Oh Ye of Little Faith.
Work for me continued to be great, which was more than I can say for my husband who continued to go from job to job after being sacked in his salesman role for arguing with his young area manager, taking orders from an idiot he told me wasn’t easy for him. I was shocked to hear from him that he’d decided to take some “security” work with an agency an old Marine contact (his former CO) had put him in touch with. This I thought would be walking around some minimum paid job walking around some factory at night punching a clock as he told me I have to admit my belief in him took another step backwards.
His “job” took him away for a months and he came back with a sun tan, where he’d been he didn’t say and I didn’t ask mainly as I was so annoyed with him. I had insisted by that time we have our own bank accounts. I paid the household bills and from his he paid the rates and his car loan and other things we split. All this was a far cry from the days he was our sole source of income however; even as I was making more money than he’d ever done in the forces there was one thing that did make me think of the “bad old days” and that was calls from people chasing money. It got to the stage that I hesitated answering the phone with people asking if he was in and when he would be and that if he didn’t call them they would arrange a “house visit” the bastards.
One of them was so insistent in his calls which he made every day every hour until I unplugged the phone. One time he was telling me that if I didn’t want more phone calls maybe I should get my “toe rag husband to pay his debts like an honest person.” He clearly had the call on speaker as I could hear him playing to his audience and them laughing. It was an experience that left me fuming with anger at him and my husband the latter getting a piece of my tongue when he returned from his contract.
As postscript a few weeks later a Birmingham man working as a “telephone financial advisor” for a company who collected debt for loan companies had “house visit” from a client he was eager to speak to. Unfortunately for him this “house visit” didn’t go well for him and his visitor left him so badly beaten his legs were broken and jaw smashed so badly they had to remove several teeth (those that were left) to reset it. On top of that he’d bitten the end of his own tongue off and they couldn’t find it to sow it back, leave him with a lisp he’d have for life.
His car was the first thing that went leaving us with just an old banger one of his Marine mates had given him, which was older than I was. Pride stopped him asking me for money and his clothes not only started to look outdated but threadbare as well. It was after he’d sold some of his cameras to as he said “get some cash together” that he announced that he had decided to work for himself and had already got a contract. I was flabbergasted if he’d told me he was coming out a gay I couldn’t have been more shocked. His reasoning was that the company he’d contracted out to was making a huge amount of money and he was getting peanuts it was a risk but he thought it was one worth taking. I saw only the other side, to me, it was all risk and had little or no chance of success.
Looking back now on those days distant as they are now but with the benefit of hindsight his confidence in himself had never wavered. As his self-confidence it was as strong as it ever was and when others myself included who stopped believing in him or at least their belief was at least diminished, his own didn’t. I think that says more about myself and others then it did him. Years later he told my son to believe in himself because “You are the only person who you can rely on 100% and remember, If, is the longest word in the English language.”
His first job as a self-employed man I saw him walk to the train station carrying Robert’s new suitcase and wearing a borrowed suit that didn’t fit him. As he reached the end of the drive, he looked over his shoulder at the house saw me in the window looking at him and mouthed “I love you” stuck his head in the air and carried on. At the time my mind was on if I’d be late for work and not him, now again with hindsight I should have been so proud of him and ashamed with myself. Also, I felt so annoyed with the pair of us him because of his stupid pride too stupid to ask me for help going off to do god knows what in a borrowed suit and holes in his shoes two charity shop shirts in a borrowed case. Also, with myself for not doing more than I did and for being a complete bitch to him which I was. Not that he’d ever feel sorry for himself he’d been fighting just about everything since he was a little boy to him, I guess it was him against the world. Looking back at that day he set off to walk the three miles to the train station, not enough money to get a taxi I realise he deserved better than me.
