22. Granny Piper’s Recovery

22. Granny Piper’s Recovery

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



Violet’s mother, known to Jennifer simply as Granny Piper, was feeling a great deal better. The sudden headache that had taken full control of her body whilst she was busy looking for something for dinner in the supermarket, and which had led to an ambulance being sent for her by a concerned manager when she became so dizzy she could no longer stand upright, had all but faded. Violet had been sent for as her nearest relative, and she wished she hadn’t because when her daughter put in an anxious appearance the expression on her face indicated that she expected to be looking at a corpse.

Well, Granny Piper wasn’t ready to die just yet. There was still some life left to her, and she wanted to live it and enjoy itto the full like she always had. For starters, she wanted to help guide young Jennifer along the right paths because the girl was a real beauty and she’d heard she was in some way involved with the boy who lived next door to her, and house next door to the Sagebrush house was a much smaller affair, and to make matters worse it was a council house.

Jennifer was too pretty and too intelligent to become the toy of a boy from a council estate! And Granny Piper knew instinctively that was the one ordained by the Heavens to guide her. So when Violet called in earlier and expressed her relief that she was still in the land of the living and even almost talkative, she had managed to convey the notion that if Jennifer wanted to see her (as if she wouldn’t) it would be nice if she brought her new boyfriend with her.

Granny Piper was a cunning old lady. But then, she’d been a cunning young woman, a cunning wife to Paul Piper and mother to Violet Piper, who grew into Violet Sagebrush, and a cunning grandma to pretty young Jennifer. And she knew it.

So the conversation in the Sagebrush residence wasn’t totally unexpected.

Granny said it would be quite all right if you took young Darren with you if you’re wanting to visit her,” said Violet when Darren had returned to his own home, mostly dried off and because his mother had returned from the Spooks emporium. Yet there was a part of her almost regretting that she was complicit in something she didn’t really approve of because, well, she knew her own mother better than anyone knew her and she was well aware of the kind of snobbery that lurked never far away inside her head. She’d grown up with it. It had guided her in the way she didn’t want it to guide Jennifer, who was a bright girl with a magnificent future if she was allowed to develop in her own way.

Not that she didn’t love her mother. Of course she did! There was nothing about her understanding of the older woman’s almost instinctive motives that affected her emotional attachment to her.

He might not want to come,” Jennifer told her. “He’s got a mind of his own, you know.”

Oh dear,” sighed Violet, “and mother, that is Granny Piper to you, did mention how nice it would be for her to see him, you know, while she’s still around to get to know him properly.”

That was Violet imitating the mother she had come to know. Though Eleanor (her mother’s given name) had know she would. It was the flowering of the seeds she’d planted over many years, and the blooms were ripe for the cutting.

I’ll ask him, but I won’t make him, not like you would,” insisted an independent Jennifer. “I’ll nip next door and see.”

When asked, Darren’s thought-out reply was probably quite predictable.

She won’t want a stranger there when she’s in a hospital bed with piped or wires or tubes all over the place,” Darren said, “no woman would like that!”

But she did say…” began Jennifer, and as she spoke she could hear her granny’s voice as if it somehow lived in her own head. Just like her mother had. “No, I won’t put pressure on you, darling.”

That was too kinds of pressure in one clever sentence. Showing her respect for his ability to choose for himself and capping it with darling. He liked being called by affectionate names like darling.

I suppose if she asked,” he sighed, “and I could wait in the waiting room if she’s changed her mind…”

So the trap was sprung. It had maneuvered its way over three generations, and Granny Piper was to pass judgement on a boy from the council estate.

You’d best put some trousers on,” murmured Jennifer, “I don’t know whether Granny Piper appreciates shorts on men, and I know she detests jeans. I never saw my granddad in shorts, even though I think you look delicious in them.”

It’ll be grey school trousers, then,” he mumbled unwillingly. He didn’t mind her suggesting what he wore, but drew a line at school trousers, and school trousers were the only proper trousers he owned. Everything else was shorts or jeans.

You look nice in those,” she lied.

Nobody looks nice in grey school trousers,” he told her, “absolutely nobody!”

I think you do,” she lied for a second time, and then she heard her own voice inside her head and changed her mind. “Maybe those blue shorts, then,” she said, “you know, the ones you bought before your dad … passed away.”

So it was settled. Darren would wear a newish pair of blue shorts, a pair that she really liked seeing him in, and a paler blue short sleeved shirt (tee-shirts were no-no, Jennifer insisted on that as well, because, as she said, they were far too flippant to be worn in a place where people might actually be dying.)

It was nearly an hour later that they set off in Mr Sagebrush’s car for the hospital, arriving in time for the start of an hour dedicated to visitors. Jennifer was dressed in her short black mini-dress, the one she’d worn for Mr Bingley’s funeral, and never gave one thought for what the spirits of any recently deceased patients might make of her legs as they drifted past her on the way to Eternity, or some such place.

Granny Piper was sitting up in bed when they arrived at her ward, smiling a pretty old-lady smile at a good looking young male nurse who had just taken her temperature and noted it on the record at the foot of her bed with a satisfied nod of his blonde head.

© Peter Rogerson 20.05.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 20, 2021
Last Updated on May 20, 2021
Tags: grandmother, mini-dress, trousers, hospital


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..