Eva's Typical Sunday

Eva's Typical Sunday

A Story by Jlwilliams22
"

A woman's day on the town.

"


 

 
Eva always maintained that she led a very fulfilling life even though her
daily routine Monday through Saturday was spent in the same floral pink
nightgown she lounged around in for the last three and a half years or so
since the death of her late husband Milton of nearly fifty seven years of
marriage.

 
Before his passing of colon cancer in 2004, Eva was a very vibrant and
outgoing woman. She regularly would attend church functions, neighborhood
watch and community meetings, bingo games, and participate in bi-weekly card
games with the other seniors in her neighborhood. Everything was different
now. Nothing was as it once had been for the widower.

 
Every Sunday morning, around ten thirty or eleven, Eva would get dressed in
her Sunday best, drape her raincoat and purse over her right arm and head
out to the Farmers Market forty five minutes away from her Bay Ridge
Brooklyn home, to buy a single mango.

 
Her daughters Mildred and Megan were concerned that their eighty five year
old mother didn’t have anything constructive to do. They figured that when
she went to buy a mango from the Farmers Market, she was actually going to
just walk around aimlessly with nothing to do, no one to see and no real
destination. They thought she was slowly losing her mind in her old age so
they enlisted the help of their children to get to the bottom of things.

 
Mildred’s nineteen year old daughter Grace and Megan’s eighteen year old
son Johnny were asked to follow their grandmother on one of her Sunday
outings to find out what exactly she did each week and where she went. Grace
and Johnny were happy to oblige their mothers request in following their
grandmother.

 
“I’ll do it for grandma, Mom.” Johnny said. But are we going to walk
or am I borrowing your car?” He wondered.

 
“Take my car but drive carefully and watch grandma.” Megan said with
caution as she handed over the keys to her new Acura TL.

 
“Make sure you do not get caught.”

 
Eva walked down the stairs with her customary coat and bag draped over her
right arm. She ruffled through her purse for a last minute check of
everything she needed and headed for the door. Eva popped a piece of
butterscotch hard candy in her mouth and walked towards the door.

 
“Well, I’m off to the market to buy a Mango.” Eva said to her
daughters before leaving. “I’ll see you in a few hours.”

 
Eva walked the five blocks to the number seven bus and waited as usual.
Johnny and Grace were in the car already positioned across the street and on
the corner of the bus stop waiting for her to arrive.

 
The bus ride was endless. The eighteen year old Johnny almost grew exhausted
of following a bus that had to stop on every block for pedestrians, stop
signs and red lights, and then every other block for passengers.

 
“Goodness when is this trip going to end?” Grace asked.

 
“Hopefully very soon.” Johnny added. I hope we didn’t goof and she got
off and we missed her.” He continued.

 
“I’d be pissed if we did but no. I know my grandmother, even if you
don’t.” Grace continued.

 
“She’s still on that bus.”

 
Finally, much to the delight of Johnny and Grace, Eva walked off the bus;
but she didn’t get off at the stop by the farmers market. She headed in
the direction of the “Millicent Nursing Home” on Chestnut Avenue. Johnny
and Grace were puzzled.

 
“You think she’s going to admit herself to a nursing home?” Johnny
asked an equally as confused Grace.

 
“No, but I guess we’ve gotta go in and see anyway.” Grace said.

 
They parked on the corner of Chestnut and Grove Avenues and walked in. They
weren’t very familiar with the nursing home but Johnny had known someone
who had a relative there. Luckily, he knew of a resident because without
that, they might not have been admitted on the premises.

 
“I’m here to visit Gertrude Libby.” Johnny said. “She’s in room
three ten.”

 
The receptionist gave the two a pass to the third floor and off they went.
She didn’t even ask for identification or how they were related to the
resident. The nursing home was only seven floors so trying to locate their
grandmother wasn’t going to be a terribly difficult task. Johnny agreed to
take the odd numbered floors while Grace took the even. Johnny started with
the top floor, the seventh.

 
Each floor had its own kitchen area and a small billiards area where the
residents would play cards. They also had a common room where the residents
could watch television and have a discussion while eating their dinner.

 
The seventh floor was empty. “There’s nothing here Grace.” Johnny
said. “Just the faint smell of death lingering.” He continued with a
snicker.

 
Grace hadn’t found anything on the second floor neither. “I’m heading
down to the fifth now, Grace.” Johnny said.

 
Just before they hung up, detective team heard an announcement over the
intercom system. “Will Eva Thurman please report to your post on the third
floor.” The announcer asked. “Eva Thurman, please report to your post on
the third floor. Thank you.”

 
“I guess we know now where we should be heading.” The cousins laughed.

 
“See you there.”

 
They arranged to meet by the “B” staircase on the east side of the
building. The two reconvened on the third floor and walked the parameters
slowly as they tried to find their grandmother without their grandmother
finding them.

