cooking, it will be really good.”

“Yes, yes of course.”

“I couldn't wait until Saturday before talking to you, Johnnie.”

She put the phone down.

Very formal. Florence and granny were in top form – the food was good and so was the conversation – even Olive said nothing nasty, George, her husband, said nothing, but great-uncle Derek was sparkling and he is over a hundred.

After the meal I went into the kitchen to make coffee for the six of us, decaf for great-uncle Derek. A hand was shoved down the back of my trousers and a cheek squeezed hard. I did not look round, the hand retreated and left the kitchen. I don't think that it belonged to Olive.

After that I couldn't keep my eyes off granny, though I did try to flirt with Florence to confuse her mother.

I had been warned about Olive, Florence's mother, but she behaved herself, perhaps she thought that I was a future son-in-law. I took the train home.

The phone rang. “Guess who?”

“Hello granny!”

“Johnnie, you gotta come here, right now. Just do it!”

She put the phone down. I took the train.

“What took you so long, Johnnie?”

“I took the train, granny, but I'm here now, aren't you pleased to see me?”

“The train? Don't you have a car? If I'd have known I would've driven to you.”

“Driven? No, granny, you are drunk, you don't drive when you're drunk. Where's Florence?”

“Hey, don't you want me, Johnnie? Florence is doing her shift at the hospital. Johnnie, you gotta forgive me, I had to drink something, I needed the courage to phone you. Please, you do want...”

“Yes, granny!”

Florence stepped over us and went into the next room and turned on the TV.

I gave granny what she wanted, put my clothes on, gathered granny's clothes and helped her up to bed. She got her bottom kissed.

I returned downstairs and sat next to Florence and watched TV. Florence said nothing, I said nothing and after an hour took the train home.

The phone rang, “Hello Bill!”

“Hello Liz! How yer doing?”

“OK, and yourself?”

“Fine, fine.”

She put the phone down.

The phone rang, “Hello Bill!”

“Hello Florence! How yer doing?”

“Good, I want to have serous word with you. I don't care what you're doing with granny, I know you, I know granny, I know you won't hurt granny, you're too good a person.”

“Kind of you to say that, Florence.”

“No, the big problem is Olive, my beloved mother. Watch out! She don't know nothing yet, but just wait. I'll try to warn you when I can. Watch out!”

She put the phone down.

I bumped into Larry in the High Street. “You're the one who dressed me in bright green ladies' underwear and smeared my wedding equipment with lipstick.” he roared.

I thought that he was going to punch me out. He laughed, “I'll buy you a drink.”

We sat in the pub, our other friends came too. Liz was there, I felt that I had large lumps of lead in my guts. We didn't speak to each other.

The phone rang. “Johnnie?”

“Hello granny! How yer doing?”

“Johnnie, I'm home. Two weeks with Florence was fun, but now I'm home. And it gets better. You, Johnnie, are coming to stay with me for the weekend. No, I'm not waiting for a reply, YOU'RE COMING.”

“Yes, granny, but where do you live?” Too late. I phoned Florence.

I took the train. It wasn't the house or the building I expected, no, a sort of bungalow. “Oh, yes. Everything on one level.” There were grab bars and panic buttons and a seat in the shower. “I'm getting old, you know, Johnnie. Why you're interested in me is something I don't know. You should be with Florence, she's a nice girl.”

“Yes, yes, granny. Florence is a nice girl, I like her a lot, but she is thin, thin, thin. And you are...”

“And I am what?”

“You are really nice and big. You're as tall as me with your high heels. And you got all those nice bits to hang on to, love handles I call them.”

“You mean I'm an overweight, fat sack of an old woman with bulges in all the wrong places. And my behind sticks out even when I'm not wearing heels.”

“No, granny. The only thing wrong with you is that you are wearing too many clothes.”

“Too many clothes?”

“Yes. And what do you do when you are wearing too many clothes?”

It hit me on Sunday morning, it had been great until then. It was my own stupid fault. OK, I could try to hold it back and just let him go for ever. But I'm too weak and stupid for that.

I want you.
I need you.
You gotta to stay here with me, Johnnie.

I want you.
I need you.
I'm staying here with you, granny.

Who was going to cry first?

She drove me to the railway station on Monday morning.

I sat in the office and gazed into space. My boss came in, tried to talk to me and gave up.

She was waiting for me at the station in the evening.

Tuesday morning in the office – I realised what had happened, granny was part of my life now. That evening I took her to the pub to meet my friends. They liked her, she was different. After a week they discovered that granny was not my grandmother, another week for the rest.

My name is not Johnnie and granny is not my grandmother.

I close my eyes and pretend that she is my grandmother.

She closes her eyes and pretends that I'm a little boy named Johnnie.

It's great fun.

It was Olive and it was loud.

“You can cancel that sea cruise holiday and get your money back.”

“I'd only get half of it back thought.”

“Yes, but at least you would get some money back.”

“But I don't want money, I want to have a good time with Johnnie.”

“You've paid for him too, haven't you?”

“No, no. Johnnie paid for his own. And you know something, Johnnie earns more that your George.”

I heard an indescribable noise and Olive stomped off.

“Darling, I heard everything. It's alright, don't get upset, I'm here.”

“I know, I know. But why is my own daughter so horrible to me?”

“Just forgive her and forget it. Just hold me tight.”

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