There'd never been a greater love between two people. If there had, Irene had never seen it. They were a pair, him with his beard and too-short trousers, her chattering and hobbling along. They bickered constantly but held eachother tight, Irene was sure of that.
Irene wrung her J cloth, one eye watching them. He says “You're know you're not supposed to have sugar” She says “Mind your own pissing business and wipe your chin” He splutters, swiping the back of his hand across the tomato juice, grinning proudly.
She'd seen them in the town one Saturday, sitting outside Tesco, holding hands, laughing. They looked like they'd been drinking, like giddy teenagers landed from another planet.
It's true, no one likes to think of people like them having sex. Fourteen years they'd waited. Risk assessments were written, welfare meetings were held. They sat in communal lounges, were taxied to craft groups, hoisted in and out of baths by women in Latex gloves. Talked at and done to. They waited. They persisted. He was Romeo, she was...she was a handful.
Now they were deemed fit enough to make their own mistakes, leave their dishes in the sink. Drink blue-top milk if they wanted. Spend all their money on Big Breakfasts at Irene's and swear at each other all day.
Decades of standing behind that counter pouring tea and laughing had given Irene crow's feet and varicose veins. In her lifetime, she'd had the kids of three men and each of them had upped and left her. Now Irene watched the lovers fighting over the last piece of fried bread and she didn't feel bitter anymore.