It was the first line of the couple’s conversation that caught my attention.

“We have to do something with your mother,” said the man as he took a slurp from his pint glass. “She’s been in the conservatory two years now.”

The woman flinched slightly as she sipped her wine. “I know. I just don’t know where to put her.”

“Do you have any ideas. You thought perhaps the garden?”

The woman shook her head.

“No. If we move in the future she’ll be left on her own.”

“Well, what about Italy? To that little place in Tuscany her and your dad used to visit?”

“Italy’s such a long way away. I don’t want her ashes abroad.”

The man inhaled, clearly starting to lose patience.

“I had had one thought,” the woman continued. The man looked hopeful. “She did love her walks by the river, so I could scatter her along the towpath. But then I’m worried that if it floods, like it does these days… well, my mother was never the strongest swimmer, was she?”

The man stared at her for a moment.

“I’ll get us some more drinks,” he said and went to the bar.

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