 
Eva was stationed in the billiards/recreational room. She was playing cards
with some of the residents. She had a tag on her white volunteer uniform
that read “Events Coordinator”. She was a volunteer at the nursing home
helping the residents to keep their minds in working order.

 
The very thing they were worried about happening to their own grandmother!

 
The two thought it was harmless and that is what Eva did during her Sunday
outings. They were about to call it a day and leave. Grace didn’t want to
however. They thought they’d just watch her at work. Johnny and Grace
never had the opportunity to see their grandmother outside of church and
family functions.

 
This was an unexpected treat.

 
They decided to pay Gertrude the visit they initially lied about. She was on
the same floor but there was no concern about her telling Eva that her
grandchildren had been there. The two women never knew each other.

 
The visit was short. Gertrude wasn’t feeling very well and was drifting in
and out of consciousness. Her chart had read that she was suffering from a
bad flu. Noticing that she was weak and frail, the two just decided to leave
her alone. . They had nothing to say to her anyway.

 
When they opened the door to leave the home, they noticed that their
grandmother had had taken off her uniform and was in the hallway with her
coat and bag over her arm. She was about to leave.

 
“There’s grandma, Johnny.” Grace said.

 
“I think she’s leaving.”

 
“Good. Let’s wait for her to get into the elevator and beat her down the
stairs.”

 
When the elevator doors opened, they seized the opportunity to hurry
downstairs. They made it to the ground floor just a few seconds before Eva;
missing each other by a hair. They whisked by the front desk receptionist
and flew to the car at what appeared to be nothing slower than warp speed.
They wanted to minimize the risk of being caught at all costs.

 
When they got back to the car, they watched Eva chat with one of the
security guards and an orderly for a brief moment then walk briskly back to
the bus stop.

 
“She’s waiting at the bus-stop now.” Johnny said.

 
“Yea but that’s not the side back home.” Grace replied.

 
“I know.” He said.

 
“Where could she be going?” Johnny asked himself aloud.

 
“I guess we’re not finished.” Grace said.

 
Eva hopped back on the number seven bus uptown and got off at Ditmas and
Parkside Avenues where she switched to the number forty three bus. She
arrived at Clawson Avenue five minutes later but her destination to Johnny
and Grace was a bit odd.

 
She was by the beach.

 
“What could she be doing here?” Johnny asked.

 
“Guess we’ll soon find out.” Grace shot back.

 
Eva met up with four elderly friends of hers who were sitting on the bench
at the boardwalk. She and her friends were walking down towards the middle
of the boardwalk when they suddenly stopped and formed a line.

 
“What the Hell?” Johnny asked with confused eyes.

 
Their grandmother and her four friends began to sing show tunes with a
bucket in front of them. The bucket was labeled “for the senior’s center
of Brooklyn.” They thought that they had been seeing things. Not only was
their grandmother active, but she was a singer as well.

 
What really blew their minds was the fact that she never even sang in
church. Absolutely never! This was a surprise to the cousins. Eva acted as
part of the singing group and as the conductor instructing one of the ladies
to use her voice more and others to sing at slightly higher registers.

 
“Francis, you have a beautiful soprano,” Eva said to the singer, “try
to enunciate.”

 
While looking on in awe of their grandmother singing and conducting
simultaneously, Grace’s phone rang. It was her mother wanting an update on
their outing. She didn’t pick up the phone. She couldn’t. Grace was just
too enthused at watching their grandmother perform.

 
She stood out there in a brisk but nice sixty degree day and sang for nearly
an hour and a half. They raised pretty good money too. She was quite
successful from where they stood. Her bucket was full to the rim with
dollars by the time their hour concert had ended. It was something they had
never seen achieved before.

 
Perhaps people gave money because they were old, maybe even because they
were good. Johnny was compelled to subscribe to the theory that they were
given so much money because people simply took pity upon them. Senior
citizens’ singing for cash isn’t a sight many could callously ignore.
The women didn’t seem to care what the reasoning was at all. They made the
money for the center and that was all that mattered to the ladies.

 
The hour or so concert was over and the women disbanded. Eva and a friend
Grace and Johnny knew for years, Joyce went with her to the bus stop this
time. They were on the side of the bus stop that was in the direction of her
home, but giving the history of the day, they didn’t want to put anything
past Eva.

 
“Looks like she’s heading home.” Grace said.

 
“I don’t trust her.” Johnny added. “I say we just follow her the
rest of the way just to be sure of where she goes.”

 
Their hunch was right on. She wasn’t heading home. Not just then at least.
She and the friend finally arrived at the Farmers Market. Needless to say,
Johnny and Grace were surprised.

 
“I honestly didn’t think she would end up here.” Johnny said.

