Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Episode 25 - We need to talk

‘Thanks Ken, yes I’m feeling a lot better now. The family have been brilliant. Oh, good for her, yes of course we’ll try and get down there. Wish her luck from us. Yes, sure, thanks again’

‘Lizzie is having a stall in the market next Thursday, pictures, ornaments that sort of thing. Ken wanted to know if we would be able to go along and support her’

‘Will you be fit enough for walking around the market?’ asked Fliss, concerned as always that Martin would try and do too much too early ‘Maybe we should ask the Doctor if it’ll be OK. You’re seeing him Wednesday aren’t you?’

‘I’m sure he’ll say it’ll be fine. Gentle exercise they said when they discharged me. If you’d drive us down to the village I’m sure that I’ll be able to manage half an hour around the market’

‘As long as you’re sure’ said Fliss

Martin looked at Fliss sitting in the shade with her lap top open on the patio table. ‘Fliss, I think that we need to talk’

‘Yes darling in a minute; I just want to finish this email to Sophie. She’s managed to fix up an appointment with one of the senior partners this afternoon about the debt repayment schedule and she needs a few figures from the clients’ account’

‘Shall I get them for her’ Martin asked moving over to the table

‘No Darling, you sit down, I’ve nearly done it’

Martin watched as Fliss’ fingers flew over the keyboard. He was amazed at how quickly she had grown in confidence using the computer. It wasn’t so very long ago, he thought, that she needed his help to open up a spreadsheet never mind complete one.

‘Right’, said Fliss closing the cover on the laptop ‘what was it you wanted to talk about?’

‘Us, I want to talk about where we go from here.’

‘Are you sure Martin? You know what the doctor said about getting over anxious.’
‘Fliss I am getting more ‘over anxious’ as you call it, not talking. I think that we need to clear the air.’

‘I don’t know if I want to’ said Fliss turning away from him ‘we seem to be doing alright at the moment, why make things more complicated between us by raking up the past.’

Fliss will you just sit down and listen to me’ Martin walked over and took her hand ‘we can’t leave so much unsaid. Please, I need to explain to you what happened’

Fliss looked a Martin in total disbelief; the man who had buried his head in the sand for months now thought that one conversation was going to make all this heartache disappear. The arrogance of the man, she thought, the sheer self obsessed arrogance.

‘And just how are you going to explain that you were prepared to give up every thing for some little tart that you met in a bar’ Fliss spat ‘How are you going to explain that I very nearly lost my home because you went behind my back to cover your gambling debts?’ Fliss shook off Martin hand ‘And how are you going to explain that you were all ready to ask me for a divorce before you had the heart attack. I’m sorry Martin; nothing you can say can make all that better.’

Martin slumped back down into the chair, ‘I have been a fool, is that what you want to hear me say? I have been a stupid fool who thought that all this meant nothing. Marriage, home, family, I thought that I didn’t want the responsibility of it all any more. I thought I didn’t need any of it. I wanted my freedom. I admit it. I was flattered when Laura showed an interest in me. I couldn’t believe that a girl young enough to be my daughter would want to go out with me. But I was wrong Fliss, so very wrong. This heart attack opened my eyes in more ways than you can ever imagine. I don’t want to loose you or the girls. I want everything the way it used to be.’

‘Just like that’ said Fliss looking with contempt at the man that she had promised to love and cherish for the rest of her life’ you think that it’s as easy as that. You say you’ve been a fool and I should just forgive and forget. Is that what you want?’

‘You sound so hard Fliss, so bitter, and I don’t blame you. What I did was unforgivable but you have to understand I was unhappy. You have to admit that things weren’t great between us and spending so much time in London on my own, I don’t know, I suppose that I was lonely’

‘What about me Martin. Do you ever think that I might be lonely too?’

‘’You had your committees’
‘And that’s enough for me is it, my committees? You’re not the only one who was alone all week.’

But it’s different for you Fliss’

‘How Martin, how is it different for me? Don’t you think that I’ve been tempted to look for love somewhere else, or is it that you think nobody else could fancy poor old Fliss? Silly old, frumpy, stay at home Fliss, how could any one think that she was attractive. My God Martin, you didn’t even notice when I tried to make it up to you. I knew you were unhappy and I tried my best to change. Did you even notice the weight I lost, or when I came to meet you at the airport with a new dress and more make up that a bloody flight attendant? No you didn’t and now I know why, you’d found a younger model.’

‘It wasn’t like that’

‘Well what was it like Martin’

‘It was the biggest mistake of my life. Fliss I love you, I know you don’t believe me right now but I’ll show you, I promise. From now on no more lies, no more deceptions. We’re going to make this marriage work, I promise’