The Phoenix Time #9


“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.



Ashes of a marriage – Charlotte

Neither of them got much sleep that night. Both of them wondered how things could have got so bad.

For her part, once she’d changed into her nightwear and cleaned her teeth, Charlotte tossed and turned, still furious with her husband. She’d worked so hard to make this a perfect day – not just because it was  Gloria’s birthday but just as much because she was a perfectionist. One of her friends described her as a typical Virgo. He had ruined the family meal and had proved himself to be a total embarrassment.

Eventually though, she calmed down and realised that things had been said on both sides that couldn’t be mended in the washing machine. Her bitter anger morphed into concern – even fear. She didn’t like change and it appeared that there would be a major change ahead.

She hoped that things could be put back to rights over breakfast. Her thoughts became more reflective. Lying awake she reconstructed the events of the day in her mind. In retrospect she wished that she’d done things differently.

Frank had been right. If he’d spoken to her like she had to him, she’d have wiped the floor with him, guests or not. She’d been out of order. She’d been wrong also to hit him. He’d been right again. She had lost her self-control. She knew, however, that her pride wouldn’t let her apologise: not let him feel that he’d won.

She wasn’t sure how she’d feel in the morning about the prospect of him leaving. She’d do him a cooked breakfast to put him in a better mood. If he did leave, well, like he said, he wouldn’t always be in her way and that would be a plus, but it wasn’t something she’d be happy about. She’d have to make sure that he continued to pay her an adequate allowance. But divorce? Dear God! She remembered how David’s divorce had left both of them struggling because of the legal costs. What if they had to sell the house? She’d never be able to afford a mortgage on State Pension.

On top of all that, she remembered how the family had looked at her. They couldn’t wait to get away. She knew that by creating such a scene they’d side with Frank.

She wept silently for a while, cursing her impatient nature. She wasn’t a religious woman but she prayed now for forgiveness and guidance.

Featured Photo

Another photo from Clock Face Country Park. I took today’s image looking at three small picnic benches that I felt were nicely grouped.

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/4.5 and focal length 48 mm. The ISO was 800. 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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