The Coat

She has given the chauffeur the day off, again, but can’t recall with any certainty when she last saw him. The pantry shelves are sparsely littered with ageing tins. Sitting at the kitchen table she makes the decision to drive herself to Underwoods. The pages of the battered order book, curled and crushed at the corners are difficult to separate. It opens at a random list of goods, bookkeeper columns and tallies. She gives up trying to locate the most recent order and closing the book, remembers how bright the orange cover had been, long before, Underwood and Sons, Family Grocer, had been stamped, ‘Account Closed.’ She knows which coat she is going to wear. The lining betrays its age, frayed in places and repaired in others, but the Hardy Amies label is sturdy and soft to the touch.



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