 
Eva had more of a full life than any of their family ever thought she had.
She made up for her home based chores during Monday through Saturday with a
long day on Sunday. Johnny and Grace felt good. Their grandmother wasn’t
just withering away waiting for death, she just didn’t elaborate on her
outings is all.

 
Why should she? She was over eighty years old and all her kids were grown.
She wasn’t sick or crippled. She was just an old lady who wanted to go
about the last years of her life without restraint and answering questions.
She just wanted to be. Just be.

 
“Who were we to intrude on that?” Johnny asked. “What right did we
have?”

 
At the Farmers Market, Eva and her friend walked straight to the back, to
the fruit section. Grace saw her grandmother maneuver through the Mango
section, carefully examining each piece of fruit and smelling them for
freshness. She was very particular about her fruit.

 
“If a piece of fruit has mold, it’s too old.” She’d say. “If
it’s green, it ain’t clean.”

 
That was the motto for fruit picking for Eva and she shared it with
everyone. She could spot a bad piece of fruit a mile away she never picked
rotting fruit. In the rare event that she sent someone for fruit, she would
send them right back without hesitation if there was a hint of age on it.

 
She was tough when it came to fruit.

 
The day began to come to a close and the sun began to set. Eva purchased her
fruit and made her way back to the bus stop. She was definitely heading home
this time. They were convinced of this only because it was ten past seven
and she would never be out past eight pm on any given day alone. Besides,
she wouldn’t miss the reruns of Murder She Wrote on A&E that aired every
Sunday night followed by Diagnosis Murder and then Columbo.

 
It was three hours of murder! Now that’s entertainment.

 
Johnny and Grace pulled into the driveway of their grandmother’s house
seventeen minutes past the seven o’clock hour. Megan and Mildred were in
the kitchen just as Johnny and Grace left them. It was quite odd and rather
eerie. In the background were the faint sounds of Marianne Faithful’s song
“The Ballad of Lucy Jordan.”

 
“The evening sun touched gently on the eyes of Lucy Jordan
On the roof top where she climbed when all the laughter grew too loud…”

 
Those were bone chilling lyrics Johnny and Grace walked in and heard.

 
“What did she do?” Mildred asked with excitement.

 
“Is she ok?” Megan asked with great intrique.

 
“Does she go in to the park and just stare at the water? Does she she walk
around amilessly? Stop the suspense, please!”

 
They had been reading pamphlets on alzheimers and dementia and were
concerned that their mother had started to experience some of the basic
symptoms of the diseases.

 
“Well talk to us!” Megan pleaded. “What did she do?”

 
“Mom, you’re not going to believe what grandma does all day on
Sunday.” Grace said.

 
“What did she do all day, Grace?” Mildred asked growing increasingly
impatient.

 
“She went to the market and bought a Mango.”


© 2008 Jlwilliams22



Author's Note

Jlwilliams22
As always, speak your mind.

My Review

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Reviews

Wonderful idea and I absolutely love your closing line! You follow Eva well and have her character nicely developed. It would be interesting to explore the reasons for her hiding her life but only if you really wanted to expand on the story.

You did have some stylistic problems the biggest of which being show, don't tell. Because you kept telling the readers what was happening it really hampered the story from its true potential. Here's an example:
"The seventh floor was empty. 'There's nothing here Grace.' Johnny said. " You don't need to tell the readers that the seventh floor is empty, Johnny does that for you beautifully. Another example is here:

"What really blew their minds was the fact that she never even sang in
church. Absolutely never! This was a surprise to the cousins. Eva acted as
part of the singing group and as the conductor instructing one of the ladies
to use her voice more and others to sing at slightly higher registers."

You could really trim down this paragraph easily since the information you provide is a bit repetitive. For instance you could take out the sentence "this was a surprise to the cousins" since you just said that it blew their minds. You could also take out the extra information about Eva acting as part of the singing group - we knew that from the previous paragraph. It would also be more interesting if you let us find out on our own that she was a conductor as well when she corrects Francis on her singing.

There are also a number of other places where you give repeats of information - always tell the information only once and whenever possible have a character's actions or words tell the reader, it's far more interesting that way. Also try thinning out information the reader doesn't need to know, keep things sweet and simple. There are a few other things you might improve . . . Try to make the dialogue a bit more natural (use contractions and such, don't have them directly referencing each other's names when talking just between themselves, and other such things).

There are a few typos you have such as in the sentence "Nothing was as it once had been for the widower" (a widower is a man while a widow is a woman, so in this case it would be widow, not widower). Aside from those, great job! I enjoyed the story and you definitely have a wonderful and tender plot. Your characters are great and the details you add or excellent, you just really need to work on the narration.

Great job!

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on February 14, 2008

Author

Jlwilliams22
Jlwilliams22

Brooklyn, NY



About
I am a writer who works 9-5 as a hobby, writes all the time out of necessity. more..

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