Lost and found

‘I’ve lost my marbles.’

‘I could have told you that a long time ago, dad.’ I walked across the threadbare carpet, dumping my bags on the chesterfield as dad’s bony backside reversed out from under the gate-legged table.

‘They are really important. I swapped my German collection for these three with Reg.’ His greying face etched with worry stared at me and I was overcome with sympathy. I dropped to my knees next to him.

‘You pop the kettle on, I’ve only got ten minutes before Sophie will be finished.’ I shuffled through the shag-pile rug and could smell the dust as it escaped the orange fibres. ‘What am I looking for?’

‘The alley is the important one love.’ his faint voice muffled by the steam of the kettle.

‘The what?’ I ran my fingers along the edge where the skirting board met the horrendous rug and found it.

‘Alabaster. That’s what its made from and I’ve had it for over half a century. ‘Oh thank you!’ his eyes filled with grateful tears as my arm reached out to him as I emerged back into the room.

‘You Ok dad?’ we sat next to each other; I shoved my bag off the chesterfield and checked the time. The teabags floated in the milky water, leaving trails of their contents across the surface yet to be stirred.

‘It’s the anniversary today.’

‘Ah, Reginald. I’m sorry dad.’ and I placed my arm around his equally bony shoulders as he sniffed once before finally giving in to emotion and his tears dropped on to the sphere in his hand…