“Can I read for a bit Mum?” I look at my eight year old Son’s pleading face and think for a minute. Really I should say no, I have already let him stay up a little late, but it is Friday and deep down I know that he is trying to wait up for his Dad to come home. Dean has been working late most nights for the last two months, as well as most weekends too. For good reason of course; he is trying to secure a very important contract for his business so we cannot be angry with him, but we do miss him. “OK sweetie” I concede as he clenches his fist and draws his elbow in with a victorious “Y.E.S!” I cannot help but smile, Nathaniel has won the eight year old version of the lottery. Let’s just hope that my husband wins the actual Lottery very soon! If I were a ‘Stepford Wife’ type then what I would wish for most would be for my husband to get this contract that he has been working so hard for, and it isn't that I don't want him to exactly, in fact I am very sure that he will be the successful bidder. The trouble is that once he does win the right to build the housing association flats he is going to have to work even harder to make it happen. Also I have learnt that the more successful he becomes in business the less time he has for his family. Sure, we will benefit financially but in truth I would rather have my husband home every evening for dinner and to kiss our children 'goodnight' rather than have even more money in the bank. Dean however is a man possessed with success and cannot understand my line of thought.
Sometimes I really miss the life we had when we started out our life together. Sure we had a lot less money and lived in a rented flat, but we had so much time together. Back in those days our relationship was so much fun and Dean was so unpredictable, often surprising me with flowers and weekends away. Life was totally stress free back then, they were blissful years. My getting pregnant with Nathaniel drove my husband to want to be successful and he set up his own building firm, he was so determined not to turn out like his own lazy ‘bum’ of a Father that he became so driven with determination to provide the best life possible for our children. Dean grew up watching his Mother working three cleaning jobs while his Father sat on his arse drinking and gambling her hard earned money away and he resents him beyond words for that. I fully supported Dean in his dream and even helped to fund it by giving him every penny of my small savings. He didn’t disappoint, now he is hugely successful and I couldn't be more proud of him.
I also couldn’t be lonelier. There is a downside to every upside it seems.
Anyway, a few years after I gave birth to Nate we traded the flat for a stunning three bedroom house and I was able to give up work and become a stay at home Mum, which is just as well as Elle followed just two short years after her brother. To me our family and life felt so complete but Dean spurred on and on, wanting more and bigger and better. Success seems like a drug to my husband.
The thing is; I really miss working and I really, really miss Dean!
Gosh I don't know why these thoughts just keep popping in to my head!
I shake the negative thoughts away and concentrate on my Son who has jumped back in to his bed with a book in one hand and a torch in the other. His earlier pining for his father has been temporarily suspended given my bedtime leniency. Gently I tap his head through the covers and inform him that as soon as I finish my quick shower it will be time for 'lights out'. Nate's head briefly pokes back out from under his spaceship quilt and he asks "will Daddy be home by then". His face looks hopeful but his tone is pleading.
"Maybe" I hedge because I don’t know the answer myself "but even if he isn't it will still be time for sleep OK"? He nods solemnly and dives back under the covers to resume his reading. I smile to myself, turn the light out and close the door.
I walk quietly to the next room and poke my head round the door. Elle is sleeping soundly; she looks so peaceful bless her. My heart literally swells as I look at her innocent little face which is framed by her angelic brown curly hair. When she is awake Elle is a confident, bossy little determined madam, but asleep she looks like butter wouldn't melt. She also looks much smaller in sleep than she does when she is charging around the house bossing us all around. I fight the temptation to kiss her for fear of waking her and close the bedroom door as quietly as possible.
When I look at my children and the beautiful house we live in, it is hard not to feel blessed, but the trouble is that I am also the person who wipes tears away when daddy misses dinner each night, misses school plays and is just never there. I know I can soothe them by reminding the kids that Daddy is working hard for them, because he wants them to have such a lovely life, but it isn’t easy. My biggest fear is that the children will grow up resenting the fact that their Dad was never ‘there’ when they were growing up. Dean thinks that this is crazy, that they will be proud of him and his successes, but then again, he isn’t the one watching them cry and trying to comfort and reassure them. Sometimes I wish that he could see their sad faces when I have to tell them that he won’t be home. I am confident that if he could see them only once, he would make the effort to be home more.
