Little Lucy Grey

My name is Jackie Grey. I’m forty-three, and I’m a hospital receptionist. I’ve been married to Steve, the love of my life, for fifteen years now. We have two wonderful children, Lucy and Oliver. They drive me up the wall, of course, but I can’t imagine life without them. They mean the world to me.

Sorry: Lucy and – George. We have two wonderful children, Lucy and George.

No. George Grey doesn’t quite –

“Jackie!”

“Dr Charumasami,” I say, dropping my files.

“Taxi for the happy family!” he bellows, leaving me with some scrawny pair and their bundle of joy. Dark-haired. Immigrants, I expect. Probably speak no English.

“First one, is it?” I ask, on hold to Autocabs.

“Four,” says the man, holding up his fingers, and smiles, “Four girl.”

Some people have no self-control.

“Expensive!” he’s grinning at me now. She isn’t smiling, though.

***

My name is Jackie Grey. I’m forty-three, I’m a hospital receptionist, and I’ve been married to Steve, the –

“Jackie!”

What now? Bloody Pam and her Pilates. I’m not trying it again.

“Any more” – she winks – “dates this weekend?”

***

OK.

My name is Jackie Grey. I’m forty-three, I’m single, and I don’t have any kids.

That taxi isn’t here yet. She’s asleep. He’s restless, hands jigging about. I catch his eye. He mimes a cigarette.

“Outside,” I tell him, “No – outside.”

He bangs the door on his way out, but the wife doesn’t stir, so I tiptoe over. Just for a look.

I pick her up, the bundle of joy. All big brown eyes and tiny fists. She’s very nice to hold. Very warm. Quiet, too, not a crier. Looks like a Lucy. Looks like me.

I think we’ll go for a little walk now, Lucy Grey and me.

© Joanna Rubery 2017

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