Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 7
Friday night was pizza night. They had coupons which would get them one large pizza with one topping for half price. Ed would make salad and that was enough.
For the first time in a long time Shirley was sitting at the kitchen table with them. She still had her whisky but she was sitting in a chair.
Grace was looking at her in shock. Just yesterday Shirley was drunk out of her mind and in agony. Today, she was just tipsy and only showing the occasional grimace as she moved her back.
“How are you feeling Mom?” she asked quietly.
“Like I’m finally on the road to recovery!” Shirley gushed.
“Edward has magic hands,” her mother replied.
Ed looked distinctly uncomfortable when Grace looked over at him.
“I was in so much pain last night that I climbed down all those stairs to his bedroom and woke him up to massage my back. He did something to my spine with his thumbs and it felt so much better afterwards. I think I’d feel even better if my d--n mattress wasn’t so worn out. I felt better than this when I went to sleep last night.”
“Mom, we can’t afford to get a new mattress for you,” she said. Grace was remembering how upset Ed was when he got home last night. He’d been crying, she was sure. Typical that her mother would ignore his feelings and just demand he fix her… back. She looked at him as her eyes widened.
“Ed, did you fix Mom’s back?”
He looked troubled. “I don’t remember. I was pretty exhausted last night. I don’t remember much.” He glanced at Shirley.
“How much is a new mattress at your store? One with a pillow top!” Shirley blurted. Then she gave Ed a weird look and he looked away. Grace was lost. She had no idea what was going on.
“Even with my discount a basic mattress is at least $500 and the ones with pillow tops are all over $1000! Even a basic one would be a stretch on our budget!” Grace exclaimed. Shirley looked glum.
“But my back is sore after sleeping in my lumpy old bed,” she whined.
“We can’t afford it! OK?” Grace was starting to get angry again. It was always money! If she’d sued the store she might have gotten some money out of it but that would run out and then she’d still be in this stinking town but now with no job prospects.
Appetite gone she pushed back from the table. “I’m done in. Going to bed. See you in the morning,” she grumbled as she left.
Shirley stood up. “I’m going too. Goodnight.”
Ed looked at her back with relief. He was so worried she was going to say something about the previous night. Once she was out of the kitchen he cleaned up and packed the extra slices of pizza for Grace’s lunch. His stomach rumbled as he put the pizza in the fridge. He squashed that down and helped himself to more salad. It wouldn’t last another day. He washed the bowl when he was done and went to bed himself. He had the early shift so he might as well go to bed early.