I could smell smoke before I saw it. Someone was having a crafty fag.
My mother appeared. She was sitting on the armchair, her right hand hidden from me. I could see smoke rising from behind the right arm of the chair.
I asked her if she was smoking. I said she can't start again now, not after giving up in her 60s. People don't start up again at the age of 78.
She said she wasn't smoking. The smoke was filling the room and my sensitive nose.
I asked her again. She turned to me and regally lifted her hand to her face, as if she were Princess Margaret. She left the cigarette in her mouth and dangled it like a flat-capped commoner.
I reacted like Bruce Lee. I leapt in the air and kicked the offending stick from her mouth.
I woke up with a start. Betty seemed to be sleeping. But she often wakes up in the mornings with bruises on her leg.
Cross Country Couch
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