In Her Own Words (2)

It’s all finally fallen into place.

Do you remember when I was seven months pregnant with Alison, and you sent me by bus, alone, to fetch Alison from my mum’s because you said , ironically, that riding on a bus makes you queasy?

I now know the real reason why you sent me; you’re just like you father. He could have stayed home and lived off your mum’s wealth. But he preferred to keep his office job, he used to say, because it gave him something to do,

And of course, he met people. He met me. And he thought I would make a decent, loving wife for his son. He engineered that meeting at the supermarket; neither of us realised we were pawns in his game.

I know, I know – it really had been love at first sight for us. But when second sight, so to speak, kicked in, I realised that I had fallen in love with an illusion. I thought I would find in your family what I had lacked in mine.

I never knew my father because he’d left mum when she was “fat and ugly”… and pregnant with me. He would have remained, but upon one condition – that she aborted me. But to mum, any man who asked a woman to make such a choice was not worthy of being loved.

You’re surprised to learn this, aren’t you? You know, I never felt safe enough with you to tell you the real reason my mum was a single parent; you assumed it was because he found someone else. Yes, actually he did, and ironically she bore him three children.

You accuse me of many things. I’ve lost count of the times you insinuate vile things, or begin sentences that could be interpreted as meaning that I have been unfaithful.

I used to dream that I would have a husband who adored me and who had blind faith in me – the stuff of romances – what mum never had. I wanted someone who was as enthralled with me as I was with him; in a nutshell, I hoped you’d feel for me what I felt for you before the rot set in.

It got so bad that sometimes I would wake up at night because you knee me in the back or push me away when I tried to snuggle up, spoons style, in my sleep. You used to mutter that I didn’t deserve you, and that I could never hope to be as good as your mum, ever.

It was only some time after the wedding that I noticed the insidious comments your sisters passed whenever we chanced upon them at your parents’ house. And then one of my friends told me that your brother’s ex-girlfriend was boasting that your mother gave her a diamond ring worth as much as a Harley Davidson “because she missed her”. Note – he’s been in Australia these last ten years and she didn’t say she missed him.

Your father insisted that you all get second degrees. I later found out that this was so he could boast of you with his siblings, whose kids were not as intelligent. You all had to work for your living, which was no big deal. But you never got any hand-outs, although your parents could afford it.

You talk about values. I have my own set of them, thank you very much. I would rather stick to them than adopt those of yours and your ilk which are elastic enough to accommodate circumstances of your own making, but never the needs of others, or the circumstances in which they find themselves through no fault of their own. Speaking of accommodation – I don’t know where I’ll be, yet. It all depends upon whether all those who owe me one, will deliver.

You know I fought tooth and nail for our marriage to succeed. When you insisted the kids were not yours, I told you to take a DNA test to set your mind at rest; but you said I would bribe the laboratory. There was never anyone else for me, so how could they be anyone else’s?

You wouldn’t recognise the truth if it hit you right between the eyes.


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