For his first solo job he was away for three weeks I didn’t hear from him and I didn’t know if he was alive or dead which wasn’t anything unusual in all my years of marriage to him. It was he explained not a 100% success but he put it down to 95% successful and the client was pleased now he needed to work out his fee and get paid. The very night he got back to us he went off driving a taxi for peanuts and when he arrived back at 4 am he slept for fifteen hours. Sunday evening, we went with the children for a meal in a nice restaurant with my parents. As I drove us there in my company car through a posh village and down that the locals called “Millionaires row” huge houses on both sides. My daughter pointed to one telling her dad there was his dream house and when I asked him what she was talking about he told me “Soon I am going to buy that for you” and I said to myself “Ye right and pigs might fly as well.”
His second contract he told me would take him away for up to three months but he’d hope to complete it in less time as he was working on a fixed price and he’d only get paid on results. When I asked him what he meant and he explained if he didn’t do what was asked of him he’d not get paid and I told him he was insane and needed his head looked at. Not three months later and not even two months but two weeks he was back told me he was tired out and wanted to go to bed and sleep. I was about to leave for work and was willing to stay in fact I wanted to but he said to go and in my lunch hour, he had a cheque for me to put in the bank and told to just hand on an envelope in over the counter. The difference between me then and when I first met him was huge because then I would have handed in the envelope without thinking any more about it. Now I needed to know what was in it and Oh my god was I in for a shock so much of a shock I almost fainted, the cheque was a bankers draft and not a cheque at all and it was for £1.1 million.
When I got home he was about to leave in a taxi and he was driving it, they knew he was home and asked him to do shift and the crazy man had said yes. After he’d completed the job for what turned out to a be huge Oil Company the work started to come in thick and fast well as thick and fast that world moves in. I could say that my estimation of him went up after seeing the huge amount he’d earned in just two weeks I wondered if what he’d been done was legal, it was of course.
Since he entered “Civvie Street” he’d changed in some strange way I couldn’t put my finger on what it was but changed he had. It was as if he wanted to be alone or away from people or not that close to them at least. I suppose his time away from in the forces hid that fact from me. Later I read a book on Snipers which he was one of the best and it said the best one is “loners” it also went on to say that snipers also made great businessmen for that very same reason they made great snipers it took the same attributes and so it was to be. I didn’t understand what the book had meant at the time I read it, in fact, it took me years to get it but I did in the end.
In the meantime, my sister who had been absent somewhat in my life decided to build some bridges with the family whom she had become more than distant from mainly my brothers who didn’t like her attitude. What attitude you may ask, Alison was like her older sister, not that respectful to her father, however; for different reasons. The announcement of his retirement gave Alison an opportunity to try and I do mean try to do something about it. With this in mind, she organised with my help a Sunday lunch for all the family at his favorite restaurant in the Village that you got to via “Millionaire's row” and on the way, we passed my husband’s dream house.
The meal food-wise was nice the rest was a complete and utter disaster. Families are difficult at the best of times, to say the least, this time my brothers didn’t do anything for a better word than “bitch” all the way through at Alison and myself. As normal my poor mother tried to stop an all-out fight starting which she just about managed to do. My husband sat in silence all the way through not raising to any provocation at all, unlike Robert who flew off the handle my middle brother Frank called Alison a “fucking bitch” and told her to fuck off. Mum cooled things down and I told my brothers to grow up only to be told by one I don’t recall which I was a fucking bitch as well.
My husband stood up thanked Alison for inviting us both and said that “We’d better leave before one of the brave boy's mouths wrote a cheque his body couldn’t pay for” then he told my parents that he’d like to take them home because he wanted to show them something on the way home. He also invited Alison and Robert to follow us which they did happily just to get out of the restaurant and away from my obnoxious brothers. My youngest brother who had once worshipped my husband shouted something to us on the lines of him being a loser and the other two joined in. None of them realised it at the time that they had all just made a huge mistake in more ways than one.
