In the writing group to which I am more than happy to say I belong Natalie has given us a challenging prompt:
To write a piece (short story, paragraph, poem, whatever you like) but based on an event in your life where you could have chosen a different path, think parallel universe… If you had said yes or no to a particular event where would you be now?
“What’s for tea, I’m starving,” I asked dropping my bag on the floor. It’s about as deep as our conversation eveer got these days.
“It’s Friday, so it’ll be takeaway, just like it is every Friday. I’m off out with the girls in a minute, so you’re in charge. Katie says she wants Chinese tonight. You know where the menus are.” Cheryl smiled thinly and picked up her bag before moving towards the door. Her night out with the girls. Moments later I heard her car door slam and the engine revving as she set off for her version of freedom.
We’d been together almost twenty years, and were hitting our forties and still she had to have her night out with the girls. How I would love to have a night out with the boys, but that isn’t going to happen. What a mess.
Married at twenty one, just like Mum wanted, though she’s gone now I’m sure she would have wanted me to be happy rather than just fitting in. Standing here in the kitchen I’m not even sure I’m doing that.
Three kids by the time we were in our thirties, all by IVF. I guess that says it all really. Kids were never really on my agenda, but Cheryl wanted them, “You know your mum would be thrilled with grandkids,” she had taunted, so we went down the IVF route. That was about a year after she had found out. Magnanimously she forgave me. Her words not mine.
Woken from my reverie by the crash of doors and the kids arriving in from their after school activities I grabbed the Chinese takeaway menu from beside the calendar; Cheryl’s calendar, or to be more correct Cheryl’s hot Miami fire fighters calendar. Staring at the bare-chested,m muscle bound hunk that is March’s offering and wonder why I lost the courage to be me, to say who i really was, to say no to their lies and yes to a life of true love and fulfillment.