Tuesday, 25 March 2008
‘Do you want any more coffee Mum?’
‘Sorry Ella, I was miles away, what did you ask?’
‘Coffee Mum, do want any more?’
‘No thanks, I’ve got to get dressed. The hospital said that I could pick up Dad about 11 o’clock’
‘Would you like me to go?’ asks Alistair getting up from the breakfast table.
‘No, its fine I’ll go. Martin’s asked me to take him some chocolates and flowers for the nurses and I’ll have to stop at the village and collect them’
‘As long as you’re sure Fliss?’ Alistair asked again.
‘Yes quite sure, you’ve done enough for me in the past few days. Why don’t you and Sophie take the girls up to the farm I know that Liam and Cassy are looking forward to meeting you?’
Sophie looked up from the papers she had been reading ‘Would you mind going without me Darling, I need to have a word with Mum and Ella before Dad comes home?
‘No problem. Come on squirts let’s go and see all these lovely animals you’ve been telling me about.’
Isn’t it strange how things work out? This time last week I was dreading that Sophie and Ella would be getting on each others nerves and squabbling all the time. Now it’s as if they are joined at the hip. It’s been years since they have been this close. In a funny way Martin’s heart attack seems to have brought the whole family closer together. I don’t know what I would have done if Sophie and Ella hadn’t been here. They have been such a help.
‘Mum, before you get dressed can I have a word please?’ asked Sophie ‘and Ella, I think that you should hear this as well.’
‘Sophie what’s the matter? Is it Dad, have the hospital phoned again?’
‘No Ella, it’s nothing like that.' Sophie hesitated 'Mum, you know when I was trying to get in touch with Dad’s clients I asked you for his mobile phone.’
‘Yes darling, I collected it from the hospital and gave it to you’
‘’Well when I was looking at his contact list I checked his text messages to see if there was anything that needed an urgent reply’
‘Oh god, I’d forgotten about his text messages. Was there something from Tony Eagleton is that why you are looking so upset’
‘No Mum, it wasn’t messages from Tony, it was texts from someone called Laura’
‘Laura? I didn’t know he had a client called Laura.’
‘She isn’t a client Mum’
Ella reached across the table and took hold of my hand ‘Who is she Sophie?’
‘Oh Mum’ cried Sophie ‘I am so sorry. It looks like Dad’s been having an affair’
‘An affair? No Sophie you’re mistaken, Martin wouldn’t do that’
Sophie passed Martin’s phone to me ‘He did Mum. It’s all here. It’s been going on for months. After I’d read the texts I wanted to delete them, pretend that they’d never existed but Alistair said that you had a right to know.’
‘I’m sorry girls I can’t take this in. I think I need some time alone, I need to think, I’m sorry’
Leaving the kitchen with Martin’s phone still in my hand I walk slowly up stairs. My god just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse. Martin having an affair…well I suppose that explains why he’s been so cold with me. No wonder he didn’t want me around. What did he need me for when he’d found himself a new model.
I don’t know whether I can bare to look at the texts, why punish myself further? But if I don’t look I know that I’ll always wonder. Turning his phone over and over in my hands I flip the cover back and select My Messages.
Standing under the shower I let the hot what run down my face. It’s as if I need to wash the memory of those intimate text messages from my head. How could Martin be so stupid? Did he honestly think that this Laura woman was after anything other than his money? What am I talking about it wasn’t his money she was after, it was our home. The manipulative little bitch was working with Tony all along. Once she’d realised what a mess Martin was in with his gambling she must have laughed to think how easy it was to fool him into signed for the loan.
How could Martin be so stupid? Did he hate me so much that he was prepared to give up his home and his family for someone he’d only known for five minutes?
I suppose she’s pretty, probably young and blond and slim. Let’s face it everything I’m not.
I couldn’t have blamed Martin if he’d just had a fling. After all who am I to criticise. But surely there’s a difference between my one afternoon with Paolo and Martin deciding to give the bitch a set of keys to our flat.
So what now, where do we go from here?
‘Mum, are you OK?’ asks Ella as she walks into the bedroom ‘can I get you a coffee or something?’
‘Don’t worry darling, I‘m fine. In fact I’d better get ready, Dad will be wondering where I am’
‘Mum, how can you be so calm? Surely you’re not going to pretend that nothing has happened?’
‘Ella my love, I think that the first thing I have to do is collect Dad. We’ll have plenty of time to sort all this out later. It’s not as if he’s going anywhere in a hurry.’
‘Wouldn’t it be better if I collected him’ asked Ella
‘No I think that Dad and I need some time alone. It looks like we’ve lots to talk about’