Thursday, 27 March 2008
‘Where have you been, I thought you said you would be here at 11 o’clock’ grumbles Martin as I hurry into his hospital room.
‘Sorry, I needed to sort something out with the girls before I left’ gosh that sounds feeble even to me but it seems to have satisfied Martin who is dressed and waiting for me to take him home ‘Have you seen the doctor this morning’ I ask as I start packing his pyjamas and soap bag into the holdall.
‘Yes he said he was very happy with the progress I’m making and as long as I remember to take the tablets I should be fine’
‘The car is just outside that door, will you be OK to walk or do you need a wheelchair?’ I ask slinging his holdall onto my shoulder. My god it weighs a ton what does he have in there.
‘I’ll be fine walking, don’t fuss Fliss,’
‘It’s such a lovely day I thought you would like to drive along with the hood down’ I explain to Martin who is looking horrified that I had left his precious BMW in a car park without putting the roof up.
‘Yes, that’s fine; I could do with feeling some air on my face. You wouldn’t believe how stuffy it was in that room.’
As we drive out of the hospital Martin is sitting uncomfortably in the passenger seat fiddling with the radio ‘Why is it that you can’t find any decent music when you need it’ he moans
‘Here, why don’t you put this CD on’ I say passing him his favourite Genesis album
It isn’t long before Martin falls asleep. He must be exhausted; I know that he didn’t sleep very well in hospital, he said that there was too much going on through the night for him to settle properly.
I wasn’t at all surprised when Martin’s doctors said that they think that his heart attack could have been stress related and he has to change the way he lives if he wants to avoid another one. I suppose all the problems he was having with the loan repayments were just too much for him.
‘What are you thinking about?
‘Martin you gave me a start, I thought you were still asleep’
‘I was just dozing; I’m sorry I was so grumpy earlier, I was just tired and couldn’t wait to get out of the hospital’
‘I know Darling, don’t worry we’ll be home soon.’
‘Have the girls gone back to London yet?’
‘No’ I hesitate ‘they wanted to see you home first.’
‘Good I need to talk to Sophie about this loan she’s arranging with Crabtree and Wright’
‘Sophie’s got it all in hand. Martin you must remember what the hospital said, no more worrying about the business. Sophie and I have everything under control. All the invoices for last month have gone out and the loan will cover any shortfall until the outstanding bills are paid.’
‘I am very grateful you know’ says Martin putting his hand on my shoulder ‘I don’t know what I would have done without you this past week. I’m so sorry that I didn’t tell you about the mess earlier’
‘Don’t worry about that now let’s just get you home’ I say as I pull the car into our drive.
Standing on the driveway waiting for us is Ella.
‘Dad welcome home, let’s get you indoors.
‘Come and give your old Dad a hug first’
Sophie must have heard the car pull up and is standing in the doorway watching as Ella and Martin stand laughing on the drive.
‘Welcome home Dad. Here let me take that case off you Mum, shall I put it into your bedroom?’
‘Yes please Sophie, come on you two let’s get in and settled.’
Sophie barely looks at Martin as she picks up his up his holdall and walks back into the villa.
‘Martin what are you doing, I thought that you were resting’
‘I was only looking for my mobile phone. I thought that I’d left it in the pocket of these trousers.’ Martin says as he closes the wardrobe door.
‘You did but I gave it to Sophie so that she could get in touch with your clients. It’s in the study. Do you want me to get it?’ I ask
‘Has she read the texts’ he asks shaking and turning pale.
‘Yes Martin, she read them.’
‘So you know. You know about Laura?’
‘Yes I’m afraid I do.’
‘Fliss my love, I am so sorry. Let me explain’
I cut him short ‘No Martin, not now. There’ll be plenty of time for explanations later. Right now I think that we should concentrate on getting you better.’
‘But Fliss, there’s so much I need to tell you.’
‘Martin I’m sorry I can’t cope with this right now. Let’s just get through the next few days, and then we’ll talk. Come on let’s go onto the patio, Olivia and Grace can’t wait to see you. They’ve missed their Grandpa and have lots to tell you.’
Martin looks at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen and quietly follow me out to his waiting family.
‘You’ll have to speak to him sometime Sophie’
‘I know’ says Sophie looking at Ella ‘but not just yet. He’ll be fine with Alistair and the girls while I get our cases packed.’
‘The packing can wait Sophie, go out and see Dad.’
‘Why? So he can lie to me, tell me it was all a big mistake.’
‘But it was a mistake; he could never have left Mum.’
‘How do you know that Ella, how can any of us know what he was thinking of?’
‘You’re right, I don’t know, but you are only punishing yourself by not talking to him. It’s down to Mum now. If she can forgive him I think that we should at least give him a chance. Come on let’s go out together; we’ve only got a couple of hours before we have to leave for the airport. Let’s show Mum that we’re behind her. I think that she’s going to need us to be there for her over the next few weeks.’
‘You’re right, of course you are. Come on then little sister, let’s go and play happy families.’
Ella turns and hugs her sister ‘You know sis, with us on their side there’s no way they can fail.’
Holding Ella hand as they walk out of the bedroom, Sophie sighs ‘I hope you’re right, I really do.’