Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Cleaning Lady

Bert Daly sat on his bed in the retirement home. Everyone said how sensible it was to take that step so that he wouldn’t have to worry about home maintenance, manage the large garden and to be sure to have support close to hand.

Bert thought differently, he had been reluctant almost combative about the move which to him represented yet another nail in the coffin as he said to his daughter Penny. She had merely shaken her head when she visited him on the day he moved in and stared out of the window looking at the garden and the one or two oldies that moved sluggishly down the pathways with their walkers.

She had thought of letting her Dad stay with her but when she mentioned it to Jim her husband his faced turned an ashen grey and she too remembered how argumentative and interfering her dad was in everything they did. No, he would be happier here…she hoped.

Now Bert on his own moved listlessly from bedroom to bathroom to living room and kitchen, “Thirteen seconds” he muttered “and the grand tour is completed.” He sat in his favorite chair and picked up the newspaper for the umpteenth time that day and complained, “There must be something else I haven’t read.”

Just as he was thinking of screwing the paper up and throwing in the bin the doorbell rang followed by a polite knock on the door. Bert got up and shuffled to the door and opened it. There in front of him was a smiling Indian girl who said “Hello Mister Daly, I am your cleaning lady. We will come to your place each fortnight to do the cleaning. We will come every other Thursday.”

Bert just stared at her so she lowered her eyes. She then said “My name is Deepal. You do not have to go out when we come.” She paused then said with a little smile “We will clean around you.”

Bert was still looking at her, he thought that she was beautiful and her eyes were so kind and discreet. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out so he just nodded.

“I will see you on Thursday this week” she added.

“Thank you Deepal. I will see you then.”

Deepal turned and left. Bert slowly closed the door. It may not be so bad living here after all he thought, there is light on the horizon.

Deepal - Hindi girl's name meaning light


  1. I hope he enjoys his new home seems like he's enjoying the cleaninglady coming.

  2. I love the light (no pun intended) at the end. I especially love the thirteen-second detail. So sweet! Lovely, piece, oldegg.

  3. Every dark cloud has a silver lining!

  4. Yes indeed sometimes the grimmest situations throw up something or someone to make it a bit more even!

  5. One can only hope that she is truly a nice person. I am worried about my parents because they will be facing this dilemma too.