Welcome to Sunnyville Care Home
Sunnyville care home lies amongst the surrounding grey tower blocks dwarfed and overlooked like a brightly dressed lost child in a crowd. The fresh paint and bright banners danced in the wind. The polished sign promising a safe and sunny stay was hard to read through the wall of constant rain. Dave can feel the weight of his shopping pulling against his shoulder, the rain soaking into his bags. My pringles will probably be drenched, he thinks. I shouldn't have opened them on the hill.
“Dave my boy. Nothing wrong with a soggy Pringle. Although Denise might have something to say about that.”
The voice comes from a small figure, perched on Dave’s shoulder. Dave doesn't know if he has a name, at least he'd never been told it. Dave just called him dick. Due to Dave considering him to be a bloody jolly dickhead.
“Almost home now Dai but. Head down, last few yards. We'll see if Denise wants a cuppa hey. Or a soggy pringle.”
Dave ignored him as usual. Wondering why he had a Welsh accent.
At the help desk, the smiling face of Julie greeted him followed by a, “Morning Mr Evans. You get your shopping alright?”
“What do you think Julie? Does it look like my shoppings alright?” Dave said condescension dripping off his tounge as much as the rain off his Pg tips.
“Oh you, joker” Julie said with another dazzling Sunnyville smile. Rolling my eyes I headed down the corridor.
“She's a gem isn't she,” Dick chirped up. “always got a smile. You could learn a thing or two.”
“Dick. Shut. Up.”
I looked around my room. The bright sunny blue and yellow regulation colours. I sighed at the corporate slogan in waving fake handwriting across the walls. “A safe and sunny stay” and dumped the soggy remains on the table.
I pulled out the Aldi loaf. Of course no longer sealed in plastic but wrapped in paper. God forbid they should make something sealed anymore. The bread was a sodden mush. I couldn't face unpacking any more so sat down to think.
“Got the whole afternoon ahead of you Dai. Live every day to the full. Today's activites include ‘sew and grow’, ‘cook to care’, and our latest woodwork session, ‘positive cageing, make your own cage for your negative feelings.”
If only there was a way to turn him off. The Smile Together Device was installed into every resident of Sunnyville, a personalised good humour generator designed to make sure quality of life was high and residents were happy. A constant companion for those in need.
But what if you didn't want company. What if you liked being on your own. What if you couldn't stand the constant chirpiness. The shapeless smiles. The pressure to be happy all day, everyday. What if you think Denise your assigned Sunnyville companion is as dull as dishwater.
“Cheer up Dai. Rain is just washing the world to give it it's shine.”
“i swear to god dick. If you say one more thing I'm throwing myself out the window.”
“Do you need emergency help? Dai. If you are considering self harm I will have to notify our Care and supervision team.”
“No, Christ dick I am joking. Keep those lunatics away.”
“Are you sure youre not having self deprecating thoughts or seeing images of personal injury?” the voice was almost hopeful that he was.
“No dick. I'm fine. Let's go see Denise, at least her rich teas aren't under water.”
Dick the Smile Together Device beamed.
“well done Dai, you've made another positive choice.”
Dave sighed deeply.