Chapter 10

"No. This is how you do it." Clive stood up and walked slowly with a kind of grace. "Try again."

Mrs Beechcroft copied him.

"Good. That's close enough. Have you cracked the other movements and mannerisms I want yet?"

His wife demonstated - crossing her knees, crossing her ankles, the relaxed posture on the sofa. Even the way she laughed and spoke was quite different now to how it had been four months previously. She had grown so used to it all that it now came naturally.

"Well done." He squeezed her shoulder. She smiled. She had stopped questioning her husband's motives for changing her months ago.


Mrs Beechcroft awakened one Sunday morning and went towards the mirror. It had been a while since she had last looked in. The cumulative  effect of her new hair, voice, clothes, movements and mannerisms made her gasp in horror. She suddenly didn't know herself, and she doubted anyone else would recognise her either.


Clive woke up. "What is it Jackie?"

Mrs Beechcroft, who was on the point of telling him, stopped.  "What did you call me?"

"Jackie darling what's wrong?"

"My name is not Jackie."

"You're right. I much preferred Jaqueline." Clive got up and came towards her. He gave her a hug. "What's wrong?"

"I'm not Jaqueline."

"Yes you are darling, or have I been calling you love, darling and sweetheart so long that you've forgotten your first name?"

"I don't think anyone could do that."

"Yes they can". He held her face and looked steadily into her eyes. "Trust me, they can Jackie." He spoke the words slowly and evenly.

Mrs Beechcroft felt a flicker of doubt - perhaps they could. Anyway there seemed no point in arguing furher.

"Jaqueline is a lovely name."

"It is" he agreed.

There was a moment's silence. Then Mrs Beechcroft spoke.

"But how could my name suddenly change?"

"It hasn't changed love. It's always been Jaqueline."


Clive sighed. He went downstairs and returned with the post. He handed her three letters. She looked at the name on each of the envelopes.

Jaqueliune Beechcroft.

"Oh." She relaxed. "It must be then. Sorry,  I forgot."

"Don't worry."

Mrs Beechcroft turned to her bedside cabinet to get her watch. She was surprised to find it had a dark blue strap.

"What happened to my gold plated one?"

"What gold plated one?"

"The one that looked like the one I had in my childhood?"

He raised his eyebrows. "That one was blue."

"What?" She stared at him.

He sighed. He got out an album and opened it. He showed her the photos.

She looked at the watch she was wearing. Yes, a dark blue strap.

"Oh right. I wonder why I always thought it was gold plated."

He hugged her. "Don't worry Jackie. You're not going insane."

He smiled reassuringly at her. She smiled in return. She picked up the watch and put it on.

The End

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