Slowly I make my way back in to my own room and pull my dressing gown from the hook on the back of the door. I pull my mobile out of the pocket of my jeans and automatically check it for messages, there aren't any. I throw it on to my bed and walk to the far side of my room towards the white door. Through the door is the en suite bathroom that Dean installed. I love our bathroom. It is such an adult room as it was designed solely for our use. The walls are tiled with mirrors, the floor is a dark grey marble and the units are light grey. We have a large free-standing bath and a small shower cubicle. For a moment I wonder if I should run myself a lovely hot bath, but then I remember that Nathaniel is still up and so turn the shower on. I undress while I wait for the water temperature to settle.
Once the hot water hits my aching body all the thoughts whooshing around in my mind seem to melt away: I am no longer 'clock watching’ for Dean's return home, my worries and guilt over my Son's pining for his Dad temporarily dissolve, as does my own pining for, well for more of a life! Instead I just allow my mind to empty and my body to slowly relax. There are not many times in a day when I am completely alone and able to get lost in my own thoughts. There are even fewer times when I can just 'be'. I find that I am humming away to myself as I start to soap my hair and then my skin. The delicious smells of my shower products fill the air and seem to completely soothe my senses. It's blissful! Perhaps this is the Mummy version of winning the lottery I muse smiling.
It's more than half an hour before I step back out of the shower again, hurriedly I throw my towelling dressing gown back on, wrap my hair in a towel and make my way towards Nate's room to tell him it is time to stop reading. I need not have worried; he is sound asleep and snoring gently. The book he was reading and torch have fallen to the floor. I pick them up, switch the torch off and place them on Nathaniel’s night stand. He looks like he is sleeping peacefully, the frown lines of earlier have disappeared and his earlier down turned mouth is puckered up as though he is about to be kissed! I hope that he is having sweet dreams bless him.
There is no doubt that Nate is beautiful, too beautiful for a boy really. He is definitely going to be a hit with the girls when he is older; with his Olive skin that he inherited from Dean and the brown curly hair and hazel eyes that I gave him. Both of our children look very alike and Dean and I both recognise that our children inherited the best features from each of us. We are very blessed to have such lovely, healthy, well behaved children. The fact that they are both so gorgeous is a bonus and I won't deny it. The children are a massive source of pride for us and Dean definitely wishes for us to add to our brood. I am tempted as I look at Nathaniel right now, but truthfully I would like to build something of my own first. I would like to start my own business perhaps or maybe a charity. I wouldn’t even mind just to get a part-time job to start with, something-anything! I have skills, I used to work in sales and then after I quit work when Nathaniel was born I took a book-keeping course so that I could help Dean with the business. I did that for almost five years but then the company outgrew my skills so we had to get a real firm in to do them. The point being that I have skills, I have interests and there are things that I could be doing out in the real world! I feel ungrateful sometimes but I just don't find being a stay at home Mum fulfilling enough anymore, especially now that they are both in school.
Am I selfish to want more?
That is my worry really, that when I tell Dean that I’d rather have my own career than a baby, that he might just think that I am a selfish person. After all he has done to provide us with a wonderful life, why would I want to earn my own money? Why do I need something more to do when I have the house and kids to take care off? Would he ever reschedule a meeting to pick the children up from school because I have a meeting? I like to think he would. I really hope that he would. I like to think he would encourage me and be the supportive partner that I think or hope that he would be, he is my husband and he definitely does love me. It’s just that I would be so angry and hurt if he didn’t that it feels like a bit too much of a risk to find out!
