Allergic to Marriage
After a few glasses of Merlot, made from grapes harvested from the vineyard surrounding them, followed by a fine coq au vin, Luke readily accepted Tom and Hugo’s offer of a bed for the night.
After the house had fallen silent, Trish heard a knock at her door.
“Can I come in?” Stifling a laugh, she reluctantly put down her latest read, Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. Luke was so predictable. She got out of bed and opened the door.
‘Feeling lonely?’ She asked, deliberately not hiding the sarcasm in her voice.
‘I just fancy a chat that’s all.’ His eyes glistened in the dimly lit corridor, betraying what she knew to be a lie, as they scanned her short, body-shaped nightie.
‘And that’s all we are going to be doing Luke. Chatting!’ She said firmly, but the tone of her voice lacked conviction.
‘Of course… ‘ He said pushing past her, grabbing her hand and pulling her onto the bed.
‘Still no wedding ring, I see…’ He said scrutinizing her left hand. She snatched it away. Cheeky sod.
‘Luke … how long is it since I last saw you?’ He shook his head slowly from side to side, squeezing his eyes together as if trying to solve a cryptic crossword clue. He had no idea, so she continued. ‘OK … let me remind you. Do you remember the morning you went to work and never came back?’ He shrugged apologetically. ‘I was about to file a missing person’s report when you emailed me from Sydney to tell me you had been offered a gig out there for 12 months.’ He looked at her, sucking in air through his teeth. One of his irritating habits and something he always did when he knew he was in the wrong. ‘Ahh, so you do remember? And that 12 months turned into 8 years … not that I’m counting … well, certainly not anymore.’
‘I’d like to think I’m a little more mature these days. And I’m sorry, but I always stayed in touch. It’s just I am surprised nobody snapped you up that’s all.’
‘Snapped me up? I’m not a bloody commodity waiting to be snapped up! Clearly, during the last eight years, you have forgotten everything about me, including the fact that I’m allergic to weddings and always have been. My own anyway. I am a fiercely strong independent woman.’
‘Hmm … looks can always be deceptive. I thought that being allergic to marriage was a guy thing.’
‘Well, it’s not just a guy thing …’
I asked you once … to marry me that is. Do you remember that?’
‘Yes I do, you were pissed!’
‘So were you!’
‘Well, thank goodness I wasn’t pissed enough to have agreed. I would have ended up as nuts as Miss Havisham waiting for you to rock up on our wedding day.’
‘Well, let’s put it this way, I’m amazed that you’re still on your own … no significant other in your life. That’s sad.’
‘Oh for goodness sake Luke! You sound just like my mother! My mother has been a kept woman all her life and that is never, ever going to happen to me.’
‘Ah yes, your mother … I remember her quite well.’
‘I’m sure you do. She was very taken with you and you with her I think.’
‘Don’t be ridiculous. She’s the most terrifying woman I’ve ever met in my entire life. Is she still alive?’
‘Still alive? You’ve got to be joking. My mother will see me out. Not only is she still alive, she is being kept by husband number two, who is conveniently in a nursing home. Which means she is still cosied up in her London love nest with her lover and long-term sponger of over 40 years. The woman is outrageous!’
‘What? She’s still with that greasy Giles Beaumont? No shit?’
“No shit indeed.”