I felt a mixture of shame, anger at them and as we drove down “Millionaire's row” I wasn’t paying full attention. Sitting in the back seat of the old banger with my Mother she took my hand as we drove my father silent in the front next to my husband. Then as he always did he slowed as we got to his “dream house” to look through the gates. This time, however; the gates were open and we turned into them and drove straight through. When we stopped, I asked him what he was doing and he smiled at me and told me to just wait and see and all would become clear. As we stood confused on the drive of this huge house the main door opened and a face, I recognised from my days in the estate agents walked through. It was Clare the one-time “Weekend girl” and now Branch Manager she, of course, recognised me as well and hugs and kisses on the cheeks were exchanged and she welcomed us all and invited the six of us to follow her.
The house was empty old fashioned built in the 1920 oak panels in the hall and throughout most of the ground floor which made it darkish. Tiled floors in the huge entrance hall led to a massive staircase and two other floors plus an attic, all in all, there were eleven bedrooms excluding those in the attic. The kitchen was huge but stuck in the 1950s and there was also a monster of a cellar, outbuildings that included a stable block and even a pond which was more like a small lake. Nobody spoke apart from the odd observation like “look at the size of that or this would need replacing, oh that is so old fashioned” and so on but nobody knew what the point of this was.
Then Clare asked me what I thought and I told her I thought it was great but needed a lot of attention. That was when he dropped is bombshell and told me “Well, in that case, Babe you better make a few notes and get working on what you think needs doing because I bought this place last month for us.” As he spoke he looked into the face of astonished father staring him straight in the eye and added: “I paid cash of course.” I swear to god my father blushed and my mum squealed and almost did a little dance of delight.
Some parts of this tale are more difficult to tell than others this is an easy part to write, other chapters won’t be as painless (no pun intended) to write such as this one. So if you don’t wish to read this and want to go to another chapter when I am less happy, skip this one and go to the start of a more miserable time.
It took another four months before our new house or I should say mansion was ready for us to move into and further three-quarters of a million pounds on structural improvements and modernising everything. Robert who had just set up his own business was “Project Managing” it for us as well as carrying out all the woodwork or overseeing it at least. The gloomy oak panels that had made the place look so gloomy had all been taken down stripped of years of varnish and stain and put back up. I wanted to rip them out however, I wasn’t allowed to, pity. The same had happened to the massive oak staircase which was now light and clean but no less magnificent if anything even more so. Alison and I went berserk in choosing a new kitchen and I thought the guy from the Kitchen Studio that we chose was going to have an orgasm when he saw the size of it.
He came up with a plan which took him a week to draw up and I hated them almost as much as Alison did. My take-charge sister took charge and told him in no uncertain terms what she thought I wanted. To be fair my younger sister has always had a flair for design and came up things like not having a double oven but two single ovens and not one but two microwaves. As well as an island in the middle room and a central huge stainless steel hood over it all things which twenty years later were seen as pretty standard. This and her idea for reducing the numbers of bedrooms and increase the size of the others and add on suite. So the eleven bedrooms became seven with their own bathroom and the former servants' room in the loft once again became a photo studio.
The master bedroom was huge to start with and already had an on-suite but this was taken away and made into a walk-in wardrobe and dressing room. The smaller bedroom on the opposite side was closed and the doorway blocked up the oak paneling in the corridor was extended over the gap so nobody could tell it had ever been there. Then the room was then divided in two with a huge cast iron roll top bath found in the garden, re-enamelled and reinstated on to its own brass clawed feet gripping balls and the tap rose out of the floor and hung over the side of the massive tub from which you could soak and look out over the countryside. We still lived in our modest detached house while all this work was carried out but I altered my route to work so I could look at it every day.
If anything, I think the combination of my ever powerful job with money in the bank and now my new house that gave me a newfound sense of self-confidence. Waltzing into any shop in the town or anywhere for that matter and knowing that if you chose you could buy just about anything you liked. When we took him furniture shopping in a posh shop all he wanted to do was leave and get an early start to the football he was taking our son to. If it was a very posh shop and the staff called me madam and him Sir which he hated of course. Plus, he didn’t know what the hell he wanted and was more than happy to leave it to me looking at his watch every 30 seconds.