Wearily I sigh and close Nate's bedroom door. I walk back in to my own cool, soft grey room and close the door. The clock on my mirrored bedside table informs me that it is now 9.15pm, I check my mobile again- there are still no messages so I type a text to Dean, I don't want to become the nagging wife but I do need to know what is going on. I send the simple: 'Hi darling, are you leaving soon? Let me know if you are hungry. Love you' and start to dry my hair while I wait for the response. There is still no reply by the time I start moisturising my skin. Every few minutes I find myself picking the phone up to check and see if he has replied even though my phone alerts are on 'loud'. Just as I am starting to close the lid on my very expensive body cream a message finally arrives. The content makes me smile 'leaving very soon beautiful so please no divorce!' it continues, 'I’m not hungry, love you and kiss the kids!'
‘See’ I tell myself, ‘he is a good husband, he loves you! He would be supportive; no doubt about it’. I hastily reply with a ‘hurry I am missing you’. Knowing that Dean will be home soon cheers me up no end. I was about to pull my pyjamas out of the drawer but after reading his text I change my mind. Instead I wrap my sexy red silk dressing gown around my naked body and liberally spray myself with my most expensive perfume. Tonight I will give my husband a very warm welcome I decide, tomorrow I will tell him my plans for the future. I am sure that he will be happy. He loves me. Right?
I am so buoyed with enthusiasm that I practically glide down the stairs and in to the kitchen. I am now a woman on a seduction mission and I feel stupidly excited! It has been a while since Dean and I made love, we have really been stuck in a rut. He is so busy and tired from work, and I am so busy and tired from looking after the children and house that really we haven’t been making much time for each other. I have really missed our bedtime chats and the passion that we always seemed to have until a few months ago. Tonight I will change that I vow, tonight I will make sure that we put a little sparkle back in to our relationship, and if he does get this contract, as I am sure he will, then I will make sure I surprise him by booking us in to a hotel for a child free weekend away to celebrate. No matter how busy life gets, especially once I am working, I must make time for my relationship I vow. Dean and I must never end up in the divorce courts, and I will continue to work on making him slow down a little and make more time for us all too.
Looking about my kitchen I try to decide what I need for my little seduction. I rummage about in my white cupboards and drawers looking for inspiration, I have already decided that I will light our log burning fire in the living room, something that we rarely do these days. The kitchen is such a cool calm room with its white cupboards and cream walls, which is quite ironic given the chaos that often unfolds in this room! The only bursts of colour come from the many paintings and drawings my children have made and that I have pinned to the fridge with magnets. I decide to pull a bottle of red wine out of the rack and open one of my glass fronted cupboards and pull out two crystal glasses. I dismiss the idea of bringing any food and just carry the wine and glasses in to the living room. Moving the glass vase of white lilies aside I place them down on my ebony coffee table, and uncork the wine to let it breathe or whatever the wine experts call it. The window that I had left slightly ajar has blown wide open in the wind and my cream velvet curtains are blowing in very dramatically. Shivering with the chill of the night air I lean forward, shut the window and pull the curtains closed.
Without warning I suddenly sense that someone is behind me, the hairs on the back of my neck and on my arms stand up as I register fear. I quickly try to turn around but a hand clasps my mouth from behind, my head is yanked back viciously and I feel a blow to my head. My heart starts pounding in my ears and my head spins from the force of being hit. I feel completely confused and having my mouth clamped shut makes me panic. I try to fight my assailant but they/he is much larger and stronger than me. The object that I was hit with is suddenly shoved in to my face, and I realise it is a gun! This sharpens my senses enough to realise that we are being burgled. OK, we are being burgled. Just as this thought registers a voice hisses ‘One move bitch, one noise and I will blow your fucking brains out!” He doesn’t need to say that to me, I couldn’t scream if I wanted to my voice seems to have deserted me, I am now literally frozen with terror.
