The annoying thing about Amy's visits was the inconvenience of her timing. She would come at bath time, and bedtime, and once she appeared at the gate as
Amy breezed into the living room and plonked her tartan bag on the sideboard, taking from it a pile of shiny knitting patterns. ‘I've brought you these, Rachel. They're the pullovers I made for your Dad. You might find something suitable for
‘Thanks,’ Rachel said, somewhat ungraciously.
‘I'd rather like a coffee, dear,’ Amy said to Rachel, ‘if it's not too much trouble.’
Rachel withdrew to the kitchen to fill the kettle, leaving the door ajar so that she could join in the conversation. As she spooned coffee into three cups, she heard
There was lull for several minutes before
The use of such a dramatic adjective was typical of Amy's new lifestyle. Rachel's curiosity was again aroused about her friend Eve, who must have been instrumental in changing Amy from an irascible woman to an almost theatrical one. Eve was obviously an influence. Rachel couldn't wait to meet her.
Hearing the water coming to the boil, Rachel quickly poured milk into the cups. The deliberations over the patterns were still going on; a sweater with a polo neck being the favourite. Rachel prayed that the design
By the time she carried in the tray, Amy had discarded her red coat and was sitting next to
Rachel mumbled, ‘Don't be daft,’ and busied herself passing cups and a plate of fancy biscuits.
‘Like the look of this?’ asked
It was an illustration of a perfectly plain, baggy sleeved pullover, modelled by a super looking guy not unlike
She didn't actually like it, but she adored the man on the front, so all Rachel said was, ‘I think I might manage to knit that.’
Amy immediately put down her cup and placed a hand on
Resisting the temptation to suggest a specific time, Rachel murmured her thanks and turned her attention to the pattern. She expected her mother to explain the instructions, but Amy had switched her concentration to the sports programme that
During a noisy commercial about frozen beef burgers, Amy artlessly commented: ‘I saw you yesterday, Rachel, in Chaplin's Restaurant. With a man!’
Rachel's head shot up.
Dear God! She makes it sound like a clandestine assignation.
Rachel's words came out in a jumble in her haste to assure him of her fidelity. ‘It was my ... Eric ... boss. Ex, that is.’
‘Lunch, was it?’
‘You didn't tell me.’
‘You weren't here. I won't go again, though. He's too boring.’
‘You should tell your husband these things, Rachel,’ declared Amy.
‘He knows I see the old man occasionally.’
‘Really!’ replied Amy, her eyebrows arched. ‘Then you're a very lucky girl. Your father would not tolerate me seeing another man.’
Maybe not, but he takes everything else you throw at him: unknown new friends and dabbling with the supernatural.
THEY were both tired and went upstairs together. While
‘I don't mind you seeing Eric,’
Rachel pulled her jumper over her head. ‘I told you, I won't be seeing him again.’
Bending to step into the hateful pyjamas, Rachel caught sight of her naked breasts in the wardrobe mirror. Slowly she brought up her right hand and touched the nipple.
Gargling noises came from the bathroom.
She squeezed the nipple until it hurt, and did the same to the other.
Above the sound of running water,
Watching the expression on her face, she slowly straightened, and cupped both breasts.
‘When will the new beds be here?’
Rachel crawled with humiliation. She snapped a reply. ‘When I get round to ordering them.’
As nonchalantly as she could, she donned the pyjama jacket and stepped into the trousers, then quickly clambered into bed.
On his side,
Rachel gazed at her husband's naked back. It was all right for him to go without nightclothes, but if she slept in the nude her frustrations would be worse. Of course they didn't need twin beds but how else could she struggle through the nights when he was home.
Changing position brought her knee in touch with his buttock. Lust leapt instantly into her loins. She abruptly bounced out of bed. I can't do it. I can't share his bed, not tonight. Grabbing her dressing gown, she pulled open the bedroom door and bolted down the stairs. It was another room she needed, not a separate bed.
(to be continued)