Marion followed him into the coffee shop. He walked slowly and with the difficulty that comes with not being very good at it. She gently put her hand on his back and guided him towards the back of the café where there were still seats . She carefully moved the table so he could get in more easily. She helped him sit down, in the way that we all do with children, making sure she deftly unzipped his jacket as he sat down.
As he shifted himself around the bench she smiled indulgently and asked if he would like his usual drink. He said yes so she checked he would be OK while she was gone and walked the maybe 15 steps to the counter. He sat still, breathing deeply, watching her, while she ordered their drinks. She kept a close eye on him…glancing over from time to time.
She returned to their table with the 2 large hot drinks. He sat and watched while she put the sugar in first his drink then hers, stirred them both carefully, then passed him one, checking again that it was OK.
They sipped their drinks. He looked either uninterested or bored, but Marion continued to talk to him with an animated face, just as most mums talk to their youngsters.
They were done. She made sure he could get up from the seat and once again moved the table so he could walk away from it. Then, almost like a choreographed move, zipped his jacket up again. They left the way they had arrived, him walking slowly and unsteadily towards the door while Marion put her hand on her extremely overweight husband’s back and guided him out.