Such is my shock and fear that everything feels like it is happening in slow motion. I am thrown to the floor with such force that the carpet grazes my knee as I land. I manage to turn so that I am able to see who this person in my house is. My attacker is dressed head to toe in black, he is wearing a balaclava so I have no idea what he looks like and can only see that he is male, and is a very large, very scary man! It does seem that he is alone and that is a relief to me. Still I am shacking so violently that it takes me four attempts to stand up, and even through the balaclava I can sense that the intruder is enjoying watching my struggle. I try really hard not to look at him, I don’t want to witness his joy at petrifying me if I can help it, it might spur him on and make him worse. Once I am finally on my feet again he throws me back down, kicking me with his large, heavy black boots as he does so and quietly laughs with glee as I yelp with shock and pain. Tears sting my eyes from the pain and terror but I fight them back. He can beat me, and rob me but I don’t want to allow him to see me cry! Even through my terror I have decided that I will do whatever it takes to get this man gone as quickly as possible. Whatever he wants, cash, jewellery anything he can have it! But he must be gone before Dean gets home because I cannot risk my husband being shot, and I try very hard not to give any indication that there is anyone else in the house. I don’t want this evil being anywhere near my children.
After gathering my senses as far as I can I gingerly I manage to get back to my feet again, I flinch half expecting him to throw me down again and as I do so I catch a glimpse of the time on the blue-ray player, it is 21.46 according to that. I am not too sure how accurate the time is, but I am very sure that I want this to be over as soon as possible. I find myself praying that Dean will have been delayed and isn’t yet on his way home. I don’t want my attacker to notice that I am looking at the time. He cannot realise that I am expecting someone I decide, so reluctantly I force my gaze back to him. By this time he is slouched on the arm of the sofa while still aiming his gun at me, and I feel very confident that he would use it too. Despite my absolute terror I try really hard to compose myself. I hate the fact that he is enjoying my fear. “What do you want?” I ask in a voice so contorted with terror that I don’t even recognise it. “There is only a little bit of cash in the house, but I have jewellery, and some of the ornaments are worth a little bit of money” I try, “take anything” my voice betrays me and I cannot stop a tiny sob from escaping as I finish my sentence. He doesn’t answer me though and is no longer looking at my face. I follow his gaze and realise to my horror that the dressing gown I am wearing has opened and he can plainly see my naked body, he is staring straight at my exposed pubic hair. Hastily I grab my robe together and hide my modesty. I feel myself flushing with a strange mix of terror and shame; there are no words for the humiliation that I am feeling. He in turn points the gun back to my face and orders me to drop my robe. I don’t. I stand as stock still as I can given that I am still shaking violently and clutch my robe as though my life depends on it. I try to speak, to dissuade him but terror has once again muted me.
He gets to his feet once again he demands that I drop the robe and chillingly adds “if you don’t, I might have to look elsewhere for my fun. Would you like that rich bitch?” tellingly he raises his eyes to the ceiling. He knows that I have children in the house I realise with horror. I dread to think how long he has been in my home without me even realising, you just wouldn’t imagine that it is possible for someone to be in your house and you not know! I desperately want to run to my children and make sure that they haven’t been harmed, but I know that this is impossible. All I can do is hope and pray that he hasn’t touched them.
“Please” I plead while shaking my head slowly back and forth, “please don’t”. I cannot finish my sentence. I cannot bring myself to verbalise my plea for him not to harm my children, “You haven’t?” I ask pleadingly “please, please, take anything!” I beg fruitlessly “my bag is just behind the chair there. I have a about £100-I have gold! Please! Please!” I am sobbing now and I hate myself for that fact.
“If you don’t want me near those kiddies of yours you had better drop the fucking dressing gown you dirty slag!” he hisses angrily as he lunges towards me. I know that I don’t have any choice. If I want this to be over, if I am going to avoid anyone, and more particularly my children from being hurt I am going to have to do what he says, and just hope that if I just do what he says, then perhaps it will be enough to make him leave. With shaking hands I slowly, reluctantly drop my red silk robe to the floor.
To be continued.
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