Cold Coffee

Written 2017

Gladys sat down on the sofa with her shopping bags all around her.

“Bloody cold out there,” she said.

“That it is mum,” said Beryl.

“At least we got the fancy dress.”

“Yes. Do you want a coffee?”

“Yes dear.”

Beryl walked away. Gladys took off her woolly hat and fussed through the bags. She was still fussing when Beryl returned with a tray of drinks and cake.

“Here you are mum.”

“Bloody cold out there dear.”

“Yes mum, your coffee.”

“At least we got the fancy dress.”

“Yes mum, your coffee.”

“Smells nice dear.”

“I got you some cake too.”

Gladys fusses in the bags.

“What are you looking for mum?”

“My specs dear.”

“Mum, you’re wearing them.”

“Oh,” she says, and puts her hand to her face, “so I am.”

Beryl does not laugh.

“Mum, your coffee.”

“Oh yes dear. Oh, you got cake too.”

“Better have it before it gets cold.”

“Bloody cold out there love.”

“Yes it is mum.”

“Did we get all the fancy dress?”

Beryl eats her cake and says nothing. Gladys looks through the bags.

“I can’t find my specs.”


“Yes dear?”

“They. Are. On. Your. Face.”

“Oh yes, silly me.”

“Now have your coffee.”

“Oh, yes, and you got some cake, lovely.”

Gladys picks up the cup and takes a sip.

“Oh, it’s a little cold.”

“Well if you had drunk it when I said…”

“I did!”


Gladys nibbles on her cake and sips the coffee.

“Oh it’s cold.”

Beryl is quiet.

“I said, it’s cold.”

“Yes mum”

“Well there is no need to ignore me.”


“Yes darling.”


Beryl finishes her coffee and cake but Gladys is riffling through the bags again with her cake and drink half consumed.

“Now, did we get all the fancy dress?”

“Yes mum we did.”

“Oh good.” She stops fiddling and looks at the coffee and cake. “Oh is this mine?”

“Yes mum, it’ll be cold now.”

“Oh, it is dear, you could have told me.”