The Longest Day: Letter 5

It’s six o’clock in the morning and it’s hot already. I had to ring my sister to laugh with her about our sweaty day ahead. I spoke to Bailey my dog, he’s missing me. I love him so much, it hurts. I have to remind my sister how to make doggy lollies for the three of them. They come running and sliding into the kitchen when they hear the freezer top drawer open for their treat. “Don’t forget to wet a towel and drape it over them, to keep cool,” I say before we end our call. I can’t stop fussing with these details. But she knows how important it is to me as I can’t be there with them. Next phone call is to Mary*, my lifelong friend, through good times and bad. She knows me so well, reminiscing about me melting, amongst other things. Her grandchildren are playing in the garden in the paddling pool and if I was there, I’d be playing with them, we’d be chatting and probably sipping a long cold drink clanking with ice cubes. Daydreaming now about ice cubes. I really miss ice cubes!!

Time to go to work. But, every time I walk outside, the glare of the sun hits me like I’ve just opened the oven. My worst kind of maths in the afternoon, poor Neil knows I hate fractions. Let alone at 34°C in the classroom. (He laughed and said the week before, “No excuses or day off, Alison*,” laughing whilst he spoke). My paperwork was flapping continuously from the fans, almost like the sound of a windbreaker on the beach. Daydreaming again. But, I even impressed myself once I was shown how to do them. It has been over thirty years since I was last in a classroom. The humming sound of the different fans was quite therapeutic in the background, the pigeons cooing and a tractor from the farm going about their business. Before I knew it, I was writing my maths diary of my lesson and it was time for Canteen.

As fast as my stick would take me down the green mile, I arrived at the pool room to a sight I hadn’t seen for a while…NO QUEUE, woohoo. Back down the green mile, flopping myself and my bags onto my bed. Pressed the magic on button to my fan and lay perfectly still for half an hour before grabbing my plate for dinner. I made my way to the dining room and started to melt again, wishing we had a choice for dessert to freeze my mouth and cool my insides. I delayed having a shower. But, eventually succumbed to the chore and found it was absolute bliss as the water wasn’t boiling tonight. I watched my daily comedy, then the ‘Bridge over troubled water’ song came on at the end with celebrities singing who were joined by survivors of Grenfell Tower. Very emotional, pulling at my heart strings followed by the tears blurring my eyes. So poignant and tragic. But the song was beautiful.

My evening ended with my friend bringing me a poem she’d written for me about what a special friend I am to her and what we’ve shared together. Although I don’t want to be here, I have a warm glow (not from the heat) of the love and thoughtfulness that is around me both inside ESP and my loved ones outside.