After Ginny died we had unexpected visitors.
It was a day, maybe two. The funeral loomed. A call from her work, the bank. They were very sorry, they didn’t want to intrude, but they had news, would like to send people, would it be okay?
They arrived. He, a typical middle manager, middle-aged in a middle-grey suit, and with the decency to look ill at ease amongst our tragedy’s detritus, the embryonic clean up. She, a spherical woman in florals, with hot-pink-framed glasses worn halfway down her nose. The bank’s councillor. She wept sympathy.
They came in, sat down, took coffee, offered their condolences. They told us how well liked Ginny was at the bank, how hard it was for everybody there. Should we console? Apologise? Awkward, stilted conversation.
They got up to go. But not before, flushed with her very raison d'être, this saccharine madam did the unthinkable. After all, how many deaths could she expect to attend in her career? Three, four? Unless there were external factors, her midnight imaginings, the companies dragon boat sinking, drownings, now that would be something . . .
Body fair quivering with her compassion, fair feeding off our hurt, she spied my father sitting in the corner and said, "I’m sorry, but I just have to say: you look like you could do with a cuddle."
No, he didn't.
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