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03/05/2018 / hbrowne4

Watermelon wheels by Eva Creely

Watermelon Bike

There was something not quite right about the window even allowing for the fact that it was multicoloured -like the bike below with watermelon wheels. The kind of scene designed to make you smile. Why then did it irritate Rose so much?

Maybe because it was here on the street where her grandmother Rosie had lived most of her 80 years until she had died. Maybe because she was on her way to the undertakers on that same street to ‘make the arrangements’ for Rosie as it was described.

Murals, bright painted flowers, art work all seemed too much here on this street in the Liberties. Not that her grandmother had been a gloomy person. Rose remembered a home that had always been bright and polished, net curtains washed every week, doorstop kept polished. And even though there hadn’t been a garden in front -always a plant in the window with real flowers. Though now she thought about it sometimes a geranium which would give Rose a headache. Still they were real- not painted or pastiche.

So she was adamant with the undertakers – only real flower,  no artificial, and in pots so that people could take them away as mementos.

It took a good hour and a half to sort it all out and she felt drained afterwards. Even so she wanted to call into the house on her way past. It had been a year since she had been there ever since Rosie had gone into a home. She had put all her energies into visiting her there, keeping her company and up to date with all the family news.

But now that was over- and it was time to face things as they were. It was so strange being there without her. In spite of having it cleaned regularly there was a faint covering of dust on tables that had not been used and floors that had not been walked on.

She went over to the window and pulled back the curtain. Light spilled in and she realised that the artful window and watermelon bike were in view. She wondered what her grandmother would have thought about that.

Just then the door of that house opened. A young woman came out with a little child. She attached a seat to the bike and strapped  helmets on her own and the child’s head and off they sailed- the wheels spinning lovely re/yellow/green/ black.

She knew then that her grandmother would have been ok with that. She had come here as a young mother herself. Maybe she hadn’t had a bike but she had pushed her big pram up to the shops for messages, into town for shoes and clothes and off to the parks on Sundays and holidays. She would have said ‘It’s great to see the young ones getting about. Fair play to them.’

Rose decided to pop down to the market to buy some plants to put in the window. And no surprise when she arrived at the stall  who was there only the woman from down the road wheeling the  child – the watermelon bike was a giveaway.  Rose introduced herself and could somehow feel her grandmother’s presence as they chatted away over which flowers would do best in their windows.

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