Jim had always known that retirement wasn’t for him, ‘become like a vegetable in front of the TV? No!’ he repeatedly said.
He set out to do some travelling whilst turning his hand to a number of things, ‘a man can have many hobbies. Keeps him busy and away from the wife!’ Jim spoke.
One afternoon, he was looking at new places to visit and saw that some artists had created wood carvings from cut down trees, ‘and I thought to myself, you could have a go at that and so I did!’ Jim explained.
Xenophobic: ‘A personwho is fearful or contemptuous of thatwhich is foreign,especially of strangers or of peoplefromdifferentcountries or cultures.’ From thefreedictionary.com.
The girl making his coffee in the retirement village cafe wasn’t the normal one. Henry stopped suddenly and felt someone bump into the back of him. An angry snappy voice sounded in his ears, but he never heard what they said. He couldn’t take his eyes off the girl behind the counter. Her skin was dark, as dark as the night, he thought and her black purple hair was all twisted together in many braids finished off with plastic pony beads.
Someone, probably the man behind him, brushed hard passed Henry and up to the collection counter. He heard a low muttering and the other woman behind the counter taking the next order. He felt the urge to get out, but he still couldn’t take his eyes off the foreign girl. She turned and he saw her bright white eyes with a dark brown center staring at him. She was saying something, but he could not hear her.
She placed his cup of tea down and moved it across to him. Henry looked down at it, chewing his tongue with his remaining teeth.
‘Did I put too much milk in it?’ the girl asked with no trace of an accent.
‘I didn’t save this country for the likes of you,’ Henry growled.
The girl froze and Henry was aware that everyone else seemed to as well.
The girl opened her mouth and shut it again, her face crumpled like paper, but then she seemed to hold on and uncreased her expression.
‘I’m very grateful though,’ she muttered.
‘I don’t care,’ Henry snorted.
He turned and left, trying not to hobble so much. Behind him voices started whispering, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. It didn’t matter, he didn’t care.