The Phoenix Time #8


“Oh! So, I should have sat there, saying nothing, red wine dripping onto my clothes and all over the tablecloth. That’s what you think is it?”

“Well, it wasn’t the spilled glass of wine that caused the problem. Tablecloths can be laundered, the glass itself wasn’t broken, no one was hurt and no one died. If you could have been less of a total bitch than usual, then between the two of us we could have sorted out the accident in a civilised way – even made a joke of it.”

She smacked his face. He made no attempt to stop her. She’d already lost by that one blow.

“Accident? You’re a walking accident Frank. The clumsiest man I’ve ever met. And I’m a total bitch am I? Nice to know what you think of me.”


“Charlotte, if you had any love left in you, a normal response would have been more along the lines of, ‘Frank, could you fetch a damp cloth while I change my blouse? Sorry about that folks. I’ll be back in a minute.’ The meal could the have continued as normal. Just a suggestion as to how a loving wife might have behaved. That smack spoke volumes about your inability to control yourself and your temper.”

“Yes. That’s what you’d have liked isn’t it? Someone  docile, who’d put up with your laziness and clumsiness and bumbling around like someone senile.”

He let the insult pass, determined to remain calm, looking at her flushed complexion, her eyes glittering with rage and her lips thinly pursed.

His voice was quiet, calm.

“Suppose, just for a second, that it had been you who’d knocked over the glass. It could have been. Suppose that I’d spoken to you like that. How would you have felt? Imagine Jake had caused the accident. Would you have spoken to him like that? Or to Gloria or David?”

He paused to give her time to reflect.

“I certainly have no expectations of you behaving docilely . Not now. Not after the way you’ve changed since I retired. The answer to your question though, dear Charlotte, is that I no longer expect you to put up with me at all. I’ll be sleeping in the guest bedroom tonight and finding somewhere else to live tomorrow.”

She sneered.

“Really? Where do you think you’ll find any place where you’ll get waited on like you do here?”

“I’ll ask Gloria first if she can spare a room for a day or two,” he said, “I won’t expect to be waited upon as you put it and then I’ll look for a bed and breakfast place somewhere until I get sorted with somewhere more permanent. I’ll come back for whatever I don’t take with me.”

“If you go tomorrow, your things will be in bin bags on the drive when you return.”

“I’ll hire a van then if you’re so desperate to get rid of me. There are secure storage places these days Charlotte, so don’t think that you can threaten me that way. I’ll probably see you before I leave tomorrow anyway about the terms that I propose for our separation . I won’t wish you a goodnight’s sleep. That would be hypocritical.”

He walked out past his wife who was still stood near the door, just inside the room.

Featured Photo

Another photo from Clock Face Country Park. I took today’s image looking at the small lake that was featured yesterday, but from a different angle.

I used my Pentax KP cropped sensor camera to take the photo using a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The shutter speed was 1/250 secs @ f/3.5 and focal length 28 mm. The ISO was 400. I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic with additional editing in Topaz Denoise AI.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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