The owner of the shop gave us both a strange look mainly I expect because he was dressed for a morning watching football in a muddy field complete with wellington boots and he came over to get us to leave or so I expect. Stopping him from speaking a word a knack he’d used on Marines Officers for years, my husband asked him if he worked there (he already knew the answer) and once again before the man could speak told him “Look I have just bought a house with seven bedrooms and a dozen other rooms and as I have better things to do with my time I am going to leave madam here to buy some furniture. There’s bankers draft for £200 thousand and she will give you the details who to ring once that has gone” adding “Don’t let her buy any rubbish, bye.” Off he went leaving to a man with a totally new attitude.
Later I found out that our house was in fact owned by a Swiss property company who in turn was owned by another company in Gibraltar. This was told to me by an Inland Revenue Inspector who visited us the day before we moved in. When I asked him if the house was ours or not, he said no it belonged to Swiss company who was owned by a property company in Gibraltar and we paid rent to the Swiss who paid it to the company in Gibraltar. I was gutted and he knew it until he told me “Cheer up darling you may not own the house but you own a property company in Gibraltar and you get rent off them every month so treat yourself, after all, it is our money.”
The kids loved the new house and when we moved in, we had a huge party family and friends old and new. Susan and Hanna now married came as did most of his family who thought he was getting ideas above his station and told him so, they didn’t stay. Only one of my brothers were invited and he didn’t bother to turn up but his wife came with another girl and I showed them around as I expected Tina was impressed and no doubt would tell her husband my brother that.
I’d never been in the garage before that night mainly because it looked as if it was going to fall down at any moment and secondly when it was restored it was always full of builder’s materials and equipment. When it was ready for use, I couldn’t be bothered to drive into it as I’d always parked on the drive or on the street if we didn’t have a drive. I was taken by the arm by my husband and we walked along with Alison, Robert, Tina, her friend, and half a dozen other people all carrying glasses of wine or booze. Opening the door of the garage by clicking a fob on a set of keys I’d not seen before and up went the door. Inside was a Dark Blue BMW 3 Series handing me the key and the fob he told me “There you are your new car, enjoy” could life get any better.
There was one blot on the landscape in the form of a tall black man who had ended his contract as a professional footballer and without another contract had moved back to the town while he tried to get another one. I saw him when I was out with Susan one Friday night which was still a tradition and he made straight for me. I wasn’t keen to see him but he thought I would be and was clearly shocked when he got rebuffed. Obviously, he wasn’t pleased and made a grab for my arm pulling me away from the group of people I was with and knocking Susan to the ground.
Years before that I would have gone with him but this worm had turned and I screamed, yelled and kicked out until somebody came to my aid. This time it was a couple of young guys no older than twenty who tried to stop him I say try because this was a man who knew how to look after himself and he made short meat out of them. Then pulling me by the hair he dragged me out the bar and into the street. Where fortunately for me the Police had arrived and he was taken away and so was I with Susan screaming at them that she had been assaulted. I made my statement and he was charged with common assault.
Two days later the poor tenant of our old house (now owned by a Swiss property company) got an uninvited visitor in the form of Clive my former lover. The stupid fool was thinking with his cock and was looking to use it. Not only was he stupid he was ignorant as well thinking the guy who answered the door who didn’t know who Clive was which was mutual as the footballer thought he was my husband. The trouble with that assumption was instead of asking questions the idiot just lashed out and as he’d been told by so many that he was mad to take on “our hero” that he really went for it and beat the poor guy half senseless in front of his screaming wife and kids.
The ever-diligent police force never even interviewed Clive at all and we lost our first tenant who moved out with his family the day after he got out of the hospital. My husband was away with yet another new client and when he rang I he told me that “The poor bastard didn’t deserve that beating nobody does but don’t worry about I will sort it out when I can.” A few days later Clive drove through the gates of the house and parked outside on the drive sounding the horn none stop until he saw me looking at him through the window looking up to me he pointed his fingers at me as if his hand was a gun and pretended to pull the trigger. Game or no game it scared the hell out of me, from that day onwards and until my husband got home I made certain that gate was locked. Once again the Police proved absolutely useless and just didn’t want to know apart from telling me that it was somebody who must have got lost.
