What Goes Around...(8)

By: Carol Marinelli

I’m so angry about tonight. I just don’t get how, by the time I get up to bed, he’ll be asleep.

I feel like waking him up and shaking him.

I feel like telling him that this house is the love of my life and not him.

If I sound shallow and superficial, I don’t care.

I know I’m not.

I know why I’m here.

And I know why I’m staying.


‘Come on!’ I walk into Charlotte’s room to tell her to get in the shower, and see her chatting away on her mobile. ‘You can speak to them at school…’

‘But it’s Alice,’ she says, and I must have turned purple because she quickly concludes the call. ‘She rang me,’ Charlotte lies. As flaky as Alice is, surely even she wouldn’t be stupid enough to call a mobile phone from Australia.

I’m telling Charlotte the same as he comes in.

Or rather, I’m shouting.

‘Go easy on her, Lucy.’ Of course he takes her side. ‘She’s only talking to her sister.’

Half sister.

But I don’t say it.

Things have been a little tense since Saturday night and I do not want to open that can of worms again, but it’s another thing they don’t tell you when you marry that sexy older guy - he comes with baggage. In this case, apart from Saint Gloria, there are three grown up children. Thankfully, two of them live in Australia, but Eleanor, the eldest, lives nearby. Her husband, Noel is doing Charlotte’s braces, the invisible ones that cost a fortune, but we’re getting them cheap - that’s about the only perk to him having children– honestly. It would have been so much easier without them, because three more dysfunctional people you could not hope to meet.

‘I’d like a bit of back up here,’ I tell him. I can feel my face is all red and Charlotte is crying. ‘She’s been calling Alice again on her mobile phone.’

‘Use the house phone next time,’ he tells Charlotte.

Is that it?

Is that all he has to say about it? God, Charlotte’s got him wrapped around her little finger, she really does.

Which reminds me.

I’m just about to tackle him about the new pony when the house phone rings, and suddenly my morning turns to wonderful. ‘Of course,’ I say to Simone. ‘Bring her over. No, that’s fine,’ I smile. ‘Felicity can have breakfast here.’

‘What have you got on today?’ he asks as he sits down at the table in the conservatory.

‘I’ve got yoga and then the doctor’s…’

‘The doctor’s?’

‘I told you,’ I say.

I didn’t.

‘Is there any chance you can take in my watch -it’s got a scratch on the face.’

‘I’ve got a specialist appointment.’ I’m as indignant that he’s forgotten as I would be if I had told him.

‘It will only take half an hour, Lucy.’

‘I’m out all day. I’m going to struggle to get to school, to pick up Charlotte on time, as it is.’

Because I can’t do his watch today, I’m reminded of another job that’s outstanding. ‘Remember, you need to sort out the stable and the float… I want it cleaned up this week and sold.’

‘Look,’ I walk over to him.

‘Sort it, Lucy,’ he says and then sighs when I reach the table.

‘I’ve been thinking…’

‘I bet you have.’ Only he doesn’t say it with an edge. The row we had, or rather, the row we didn’t have, dissolves away and he pulls me onto his knee. I actually think we both regret the way it ended the other night, I really do, because I think he’s remembering the last time I was on his lap and how it could have worked out had we been a bit more nice to each other. He’s got this half smile on his face, one that says he knows what’s coming and I play with his tie a bit.

‘She really loved having a pony,’ I tell him.

‘Don’t you want your life back Lucy?’ He’s still smiling. ‘Up at five in the morning, pony club every weekend…’

‘I don’t mind.’ I look into his green eyes and he looks right into mine, I see the hazel flecks and his eyes smile at me. Apart from Charlotte, he’s the only person I can do that with, his are the only eyes I can really look into without averting mine. ‘I want her to have one.’

‘She does love riding,’ he concedes and I realise I am maybe going to get my way after all. ‘And she did want to go for that week away with the pony club in summer…’ I am getting my way! I start to kiss him, not his mouth, but his cheeks and he pulls his head back and laughs, so I go for his neck and I’ve almost got a yes. ‘We could maybe think about Portugal?’