She sits alone in her chair and stares out of the window. Her mind defies her age but her body has now succumbed to the impact of those years. She remembers clearly the Christmas of 1940, that was eighty years ago she thinks, and recalls that fact slowly and quietly to herself. She was alone then as she is now. The building she was in then was cold and damp, just like this one. Somebody walks past her window, they are wearing a mask. She also wore a mask, but not like the ones people are wearing now. The one she had was black with straps and had a large filter stuck on the front. She went everywhere with that mask that year, she even took it to school. She remembers the noise of the sirens and running to the shelter. There are no sirens today, but everyone is wearing a mask.
I was a child then she remembers. She didn’t really know what was going on, she just did what her parents told her to do, well what her Mother and Grandmother told her to do –Father was away, doing “his bit”. People all about her had plenty to say, she just wanted to play. And now it seems she is back to where she started – alone again. She thought they would end their days together, but he left before her. Since he’s gone the days for her can be dark and the nights lonely.
“I always enjoyed Christmas, even as I grew older, and now, well now things are “different”. The world seems to be spinning as fast as it did all those years ago. Like then I don’t know who is winning or who is losing. They say “it’s in my best interest – to keep me safe”, they said that back then too”, But nobody is listening.
She turns to the television, it’s the Queens speech. “I’m as old as her she thinks. I wonder if she’s spending Christmas by herself.”