Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
“So I get the benefit of your company tonight?” Simon remarked as I followed him into the bedroom.
“Yes, Trish has got Meems and Livvie with her tonight.”
“I know, I just wondered if you were avoiding me.”
“Simon, you’re my husband, friend and lover—why should I avoid you?”
“I get nervous—I’m frightened of losing you.” The look in his eyes suggested he was telling the truth and it was painful for him, as it was for me to hear.
“Darling, we’ve discussed this before, I’ve told you, I love you; why should I go away from you?”
“I suppose it’s what my mother did—it’s what women do.” As he said this his eyes filled with tears and he sobbed onto my shoulder.
“I promise not to leave you as long as you want me to stay.” I cooed to him as he sobbed.
“So that means you will leave me?”
“Only if you wanted me to, otherwise, I plan on being with you until one of us dies.” I hugged him to reinforce.
“I don’t want you to leave me, ever,” he managed to say before sniffing and snorting again.
“I won’t.” Ever and never are such abused words in the English language, how can a transient life form like us talk about ever and never, meaning for all time, or eternity? It’s a nonsense, but I considered now might not be a good time to discuss syntax.
“Surely, it’s I who should be worried about losing you—you’re the better catch.” I tried to lift his spirits.
“Me? That’s a laugh, I’m only here because you’ve saved my life so many times it belongs to you.”
“If it does then I give it back to you with love, no one can own another. We are all free spirits—or should be.”
“You’re such a good person, Cathy.”
“I don’t think so, darling, but thank you for the compliment.”
“I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to live without you. If anything happened to you, I’d go crazy and just want to die as well.”
“Hey, let’s stop this maudlin mood and look at things in reality. First, I’m not going anywhere; second, if anything were to happen to me, you have too many responsibilities to have time to worry about my loss—we have children to look after—who trust us to do our best for them. If one or other of us is prevented from fulfilling that task, the other has to take up the slack.”
“Without your guidance, none of us here would have a clue what to do.”
“Don’t be silly, of course they would. Tom has already been a parent, Stella is doing fine as one and when I watch you with the kids, they love you to bits. Parenting is ninety per cent common sense and ten percent inspiration, plus a little time to actually listen to your children—which we none of us do often enough—I know I don’t.”
“The children absolutely adore you, Cathy, they’d be lost without you—we all would.”
“I’m not going anywhere, so why all this doom and gloom, or do you know something I don’t?”
“No, of course not.”
“C’mon, into bed—we’ve had an exhausting few days and now we’ve got the happy campers back.”
“Happy? They were bickering before they went to bed.”
“I was being ironic.”
“Oh, was I being moronic?”
Part of me felt like saying yes, but I suppressed it. “C’mon, let’s get some sleep, and stop worrying, I’m not going to leave you and I’m certainly not going to leave the children.” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew it as the wrong thing to say to him in this fragile state.
“So you’re only staying because of the children?”
“You don’t actually believe that do you? Have you not been listening to anything I’ve said. I am not leaving you—period. Now stop worrying and go to sleep.”
I felt quite irritated by his clinginess—where was the ebullient aristocratic banker, heir to billions of pounds? He would be one of the wealthiest men in the kingdom when he succeeds his father as head of the bank as he one day will.
It’s women who become invisible as they age—not men. It is we who are passed over because we start to look our ages, passed over for younger models and they actively connive to capture a good prospect. Women are their own worst enemies, we complain about all sorts of iniquities and inequalities and then stab our sisters in the back. No wonder men rule the roost—we let them by rendering ourselves powerless to try and keep them. Feminism has a long way to go yet.
“A penny for them,” Si said quietly, which was when I realised I’d been in one of my brown studies.
“Not worth a penny.”
“They are to me—care to share?”
I’d have to be careful not to encourage his paranoia. “I was thinking about how we’d be when we’re older—when my curves head south and my hair begins to fall out.”
“If you look like that, then what will I look like—a balding fat slug.” He was obviously in one of those moods tonight.
“Perhaps I’ll have developed a thing about fat, balding slugs by then?”
He laughed, although I suspect it wasn’t at my humour, possibly more irony.
“We need to sleep,” I said, “I’m going to turn over now, it isn’t a snub, it’s because I sleep better on my side.”
I pushed back against him and felt his arm hold me firmly but gently to make sure I didn’t get away—not that I was going anywhere anyway—who in their right mind would want a middle-aged, transsexual woman with a bus load of children? No, Si was definitely ahead in the desirability stakes, though I won’t tell him in case it encourages him to test my theory.
I fell asleep eventually, having lain there feeling very concerned. I didn’t know what had set off Simon’s insecurity. I suspected that Trish’s abduction and her getting trapped on the ferry played on his mind, coupled with the fact that I’d been neglecting him to search for our daughter.
I wonder sometimes that when he’s in parent mode—he’s a very good father and shows the children he loves them and they think the world of him. When he isn’t in that mode, and he does vacillate at times, he resents seeing me giving my time to the children or perhaps even to others. Normally he doesn’t say anything because he knows it would make things worse, but just now and again from his expression or little verbal clues, I detect a degree of jealousy or resentment.
I don’t know if that’s boy thing mainly, I suspect not, but when I see him with the kids and really getting into being a father—at which he can be very good—I don’t feel at all jealous, in fact I think I love him even more for it. Perhaps we want different things from our relationship?
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