Next a few days later after I had dropped my daughter off at school and was on my way to work I saw him in my rearview mirror. He followed me didn’t try to overtake me until I was at a set of traffic lights at the entrance to my company I was in the left-hand lane ready to turn in and he drew up in the right-hand lane with the lights on red. Once again he made a gun and shooting gesture with his fingers, stupid as it sounds now I was truly scared. At the end of the working day, I rang Robert and asked him to come and pick me up which he did. At night when my husband rang, I told him and he wasn’t too pleased with me I could tell by his silence.
I rang in sick the next day not wanting to be followed again and I also kept my children at home with me, not that it took me long to persuade them to stay. All weekend I felt as if I was under siege and I felt even worse when my son returned from football telling me he’d met a league player called Clive De Freitas at his game who said could get my son a trial at a big club. He went on to tell me that this man had asked him a lot of questions about his dad as well some about me as well. The team Manager hadn’t like what he was hearing and tried to move the man on only to be threatened. I told my son that Clive De Freitas was a madman and to stay away from him. Later that night there was huge banging on the front door and I thought the worse. Then I heard a familiar voice shouting at me “Susan are you going to open this fucking door it’s pissing down out here” it was my hero and he was soaking wet.
Sunday, we took a trip into town and on my husband’s insistence, we booked a holiday to Disney World for the next school break. We were just leaving the travel agents when outside blocking our path stood Clive De Freitas. Without speaking a word to anybody he once again made the now-familiar gesture with his fingers then gave my husband a look that said he wasn’t scared of him and walked away. Nobody in the family spoke but the joy of knowing Florida beckoned had just disappeared.
Thursday was the day our local Newspaper came out one of the headlines “Football Star found beaten” it went on to say how Clive De Freitas had been involved in some type of fight in which not only had he had almost every bone in his body broken but more ominously he had been shot through both knee caps. It was suggested in the paper that police believed it was drugs-related attack as large amount of “Class A” drugs and cash were found in his car and his flat. Clive De Freitas would never get another contract to play football nor would he play any other kind of sport. Outside the estate agents was the last time I ever saw him.
You Stupid Girl.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, well it doesn’t it just makes you feel alone and it leaves you vulnerable. Vulnerable to others and vulnerable to your own stupidity. Readers of this scribble may think I had it made maybe this would be a good place to end. Big house, a massive house, in fact, good job with great prospects I also had great kids, a man who loved me and from time to time an interesting sex life. So if you’d like or want a happy ending ) then stop reading here before going any further.
It was a couple of years after we had moved into “The Grange” as our house was called, I point out not by us that was the name we found on the stone gateway after we’d pulled fifty years of Ivy off it. With business going well and his client base growing quickly as his reputation grew my husband was spending more and more time away from home. When he was home, he was either tired or looking for new business openings. My work life was busy as well I now controlled a huge budget and staff in half a dozen countries.
Our social life had changed somewhat, to say the least, there were no meetings with Circle members or dogging no dungeon in the basement. My social life consisted of works events, parents from the school and of course Susan. Our Friday night jaunts into the bars but always now the good wife I always left in a taxi with Susan who was now divorced for the third time. I sit and reflect that at work I was looked on as some type of super-bitch no sense of humour and even overheard one man who used to be my boss and now I was his saying “Oh she slept her way to the top” which as a matter of fact I hadn’t.
Susan liked our Friday nights out a lot more than I did but I was happy to tag along more out of habit than anything. My oldest friend once told me she liked to be with me as I attracted the men like flies to a jam jar. Although to be fair to Susan she had lost a lot of weight and was down to a size 8 to my size 10 and was looking good for it. I also have to confess that from time to time often when too drunk for my own good I staggered out the back of a bar or pub and down a side street or alley with some “old acquaintance’’ or other and pinned up against a wall or bent over a dirty dustbin like a pissed up slag I was.
