Agnes By Wendy Smith

PUBLISHED: 11:50 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

Agnes sat in her armchair. She settled in Stevenage when her husband Albert had died. Her only son Robert had stayed with her for the first few years, but he had met Linda whom he married and eventually moved away. Dusk was beginning to settle outside and

Agnes sat in her armchair. She settled in Stevenage when her husband Albert had died. Her only son Robert had stayed with her for the first few years, but he had met Linda whom he married and eventually moved away.

Dusk was beginning to settle outside and Agnes grew anxious, every night shadows crept inside her home.

Agnes was lonely after her husband had died in the Second World War. Having never remarried, she had spent the rest of her lonely days working.

Her son rarely made time for Agnes, his wife and work kept him away for months, he had no children of his own, and this made Agnes sad.

The darkness had a chill that found its way into her bones, and as she sat shivering, she pulled her cardigan closer together.

She looked towards the living room door. Agnes gasped when she saw who stood there.

'Hello mum,' Robert stood watching his elderly mother.

'Sorry I didn't contact you sooner, but I've been busy,' he walked over to where Agnes was sitting. Robert knelt before his mum. Agnes stroked her son's face.

'Oh, you're so cold,' Robert smiled at her.

'Why don't I make us a lovely cuppa,' he rose and walked to the kitchen.

Agnes went to the fire place. It wouldn't start.

'Damn thing. I will have to get the council out,' she told herself.

The fire suddenly roared into life. Smiling, Agnes returned to her chair just as Robert came through with the tea tray.

'There you are mum.'

Mother and son sat talking about the past. Both agreeing how much had changed in the town.

'Mum, why don't you lay your head down for a while, you look tired,' Agnes nodded. Eventually she closed her eyes.

Several days had passed since Agnes had received her visit from her son, and her neighbours grew concerned that they hadn't seen Agnes. So when the police broke into her home, they weren't surprised to find Agnes sitting in her armchair. She had been that way since she died days before.

On the floor was a copy of The Comet, a neighbour picked it up and gasped. A picture of a middle aged man called Robert Pickering was on the front. He had died in a motorway pile up three days ago, his wife had survived, but Mr Pickering had died instantly.

'Poor Agnes, that's her son. He was all that she had left since her husband was killed in the war, who would have thought that someone could actually die from a broken heart?'

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