Yesterday Paris worked from the conservatory/house office. She and I got loads done, and it was great working with her, but it felt totally weird being in the house. I could hear Philip and Loraine on the other side of the wall, and I felt like we were intruding. It was almost like when I first started working there and I wasn’t used to being in a home/office/conservatory.
During the day, Fife texted to see if I’d come stay at his this weekend. To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on staying at his house as Helen lives there, but Fife insisted that Helen wouldn’t be there. Her permanent transfer to Edinburgh starts on Monday, so she’s staying in London for the weekend to sort some things out. So, believing the promise that I wouldn’t be sharing a weekend with the ex(ish)-wife, I said I’d come around.
Fife picked me up straight after work. With the kids in the car and my bags in hand, we set off for the rural Kingdom of Fife. The kids were in the back seat and both were plugged into their iPads, and Fife asked me about the funeral. I told him about the pub, and about the fact that I’m worried about the Agency. I just don’t know what I’d do if I lost my job. He said he could talk to his agent, about me working for them, but I interrupted. No matter what, I’m not having my boyfriend get me a job. It’s bad enough that I have a reputation for sleeping with my boss in order to land my current job (for all you new readers, it’s not a true rumour, well not exactly, I did sleep with my boss, but that’s not how I got my current job). Anyway, I don’t need to perpetuate any rumours, and I don’t need Fife’s help.
I dumped my bag in Fife’s bedroom, and unlike last time there were boxes everywhere. He’s packing to move. Wow, this is getting real. Yes, I know he said he was moving into the cottage, but I guess I thought it would just happen at some point. One day he would be moved, magically and painlessly. But he’s actually doing it. He’s really moving out, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s definitely for the best that he and Helen won’t be living together, but I don’t know how he’s going to handle the change. Then again, this has been a long time in coming. They’ve been separated (sort of) for years, so moving out is the right thing to do. Why am I rambling about this? What am I trying to prove to myself? Of course he should move out.
Anyway, after dinner, Fife put the kids to bed, and he and I were lying on the sofa flipping through the channels and drinking a nice bottle of red he got to go with dinner, when a car pulled up in front of the house. Keys jangled, then a door opened. Helen was home. Fuck!
I don’t know why, but I felt like we were doing something wrong. As soon as I heard her voice, I sat up straight, took my hands off Fife and tried to act ‘cool’. It was like I was caught with her husband. Okay, he is her husband, but we weren’t doing anything and even if we were, it would be okay. She’s got a Dave.
Plus, it wasn’t Helen who had a problem with the situation, it was Fife. She was supposed to be in London, and he was none too pleased she came back early. She said ‘hello’ and went back to her room. Fife followed, and so did an argument. A massively huge one.
He accused her of coming back to ruin his weekend. She accused him of over reacting. He accused her of upstaging him with the kids – like she always does. (His words not mine. I have no idea if she upstages him.) She accused him of having a mid-life crisis. He accused her of running away from her problems. She accused him of acting like a child. And so on and so forth.
They got louder and louder, and I felt horrible. I know I’m the girlfriend, but I felt like the child listening to ‘mummy and daddy fighting’. I wanted it to stop. And if I felt this way, I could only imagine how the kids felt. I snuck into their rooms one by one and opened the door. Each was sleeping, and I couldn’t have been more releaved. They didn’t need to hear their parents screaming at each other like irrational lunitics.
I then went and curled up in bed in Fife’s room. They continued to argue for a full hour. And what’s really ridiculous is that they didn’t fight about anything terribly important. They just accused each other of stuff that was unlikely to be true. God, I don’t ever want to get a divorce. They’re rubbish.
While I sat in bed waiting for Fife, my phone rang. It was from Loraine’s number, but it was Philip who was calling. Since they’re off to Italy for a bit, he was wondering if I could keep an eye on the house. I’ll be working from the conservatory, so he was wondering if I could also scoop up the post, water the plants, that sort of thing? He asked if I could come around to theirs the following afternoon, so that they could give me a key to the main house? I said that I’d be more than happy to help, and Philip ended the conversation by apologising for asking at the last minute to ask. With so much on, he simply forgot to say something before. I told him that I totally understood. They really are a sweet couple.
I heard Fife yell something at Helen, and she scream something back, then he slammed a door and kicked something. He came back into the bedroom throwing things around cursing under his breath. There was no way I was staying at Fife’s for the rest of the weekend, and Philip’s request was a good excuse.
Unfortunately, Fife couldn’t take me home then, because he’d been drinking, so I had to stay the night. I told Fife that I had to go home the next day, and he got angry. Not at me, but at the situation, ‘Just because she’s surprised us with her presence, doesn’t mean you have to leave. This is my house too, at least it is for now, so if I want to have you hear, then you don’t need to feel like you have to leave…’
I cut him off. I told him that Philip had rung, and asked me to help out. I felt obliged to Loraine and Philip, but if Fife wanted to come spend the weekend at mine he could. I suggested a romantic weekend in the unfurnished flat. But he wasn’t up for it. This was his last weekend with the kids before ‘everything changes’. Helen’s permanently in Scotland starting now, which means that Fife is moving out next week and he’ll see the kids much less; therefore, he wants to spend the weekend with them – despite Helen’s presence.
I totally understand. This morning I got up while Fife was still sleeping and dressed. I kissed him on the forehead as I was leaving, which woke him up. He pulled me on top of him and asked me not to go. At that moment, I wanted to stay. I wanted to cuddle up in his arms in a quiet house. I wanted to feel his hands across my back and my bum, my thighs. I had to stop where he was going. His wife and kids were in the other room (holy shit, that sounds skeezy). Plus, I needed to catch the buses to get home. I didn’t want to be late meeting Philip.
I’m home just now, and I’ve got a bit of time before I got to Loraine’s house. I’m kind of nervous. I haven’t talked to her properly since her mum died. And I’ve only talked to Philip sporadically. What do you say in these situations? I can’t wait for everything to get back to normal.