I’m not good on stairs at the best of times. I lose my balance. Always think I’m going to fall, even though David says, “Of course you won’t. You’ve never fallen down the stairs, have you?”
Well, not in any of our houses I haven’t. But I did when I was a child. Fifty-odd years ago and I remember it clear as day. I suppose it was more comical for my parents than traumatic: there was no agonising tumbling and rolling, just bump, bump, bump on my behind until I reached the bottom. They didn’t laugh, bless them. Mum came to help me but I could tell she wasn’t that concerned. All I had to show for it was a bruised backside.
David wanted to come up because the hotel people told us the view’s lovely. I told him, “Go up on your own, I’ll never make it up there,” but he insisted I didn’t want to miss the view.
“After all, Nessa, it’s your holiday too,” he said, as though dragging me up a load of mucky steps would make my week. I suggested he take photos and show me, but he just told me I always say I can’t and this time he wasn’t having it.
So I puffed up the stairs and nearly fell back down them at least twice. Now he wants me to admire the view, and all I want to do is get my breath back.
“It’s fantastic,” he says.
Despite my crabbiness, I can see what the hotel people meant. Miles and miles of lush, deep green. “I wish we had more trees at home,” I tell him.
“Not the trees. You.”
Me? Fantastic? It’s been a few years since I heard those two together. Especially from David. I’m obviously surprised, so he says, “A year ago, you wouldn’t have got past the first step. All that weight you’ve lost – see, it’s paid off. Next year we’ll come back and you can run up them.”
True enough. A year ago I’d barely leave the house, let alone go on holiday. And these steps just wouldn’t have come into it. I’ve dropped six stone, and I’ve got a long way to go yet. He's right: I got up the steps!
But I’ll never run up any stairs. Or down them. I don’t think David’s twigged that getting me back down there is going to be twice as hard as making me climb up was. I’m not good on stairs, remember. And despite it being considerably smaller than it was, I still don’t want a bruised backside.
I wrote this in response to a visual prompt at Prompts for Writers. It's my first monologue in a few years, and while I'm sure it's not a perfect example, it flowed very easily. Constructive feedback, as ever, is more than welcome.