Copyright © 2013 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
“Regime?” asked Stella.
I shrugged, “I have no idea where she picked that up but at least she said it correctly, half the time she obviously snatches at the word and we get all sorts of malapropisms.”
“Well just go out there and stop it raining,” teased Stella.
“I wish I could, although I suspect the potatoes might find it helpful.
“Yes, Simon put some in the garden a few weeks ago, they needed some rain apparently to bring them on. Nothing like home grown ones.”
“I suppose not–look, Cathy, I have to go out later on, could you look after my two?”
“Yeah, I should think so; what time are you out?”
She looked at her watch, “About an hour.”
“Okay, want me to give ’em lunch?”
I went to find out where the three little ones were, they were in the dining room playing with dolls and the old dolls house in the corner of the room. I’d moved it from the lounge after Puddin’ tried climbing up the chimney, and we now had a fire guard across the fireplace even when it wasn’t in use–it also kept the cat from trying the same stunt.
In the dining room I caught sight of a photo of Simon and me with all the children. It made me smile. Then it made me feel quite sad. Simon was being such a trial. I’d apologised. What more did he want? I’d never known him like this–was he angry about something else and this was a way of dealing with his emotions, or was something worrying him?
Billie was in the photo with us, what had she said? Oh yes, we were soul mates, so nothing would or could separate us, not even death. I pondered on this for a few minutes–did it actually mean anything? Death is bound to separate us, even if we died together we’d still be separate. Living and dying happen in the brain of the individual concerned. You might be aware that the other is dying, but if you are as well, I suspect that’s all you’d be concerned with–your brain goes in shutdown, quickly followed by your body–endorphins are released–tunnel of light illusion and the lights go out–end of story. Unlike the fairy stories, the only way you live any longer is as an organ donor or by having passed your genes on to your offspring, so at least something of you persists for a few more years: and I suppose in the memories of others–which is possibly the nicest thing because that way your life or episodes are relived in their minds.
I shook myself, David was still on holiday so it was up to me to get the meal. I went to the kitchen and called Trish to come and help me. She arrived with Livvie and between us we made some new bread and a pot of soup–I found some chicken in the fridge, so it was chicken and vegetable soup.
“Where’s Auntie Stella going?” asked Livvie glancing out of the kitchen window as we prepared the vegetables.
“I don’t know, but she told me she was going out.”
“She looks really smart.”
“She does, doesn’t she?” I agreed, and wondered what could be so special that she’d abandoned trousers and worn a skirt and some heels.
“Has she got a date?” asked Trish putting the stock jug back in the fridge. If she asks about sex, I’ll make Trish soup.
“I don’t know, Trish. I have no idea where she’s going.”
“Can you go out for dates when you’re married?” asked Livvie.
“Um–in what way d’you mean, Liv?”
“With your husband, if you go out together, is that a date?”
“I don’t think so, Liv, because dates are about finding out about each other before it becomes a long term thing. You go to dances or the cinema or for picnics–that sort of thing.”
“Is that why we never go to those things now?” asked Trish walking back to the sink.
“No, we do do those things–it’s hardly picnic weather is it?”
“We could go and see a film.”
“We could but it gets expensive with all you lot, so we tend to buy the DVD when they come out.” I suddenly realised I hadn’t seen Jacquie for a while. “Where’s Jacquie?”
“She went out earlier–I think she went with Ingrid and Hannah.”
So that left me, with Danny and Livvie and Trish as the organising committee for lunch. I left the soup simmering gently, wafting appetising smells around the kitchen and went to see what Danny was doing. I found him up in his room playing some football game on his computer.
“What ya doin’, kiddo?”
He rose off his chair and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Nothing better to do?”
“Nah, Carly’s gone off with her family for the day.”
“I dunno, we don’t usually talk about him.”
“No I suppose not.”
“When the weather’s better, you could invite her over if you want.”
“We’ll see, Mum–I’m not giving the brainiac something else to gossip about.”
It was obvious about whom he was talking. I suppose she does gossip a little, but then so do most girls, and quite a few boys.
“Lunch is in half an hour,” I said, turning to leave.
“Yeah, okay–oh, what is it?”
“Soup and new bread.”
“Great–I’ll be there.”
I smiled at him and left him to his computer game. While I was upstairs I stripped my bed and took it down to the washing machine. Trish offered to put it in the machine, probably not realising that I knew she had a couple of biscuits in her hand. I’d make her vacuum up the crumbs she was dropping everywhere after lunch.
Lunch was a cross between the Battle of Waterloo and the chimp’s tea party. The littlies decided throwing bread at each other would be the high point of the day and I was becoming quite cross with them. I then had three sobbing little ones–it obviously wasn’t going to be my day.
I had the beginnings of a headache and my tummy was starting to feel like it wanted in on the ‘Let’s get Cathy’ movement, by feeling rather like indigestion, not helped by the foreboding I had of something not nice headed my way. Perhaps it was just Simon being off with me, and me wondering if he was looking to move on, find a real woman or whatever.
In dealing with the weeping trio, I didn’t see the police car enter the drive, but Danny did. “Mum, there’s a police car coming up the drive.”
I spun round, “What do they want?” I said out loud but a hundred scenarios went through my mind–all of them about Simon. My indigestion and headache just went up a gear and I felt quite sick.
Danny, playing temporary master of the house answered the door. He had to, I was busy praying to the porcelain. He tapped on the door gently, “You okay, Mum?”
I grunted back that I was.
“I think you’d better come, Mummy, something awful seems to have happened.”
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