As I’ve been ill this week, I haven’t been up to writing so I’ve pulled something out from my archives; I must be ill if I’m letting strangers read my fiction!

I sit down gratefully. As I close my eyes and let my head roll back I hear a faint tapping as Rupert walks across the kitchen floor. He sits in front of me and as I open my eyes I meet his accusing stare. He holds my attention for a moment then turns his back to me and proceeds to groom himself.

Eventually I get up to look hopefully in the fridge. As I make my way across the kitchen I notice that I have an answer phone message. I press play and watch the tape move.

‘Chris, it’s me. Hope your first day back was ok. I’ve got something er... something on later but I’m bringing Chinese so sit tight and I’ll see you about seven.’ Dinner sorted, I potter around the kitchen, getting out plates, tidying up. I have a hot shower and put on my tracksuit bottoms then take them off and replace them with jeans and pale blue top. Should I do something with my hair?

The first week or so that David knew me, I had lost all interest in my appearance but now we’re dating which usually for me means pretty underwear and loose hair (that takes twice as long as my daily French plait). I like him, he’s worth making an effort for but we seem to be enjoying being normal in the sense of month 5 normal not week 5 normal. I tie my hair up.

When David arrives, I’ve just finished arranging my flat. I’ve vacuumed and lit a few candles. He kisses me as I answer the door. He’s had a quick wash and changed his clothes at the station but still smells, like... fish. He walks confidently through to the kitchen and starts to set out the food on the bar, putting a bottle of white wine in the freezer.

‘David, face me’ I say and he turns reluctantly. His face looks dark, with what I guess is bruising. I reach out to stroke his face but he brushes my hand away.

‘Chris it’s nothing, don’t fuss and I’m hungry.’

David stays until just after eleven. I got a brief explanation about some raid at a harbour where he got knocked out. I got listened to as I said how most people at the office avoided me and that I liked the ones who gave the direct questions such as ‘did they just fix your nose how they thought it used to look or did you ask them to make it neater than the old one.’ Then we sat on the sofa and watched some TV while I sip my glass of wine and pretend he is going to stay the night.

***************************************************************************************************

I go and see my therapist before work.

‘So Chris, How do you feel today?’

I consider my answer. Everyone I meet thinks I need to talk about it but really, life does go on. But if I graduate (if that’s the word) from therapy my life will be easier so I search for the right answer. ‘Happy to be alive.’

‘Do you think about death.’

‘I don’t have to now, so no.’

‘Why did you have to think about death?’

‘Because someone was holding a gun to my head.’ So if this is number two of a minimum of twenty sessions I’m approaching a tenth of the way through… And I realise the therapist is speaking. ‘Sorry?’

‘Are you finding it difficult to concentrate?’

‘To be honest, I just want to get on with things.’

‘How is that going?’

I sigh. ‘Fine.’ She looks straight at me, ‘mostly. David wants us to move slowly because he thinks I may be latching onto him because he represents stability and safety. He says he wants to prove himself as a friend so that I know I have him no matter whether I want a relationship or not.’

‘What do you think?’

‘I know I’m partially attracted to him because he was the one that saved me and did overtime and acted on hunches. But he’s also a guy I’ve been dating for a month. It’s just girl meets guy and they date. Why does the way we met concern him?’ She raises an eyebrow. ‘I think I’m ok with it all. I get the randomness. I was the one working late, a day earlier and it would’ve been Diane but I don’t want to get hung up about it. David copes, why don’t you think I can?’

‘Are things ok with David?’

‘Yeah I think so. I’ve only really dated suits before. He spent fifteen minutes unconscious in a vat of fish yesterday then brought me dinner and just wanted to cuddle. I’m used to men that smell like soap, take me to restaurants and want to jump my bones.’ I laugh but she doesn’t join me in it.

‘Has he been involved with other women in other similar situations?’

‘He says not and his partner’s wife says not.’

Urgh! What has my sex life got to do with anything? It’s not like I was raped or anything. I just got tied up, yelled at and hit a few times. We spent the rest of the session discussing how I thought my life was progressing. Then I went to work and actually progressed my life.


*******************************************************************************************************************

My favourite part of living alone. Nobody to laugh at me. Yoga with my face pack on can limit a couple of the moves but drying clay tightening my face goes so nicely with loosening limbs. Popcorn for tea and Phantom of the Opera on CD makes for a blissful evening. The door clicks. Bugger! The worst part of a relationship – his spare key.

‘Wow, Chris, that’s very seductive. Is all this just for Ruperts’ benefit?’ he says bending to scratch Rupert’s head.

‘Ha ha, what are you doing here?’ I go and pout my lips so he can kiss me without getting covered in face mask.

‘Raincheck’ he says smiling and steps backward. ‘I’ve done a small injury to my leg. Don’t go in until Monday.’

I grin widely, shattering clay. ‘So I’ve got you for three days?’

‘Shall we go to the bathroom?’ he says laughing and leads me through. He runs some hot water then begins cleaning my face while I sit obediently on the edge of the bath. ‘I’m going to do some paperwork while you’re at work but yes. I’ll be available.’ All clean I lean forward and kiss him. I hear him catch his breath as I do so and move closer. He kisses me briefly then smiles, ‘so what have…?’ I cut him off with another kiss, running my hands across his back as I do so. As I press myself against him he utters a small, almost inaudible moan then pulls me roughly closer to him.

It’s only later that I begin to wonder what was so wrong with his leg. I sit up in bed and look at him lying out on his stomach. I edge up the duvet to peer at it. In a split second I’m on my back with my hands pinned behind my head. David’s face is creased with laughter. My heart is pounding, ‘how d’you move so fast?’

He smiles. ‘I’ve been watching you watch me and have been planning my move.’ He pulls me up so I’m sitting in front of him and wraps his arms around me. ‘Are you ok? With all this?’ And he gestures with his hands, moving to place them around my waist instead of using them to clasp my chest against his.

‘Of course I am, I was just taking a look at your leg.’

He frowns. ‘It’s more to do with the case being over than any injury.’

‘What happened?’

‘A bullet’ he placed a hand over my mouth as I started to talk ‘A bullet grazed me. It didn’t stop in me, it just caught me as it went past. It’s nothing. I’m having 3 days off not because it happened but because I let it happen. I’m tired and didn’t act quickly enough.’ He slowly removed his hand from my mouth. He put his head on one side, ‘But I asked how you were feeling about us.’

‘I’m happy, I really like you.’

‘Good because I think we should give that another go’ and he growled as he pushed me onto my back again.
10/8/2017 10:55:19 pm

It's good to know that there is someone who is taking care of you while you are in a state where you cannot carry taking care of yourself. This is just a proof that we need other people in our lives, and that we cannot completely live alone! Chris is such a gentleman person and everyone would love to meet him. I am happy that he was there to help and guide you. Most importantly, he never left you during the hardest times of your life!

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