Moving On...Mature

All of a sudden the phone rang; Eliza stirred from her sleep, not quite sure where it was coming from. She tried to move, but she couldn’t. There was an arm around her waist, she looked round and saw Todd asleep, and slumped back onto the pillow.
   “Shit, shit, shit”
The phone stopped ringing, she started to go back to sleep, but it started again. Must be important then, she thought. She rose again, and gently moved Todd’s arm, he stirred a little but went back to sleep. She scrambled around trying to find her phone, and her gown. The ringing got more intense as she neared the device. The screen flashed. Mark. She quickly exited the room to answer. 
   “Hello” she said shortly
   “Eliza, I can explain!”Mark said quickly. She thought he was walking on thin ice. He has thought up an excuse, great. 
   “Where the fuck have you been. The kids have been asking me every day where you are, they are worried. I am worried. It’s been 4 weeks!”
   “Wow. 4 weeks? Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun, eh?” He said dryly
   “What the hell is that meant to mean? Anyway, where have you been? Why no calls or emails to me directly”
   “Eliza, touring is difficult. We are just taking gigs as they come at the moment. I’ll tell you what, I’ll email you a schedule of the dates I know we are performing, so maybes you and the kids can come and see me?”
   “How do I know you will actually send it, Mark?” she said vacantly, she opened the fridge and poured herself a glass of wine. She picked up the glass and headed to her computer in her office, and switched it on.
   “Babe, it will be with you in a few minutes. I promise. Look, I got to go, got band practise. I’ll ring you tonight to check that you’ve got the schedule and to see if you can come out for any of the dates.”
    She resigned herself to the fact that this would be the only conversation they would be having now. She sighed and said, “Ok, I’ll look at it as soon as I get chance. Speak to you later, promise you’ll ring?”
   “Yes. I promise. Love you, bye”
   “You too, Bye”
   She hung up, and looked at the computer screen, which had loaded and a picture of Izzy, Hayley and Dalby was staring at her. My darlings, she thought. She sloped back to the kitchen where she refilled her glass. 12 o’clock. That can’t be right, on my second drink. She bent into the fridge to pull out the bottle and felt the presence of someone else in the room, and a pair of hands around her waist.
   “Who was that on the phone?” Todd questioned
   “My layabout idiot of a husband” she sighed as she unscrewed the lid
   “Oh yes,” he said vaguely, whilst lowering his lips onto her shoulder, where her gown had fallen away from “Anything to say for himself?”
   “No, not really” she replied, walking back to the computer. The wallpaper had changed again, this time to a picture of her taken on the beach. Not far from this room. Sure enough the ‘layabout idiot’ had emailed her the list. At last, he was reliable about something. “Ahaaaaa” she said out loud
   She scanned over the list which Mark had sent her. Bastard. The only dates left were those when the kids were still at school. Which meant she would have to go by herself. Buggery. She gulped back the last of the wine, opened the blinds to reveal a fabulous day on the west coast. She made a mental note, to visit the beach in the next hour, to clear her head. Todd had given her one last kiss and had retreated back upstairs, presumably to change or shower. In the confines of her bedroom, she blasted out some songs on her iPod, dug out her swimwear and put a purple kaftan on top. She could have risked making the journey in just her swimwear, but at the risk of looking abnormal. 
   The soft, white sand sifted through her toes as she made her way to the ocean. The waves were rough, but not too rough. The weather was good, a slight breeze but still warm. She entered the sea, had a little swim as the waves were getting a little boisterous, she wished she had taken Mark up on his offer of teaching her how to surf! She looked back towards the shore where she saw a family playing on the beach. A Mum. A Dad. A Baby. That’s the way it should be, she thought. Not a Mum, Children and a Dad half way across the world. 
   Unbeknownst to her, Todd was watching her from the back garden, which was only a stone’s throw from the beach. He knew in his heart that what he, they, had done was wrong. However, he reasoned with himself, after all, he thought, someone has got to love her and treat her right. And sure as hell, Mark won’t do that. 
   The door banged shut and Eliza made it clear that she was back, she dashed in and out of the shower and resumed the cleaning process downstairs and made the bed in one of the spare rooms. She only once bumped into Todd, in the kitchen, as she was cleaning up in her mad rush. He told her to stop and sit down, but she didn’t listen. She needed to keep her mind off things for the time being. She eventually flopped down onto the sofa half an hour later, exhausted. Eliza drifted off to sleep and was rudely awoken by the doorbell. She reasoned that Todd must have gone out, because he surely would have answered it. She stumbled to the door, there stood before her was a bloody door to door salesman. Fecking brilliant, she thought, disturbing her sleep like this. He was prattling on about double glazing, or some such. Could he not see from the windows that we already had double glazing, imbecile. She listened to him talk for a small while, quoting prices and the likes before she finally mustered the courage to say, “My husband deals with these kind of purchases, and he’s not in just now. Do you have a card, which contains a number to contact you?” 
   The salesman dutifully gave Eliza a business card, smiled and wished her a good day. She shut the door and promptly put the card in the bin. 
   Eliza felt out of place today, normally at this time she would be driving to collect the children from school, but today they were going to her mothers. Leaving her with plenty of time to think, and given the activities of today, this was perhaps not a good idea. Many questions were running through her head. Why did she do it? How could she do it? Did Todd actually love her? Or was it some kind of loneliness thing? God only knows, she thought. She looked at the clock. 3.30 p.m, she needed a glass of wine, and quick. She quickly thought to herself, what am I becoming? Drink at midday and now mid afternoon, before long, she would be drinking at breakfast. She couldn’t let that happen to her, not after she had suffered because of it as a child. Her father became addicted to the drink, which mainly sparked her mother’s decision to up-sticks and take the kids to England, whilst their father sorted himself out. She was about to pick out the half drunk wine bottle out of the fridge when the phone rang, again. Mark, again. Did the idiot not realise that the children would still be at school? Men. 
   “Hello? Eliza?” What a twat she thought, who the feck else would it be? My phone! 
   “Yes, it is me. Oh and don’t worry, I’ve looked at that plan you gave me”
   “Oh, and? Any news which one you could come to? Can the kids come?” In truth, I had hardly studied it, just merely glanced over it.
   “I’ve had a think over the ones I could come too. I have bad news though; the children are still at school when the available dates are. All except Dalby and I don’t think it’s fair bringing him and leaving the others at home, so I think I’m going to be coming on my own” I say, hopeful that he won’t blow a fuse at this bombshell, although personally I don’t see that he is in a position to complain or pass judgment. I carry on, as I have not yet received an answer, “I think I can manage to make the Italy date, as long as I can get Mum too look after the kids for a few days”
   Finally this signals a response from the wayward other half, “I was rather hoping you would pick that date, Italy is said to be beautiful” Oh Lord, I’m thinking, he’s not gonna start all this romantic crap is he? 
   “Yes, I’ve heard that too. I’ll book a flight later on this afternoon and ring you back later, if you’re still in the gig, I’ll leave you a message” I sigh, making a mental note to do this after I have spoken to Todd and picked up the kids. 
   “Anyway lovely” he continues “I’m gonna love you and leave you I’m afraid, no doubt you’ve got a thousand and one things you should be doing, I know Seb is arriving today” I have decided that whatever I say will not make him stay on the phone so I leave it.
   “Yeah, he is. I’m just about ready, just got to do a quick clean up and make up the bedroom” I lie, I’ve already done this, but he’s half way across the world so he is hardly gonna know, “If you don’t mind, I have to go someone is at the door. Love you. Bye”
   “Bye, speak soon”

The End

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