It was Christmas day, the first day that I didn't have to attend the hospital. Mainly I think, because the nurses didn't want to disturb their own family celebrations.
Around midday, I made an excuse, to go out for a walk, so that I could call Maggie. My bad leg, proved to be rather convenient, in this regard.
After wishing her a happy Christmas, she asked if I would like to say hello to her niece, who was spending the evening at her house.
'Hi' I said.
'Hello, how are you? Are you going to marry my aunt?'
I suddenly felt a little bit awkward, 'I don't know'
I heard voices in the background, and then, 'oh honey, no face, no face, you say you don't know, now I have no face. Oh try again honey, try again please'
Although she was trying to be lighthearted, I sensed a little disappointment in her voice. So I spoke to the niece again.
We went on to talk about Christmas. I lied, telling her that I was at my mother's house, where I would celebrate, with my brothers and sisters. In truth I was at home.
Then I told her a little about how Christmas is celebrated in the UK, talking about Christmas day and Boxing day, about the food and the gifts. 'Honey, next year, you must let me buy the gifts for your family, I always know how to do this, I know how to save your money, this is my
I just said 'ok'
The earlier exchange involving Maggie's niece, had made me feel quite mischievous, and I'd been conscious for a while that I knew very little about Maggie's past, so changing the subject, I made a request:
'Do you mind if I ask you something?'