A change may come. Short story by Michele Long

Anne looked down at the rather large shepherd’s pie she had just miraculously made and swallowed down the last drops of her Camo Viejo. She had bought the wine earlier that day on her weekly trip to Dunnes, rationalising the purchase against her 10 euro discount voucher.
She gazed at the rather impressive pie, but she wasn’t even hungry now. After guzzling down the whole bottle of Campo Viejo her rather sad attempt at domesticity had now left.
Leaving the large pie to cool by the cooker, she went and sat in her chair by the TV, and watched the closing credits of “Little Women”.
What the hell would she do now? Friday 8.00 pm… and already she was a bit drunk. With nothing to do, and nowhere to go. Like the rest of the world, sadly.
Get more wine! A little voice inside her said. That crazy little voice that she should ignore, but right now she didn’t care anymore. She sighed and decided to obey the voice.
She grabbed her keys and shopping bag and this time head for Aldi. No queues. All good.
But she must make it look like she hadn’t just come for the wine. So, on the way to the wine aisle, she threw in T-bags (no ill store), toilet rolls (ditto), a melon (why?) – just because it looked good in her basket maybe. And finally she browsed the rather poor selection of wines and decided against her usual choice of Toro Loco and chose instead a South African Merlot.
Let me tell you about Anne. Anne lives alone, and has always been alone for many years. So for her, lockdown is not much different to normal. Of course she is aware it’s different. And her anxiety levels are higher than normal…
She says good night to the bubbly shop assistant, and heads back to her apartment complex.
She is surprised when a fellow resident runs and jumps into the lift beside her. “I don’t think you should be in here”, she says. Yeah, yeah, sorry I am in a hurry… don’t worry I’m clean.
He gets out at floor one, and she goes on to floor 2, a bit shocked by the sudden encounter yet at the same time admiring his bravado.
Back at her apartment, she tidies away the pots and pans she used to make the miraculous pie. She opens the South African merlot. It’s not as nice as the Campo Viejo, but it will do. At this point, the object is not to enjoy but to forget.
Yet she doesn’t forget. She opens another can of worms. South Africa. The place where it had all gone wrong for her. Where she had gone on a lifetime dream, and ended up bullied and a nervous wreck…
She turns the TV on and scans through the channels, catching up with the news on RTE, TV3, BBC, CNN.
There are still demonstrations for George Floyd. She has been following them intently. She spent several hours the other night just watching the tv coverage intently…
It means something to her. Perhaps, these demonstrations might bring about a change.
Those young people demonstrating are brave. They are fighting for a change. A change may come.
A change may come for Anne too.

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