A Supportive Tea

Deb rolled her wheelchair to the front door, calling out to whoever had knocked that she was on her way.

‘Sharon?’ she asked as she swung it open. ‘What are you doing here?’

‘It’s our day today,’ Sharon smiled, stepping into the house as Deb rolled back to make room. ‘Tuesdays.’

‘Tuesday,’ Deb nodded. ‘Could’ve sworn it was Monday. Don’t do crosswords,’ she called over her shoulder as she wheeled into the kitchen. ‘It’s all I spend my days doing and I swear they’ve turned my brain to mush.’

Sharon laughed, straightening a pile of magazines on the coffee table as she followed after Deb.

‘Tea, dear?’ Deb asked, taking the kettle to the sink.

‘Oh, I can do that for you,’ Sharon, dropping her handbag onto the table and shooting Deb a wink. ‘You know I make it better than you do anyway.’

‘The nerve!’ Deb feigned shock, flicking off the tap. ‘I’ve half a mind to contact my disability service provider.’

She handed the now-full kettle over to Sharon with an appreciative tap on the hand.

‘How have things been?’ Sharon asked, retrieving mugs from a cabinet near her knees.

‘Good days, mostly good days,’ Deb laced her fingers together, nodding her approval at the choice of mug. ‘It’s been a nice change being close to my sister and her boy, now they’re near Adelaide. Positive Behaviour Support has made such a difference for him, I tell you.’

‘That’s always lovely to hear,’ Sharon said, dropping the teabags into the mugs. She leant back against the cabinets, waiting for the water. ‘My granddaughter is autistic and my son swears the same as you: says it’s the best care they’ve ever had.’

‘Oh, that reminds me,’ Deb turned to reach the bag slung over the back of her chair. ‘I had to give you this.’ She pulled out a sheet of paper, scrawled with a brightly coloured child’s drawing.

‘From Henry,’ Deb said, paper outstretched, ‘to thank you for remembering his birthday.’

Sharon accepted it, touched, as the kettle behind them began to whistle.