New beginnings

Womans Weekly Fiction Special|July 2020

New beginnings
She’d given up a precious hobby, but was there another way forward?
Sarah Mitchell

What shall I do with these?’ I asked waving my walking boots in the air.

My husband, Steve, eyed me from the kitchen doorway, where he was sipping coffee. I was having a sort-out which largely entailed examining the contents of our under-stairs cupboard, then replacing each item in exactly the same spot. All except the boots.

‘Take them to shoe recycling,’ he suggested.

‘But I’ve had them years,’ I wailed. ‘They’ve slogged across every terrain known to man.’

‘But you won’t wear them, Jean, now that you have… er, dodgy knees,’ he said tactfully. ‘And they’re old and worn.’

I stared back at Steve, daring him to say, ‘Like you.’

Walking had always been my hobby. But then about six months ago I started lagging behind my walking group.

‘Minor wear and tear,’ the doctor said after my X-ray. ‘Your hiking days are over; only gentle walking in future.’

Steve was right. I wouldn’t use them again. Ignoring the sinking feeling in my chest, I left them by the front door.

‘I should dash,’ Steve called. ‘Can’t be late for golf.’

I felt a stab of jealousy. I’d always been an active person. I needed another hobby. But what?

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July 2020