It was on one of our Friday nights on the town as we liked to call it that I first saw the man that would prove to me that I wasn’t as intelligent as I thought I was. At first, I thought he was after Susan and didn’t object to him chatting us both up first at one bar and then at a second.
His name was Malcolm Healy he was a freelance “Project Manager” and bodybuilder and he has this air about him that was difficult for me to put my finger on. He was big (6’ 3” tall) and powerful looking and gave off the vibe that he was in charge. Although as Susan said he wasn’t strictly what you’d call a looker he had something about him. We discussed him later at Susan’s I remember it well because it was the first night we’d “played together” for a long time, years, in fact, I was glad to see she still had red pubes. As I licked her and listened to her groans which in between she told me that she was thinking of “Malcolm licking her out” he must have been good at licking her out as she came in my mouth.
Another thing we’d not done Susan and me for years was to go out on a Sunday but for some reason, we did that week. Ours was a life of habit and the pubs that were popular when we last used to venture out on a Sunday were still popular. As I stood with Susan at the same bar in the same pub in the same place I used to stand with Clive the irony of it didn’t strike me as Malcolm Healy appeared next to me as if by magic. As it turned out he’d met Susan when she was food shopping and used his charm on her to get us both there Sunday night. When it became clear that he wasn’t interested in her the worm turned and from that night she hated him. As for me for some reason I didn’t know then and don’t know now, I was flatted and I realised I was about to embark on my third affair.
It was despite myself as I knew I making a huge mistake and that it was a really stupid thing to do I knew that I was going to do it. As I was driving it was easy to resist his invitation to drive us home no doubt Susan first. I could tell he was “on my case” and he knew I knew he was as did Susan of course. That didn’t stop us both letting him buy us drinks all night and why should it as it was a practice we had down to fine art and one we’d been practicing since we were teenagers. He talked a lot of rubbish about himself telling us or I should say telling me how much he could bench press and how often he trained each week. I didn’t know what he was going on about and what more I didn’t care either. He, in fact, left the pub early and after getting a call on his “mobile” when he left Susan pointed out that I was driving and I’d had too much to drink and so I ordered us a taxi and would come back for the car the next day.
On the way home after dropping Susan off, the taxi driver who I didn’t know started to ask me how my husband was and going on to tell me what a good man he was and what a descent “bloke” he was. It was then the guilt kicked in, yes he was a great guy and he was a great husband and father as well. The trouble was that he wasn’t there was he and he never was come to that. The driver prattled on about how I must be proud of him and I was I told him, but neglecting to add “When he’s here he is when he’s here.”
The next day I got a taxi took the kids to school and then went on to the pub to collect my car from where I’d left it. Monday was humdrum and for some strange reason, I wasn’t in a great mood snapping at a couple of people including my PA who left my office close to tears. I got a phone call from my husband who was ringing me from someplace god knows where and after asking him when he’d be home my mood wasn’t helped by him telling me he’d taken another contract and wouldn’t be home for three weeks. I was taken for a coffee by a woman I used to work within another department in one of the many Café on site. It was there I spotted him Malcolm Healy was sitting at a table with some other men a couple I knew the others I didn’t.
I was always unsure if he saw me or not or if I’d tried to get his attention or not the one thing I do remember is that if he did see me, he ignored me. I went straight back to my office after leaving my colleague and looked up his name on the company site and found nothing. I then rang the main reception and asked if we had a Malcolm Healy working at the company and was told no we didn’t have. I was intrigued and I wanted to know what he was doing there and I even rang Susan if she knew and she didn’t of course and was slightly irritated I was even ringing her about him. We arranged to go out Friday as usual but she told me she wanted to try a few new places, which as transparent as she was meant she didn’t want to see Malcolm Healy, disappointing.
