Golden Girls

A short story written in 15 minute, non-stop

They do a trip like this every year. They would pick a spot somewhere in the UK that was yet unexplored and trek off for a few days on a bus or train. The annual trip made by the Golden Girls, so they called themselves.

Hailing from north Scotland, they found themselves this day on the Mersey Ferries in Liverpool.  Anice. Cumina. Torri. Lucile. They were a pair of a pair wrapped in sheep’s wool from the farms of the Inverness area.

“Did you get the camera from the boot? I can’t remember. It was in a wee Canon bag,” asked Cumina to Torri.

“I thought you did. No? Ay mate what are we going to do with no pictures of our trip?” responded Torri.

“Just have to meet someone, give them our email and make some new friends,” winked Lucile as she primped her hair and added another layer of pink rouge to her lips.

Lucile had lost her husband four years ago and was set on finding someone to take his spot to warm the other side of the bed. In marriage of course. She may be a flirt but she was old fashion, and would not welcome any man into her room until he put a ring on her finger. Love should make the man hurt with commitment for a bit!  She would say to her friends.

Cumina had a dear man of 47 years. Anice didn’t get married until 45 so she was still technically in the honeymoon stage, even though she was 63. And Torri, well, this trip was for her. She had just lost her husband three months ago and the Golden Girls were set on bringing comfort. It was her who chose Liverpool.

It was a dull misty Friday morning in Liverpool as the four robust ladies waited their turn on the waters for their voyage on the Mersey Ferries.  Lovers of history, they stood there imagining what it would’ve been like as slave, awaiting the impending pain on a ship, or as a family of low states, waiting to board a ship to the Americas in hopes of a new beginning. No matter, there was something about boarding a ship that echoed ‘something new’ to them all.

“Excuse me. Excuse me. Yep. Thanks. Please sir, your cane is in my way….” And here came Anice.

“Where were you Anice? Making out with Gerry?” teased Lucile. Then she noticed the brown paper bag in Anice’s hands. “Ahhh, you didn’t? That’s my girl!”

In Anice’s hands was a small brown paper bag. Fudge. She loved her fudge and Lucile loved her for it. A weakness of the Golden Girls was dark chocolate fudge with walnuts.

The passengers boarded, some 150 of them for the 11:00am tour. It would only be one hour but the Golden Girls still prepared for it as though they were going on a seven day journey. Aside from the camera, they had sweets, scarves and suntan lotion. Can never be too prepared, they all agreed.

The Girls found a seat at the back of the Ferry talking loudly for all to hear.

Must be their first time away in a long time!  Thought a young Canadian passenger off to the side.

I love the Irish accent! Thought another young lad. Even though he was wrong, his fascination was justified.

“Oh, Cumina. Look at those two. They’re handsome and they have a camera,” prodded Lucile.

“Why me? You’re the one set on meeting your match on this trip. YOU go ask! Or maybe Anice should.”

“I’m having my own love affair with this fudge. You two go,” Anice smiled as she licked her fingers clean with a smacking sound.

“I’ll go,” was Torri’s call out, shocking all other three ladies.

“That’a girl Torri!” clapped Lucile. “Wait a minute, I’ll come with you.”

So as Anice and Cumina enjoyed the fudge and the history lesson of Liverpool and how many passengers had rode the Mersey Ferries over hundreds of years, Torri and Lucile sauntered up to two grey-haired gentleman, trying to figure out their digital camera, laughing.

“You seem to be having some trouble,” started Lucille.

The gentlemen looked up.

“I’m really good with cameras. Perhaps I can help. But on one condition,” bargained Torri. “You wonderful men take our picture. Me, and my three friends.”

The taller man looked at the shorter. The shorter shrugged. And then spoke to Lucile and Torri.

“We no speak-o English. From, Tibet.” As he put his hand on his heart, gesturing that he wasn’t from here.

“Oh, um, well….” For once Lucille was at a loss for words. And suggestions.

“Thank you. Thank you.” Torri held both her hands in front of her, as though saying grace and bowed to the gentleman and backed away, pulling Lucille with her.

Once a few feet away, they broke out in laughter.

Anice and Cumina questioned what had just happened of the other pair.

“You look as though you just either had the most euphoric experience or broke a window and don’t want anyone to know! What happened?!” asked Cumina in her calm kind manner.

“Oh, just Torri here. Stepping out into unchartered territory and she approaches Tibetans who don’t speak a word of English!” gasped Lucille in between giggles. Her and Lucille were still bent over each other, holding the other up.

“Oh I don’t know. Maybe a man who doesn’t speak my language is what I need!” and all of a sudden her laughing tears turned into real tears.

The Golden Girls looked at each other as Torri near lost it, and gathered around their friend.

“It’s okay my dear. We’re here for you. One foot in front of the other. You just tried something totally new and I’m so proud of you.  Just promise me something,” said Lucille as she hugged her friend Torri. “Never, never, never give up or settle. You’re too golden for that.”

And on that note, they all broke into laughter and tears and a mess of emotion. The other passengers on the Ferry were trying to understand what just happened, but chalked it up to culturally Scottish and went on enjoying the sights of the sea and the crash of the waves along the boat.

Anice pulled something out of her pocket and handed it to Torri.

“Here, have some fudge. Sometimes all you need is friendship and fudge.”

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