This article is taken from Stand 230, 19(2) June - July 2021.

Sallie Anderson The Appointment
The afternoon sun provides a natural spotlight for the open bag of shopping on the kitchen table. Fiona had left work in a hurry, worried she’d be late, worried she’d miss his appointment because she needed to first go to the supermarket. In the rush to fill her basket with milk and bread and salad, she almost forgot the real reason she stopped in. Almost, but not quite. Once she’d begun to think about the item she sought in the intense glare of the shopping aisles, she couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The rush was not needed because Brian is late. Fiona sighs with relief and puts away the groceries, fills the kettle and prepares the mugs. She places biscuits on a plate. Two Chocolate Digestives. During the last appointment, Brian told her that they are his favourite. She remembered this fact and that is why she was at the supermarket. Chocolate Digestives. They were her mother’s favourite, too. It was Chocolate Digestives her mother asked for at the end, even though her father, the nurses, everyone said that she couldn’t possibly taste them, that her sense of taste had been damaged by the treatment. And yet that was what her mother wanted and sighed with pleasure when the broken biscuit fragments were placed in her mouth. When her mother died, the young Fiona stopped eating biscuits all together, chocolate or otherwise.

Brian is the piano tuner and he arrives with apologies about late buses and missed stops. His tools ...
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