I enjoyed our Friday nights out nevertheless with both of my children away and no sitter to think about we stayed out until late and I stayed at Susan’s. I had to leave about 11 am as I had to go and pick my daughter from her friend’s house and take her shopping which was always a joy, I like to shop. I was late as Susan wanted a “little play” before we left always a joy as well.
I think it was a couple of weeks later again on a Friday night out with Susan and Tina my brother’s wife, that I saw Malcolm Healy again this time he was with an older woman maybe early to mid-fifties to his late twenties and there was no doubt they were an item. I was actually jealous which at the time I didn’t realise and it was Susan who pointed it out. As we were discussing him Tina wanted to know who he was and what it was we were talking about. Susan told her that he was a guy who was after her and Tina said he looked like a “cocky bastard” to her. Although she’d never met him or even talked to him and she was making comments as if she did, that said she was right he was cocky.
It was about the time mobile phones stopped being the size of a brick and were now small enough to slip into a handbag or a pocket. We all had them by now as well and we sat around a table exchanging numbers which all started with 04 as opposed to 07 of today. Crazy that you can’t always remember your own numbers and we were ringing each other to make sure we’d got them right. As I was once more giving my number to Susan who had given me the wrong number at least three times when he interrupted saying “Can you go a little slower I didn’t get the last couple of digits” it was Malcolm Healy.
He was waiting for his lady friend who was spending a penny, I didn’t say anything to him it was Susan who did telling him “You wish” and when he’d gone a second later Tina added, “Oh I bet he does, I bet he does.” Later on, at Susan’s when there was just the two of us she brought him up by asking me “You’re not going to do anything stupid are you Susan with Mr Cocky because I saw the way you were looking when you saw his girlfriend?” I was incredulous and protested telling her that there was no way I’d ruin everything I had. I looked at her face with what I thought was a look of sincerity. My friend looked back at me slowly shook her head before saying “You lying cow now come here and lick my cunt” shades of my sister I thought but I still did it.
The next time I saw him was again at work and a couple of weeks later as we didn’t go out the following week as my husband was home not that I saw much of him as he was at football with my son on Saturday and helping Robert on Sunday and was away again Monday. I didn’t think of Malcolm Healy until I saw him in one of the site Cafés he had his back to me and was sitting at a table with another guy who used to work for me in another department. As he had his back to me he couldn’t see me. Before I walked past him I went to the ladies and put my face on and then I did something I’d not done since I was 17 years old. I rolled the waistband of my shirt up to shorten it. With it a good six inches shorter I brushed my hair and strolled out past his table so close he couldn’t fail but to see me.
Later on, that afternoon he walked into my office as if he owned it and sat down in the chair in front of my desk. He smiled at me as I looked at him, I didn’t speak but he did “My colleague tells me you are the Ice Queen, is that right?” I told him that his colleague had better watch his language as the company operated a code of conduct and I was a senior member of staff. It turned out that he was at the company as a contractor doing some “project work” it was a big company and his project wasn’t even in my building. Although he did try to explain that he knew some people in my building as a reason for him being there.
He invited me for “a coffee sometime or something” and smiled at me, we both knew what the “or something” was. I told him that I didn’t drink coffee or anything else with people I hardly knew and then I told him I was busy and asked him to leave. Smiling at me he asked me if I was going out Friday night and he’d see me there if I was and then he got up and left but not before smiling once more from the door. Somehow, I knew that with or without Susan I’d be out Friday night and in the end, I found out Thursday that it would be without and so I rang Tina.
I finished work on Friday early and went home about 3’ish and was looking forward to the night out, however; when I got home I found my daughter was arriving home with my Mother who had picked her up from school as she was ill. As I put my children before everything, I rang Tina and told her I wasn’t going out and she invited herself around and we invaded the wine cellar. In the words of Tina my sister-in-law “Oh my god I just remembered you have a wine cellar” yes, we did but it needed a few more bottles replenishing after we’d finished and as we’d enjoyed it so much, we repeated it Sunday as well.
To be continued...