The Inevitable Trip

‘I just don’t know about this,’ I grumbled to my wife, in the driver’s seat next to me. She didn’t react, so I repeated it, louder. Still nothing.

         Did she turn her hearing aid off?

         ‘My hearing aid is fine,’ she said without looking away from the road. ‘I’m just good old-fashioned ignoring you.’

         ‘Bit rude,’ I grumbled. She made a point of checking her mirrors, ignoring me. I went back to looking out the window.

         ‘You know it’s for the best,’ she sighed, after a moment. ‘It’s for both of us, not just you.’

         ‘You’re not the one who slipped in the shower and spent a week in hospital.’

         She turned to look at me, grabbing my hand in hers. ‘But it could have been. We’ve been far too complacent about our safety, and you almost­–’

         She cut herself off, tears in her eyes. She took a calming breath, steadying herself. ‘You got hurt.’

         I rubbed the back of her hand tenderly, and she closed her eyes.

         ‘Last chance,’ I whispered to her. ‘If we turn around now, I’ll finally get to that shower grout repair you’ve been asking me to do for a decade.’

         She snorted and lightly pushed me in the shoulder. ‘Right!’ she scoffed. ‘With your knees!’

         ‘Ah well,’ I smiled at her. ‘It was worth a shot.’

         She shook her head, still smiling.

         ‘So,’ I sighed, watching out the window as the quaint suburban streets melted into shopping centres and high-rises. ‘Where does one go for affordable bathroom designs for the elderly and handicapped near Melbourne?

         ‘If anyone asks, I’m the handicapped one and you’re the old one,’ my wife interjected.

         ‘Why? Because I’m the disabled one?’ I asked, feigning shock.

         ‘No, because I’m younger than you.’

         ‘Only by three months,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘We were in the same high school class!’

         ‘Yes, but I’m very immature for my age,’ she smiled.