I can’t say I didn’t expect it. I can’t say I didn’t think he’d get mad. But I didn’t think we’d get into that big of a fight.
As mad as I was, I didn’t want to tell him that I wasn’t going to be around this weekend. I knew he wouldn’t take it well, and I wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation. I was too angry to deal with any sort of fight properly. But I couldn’t procrastinate, because the moment I walked in the door last night after work he started going on about weekend plans.
I couldn’t keep quiet, so before I could even put down my things, I just blurted it out, ‘I have to go to London for work for the long weekend.’ Then I started to ramble, ‘[Paris] wants to meet me…the [Agency] is going under…I have to meet a client…this is really important…if I don’t go I might not have a job…so sorry…it’s unavoidable…’
But my excuses were pointless and he was having none of it. ‘I cannot believe you’re doing this!’ he shouted and stormed into the kitchen.
I followed him, getting even angry, I now didn’t care if there was a confrontation or not, ‘I’m sorry but my job takes precedent at the moment. Without that job, I don’t have a place to live. WE don’t have a place to live.’
He turned around, the look on his face was similar to that of BigOne when he threatened me before running away, ‘Your job. Your stupid fucking job. What about my job. I am a full time author but I not only manage to raise two boys — practically on my own — but I also make time for you. However, you can’t manage to take just a little time out of your schedule for me.’
‘I take lots of time out of my schedule for you. But my job is important to me. And to be honest, I don’t need to be at your beckoned call. If I want to go to London for the weekend, that’s my business.’
‘So you want to go?’
I should have said, ‘No. But I have to go. ‘ But I was furious. He’s lied to me and now he’s trying to control me. So I said, ‘Yes. I want to go. I want to see [Paris[. I want to talk about work. I enjoy work. And I want to see my friends who will all be home for the Jubilee weekend.’
He did that thing where he stands up straight. Too straight. And puffs out his chest, making him look even bigger than he actually is.
‘Fine run away from your problems. Just trip away home,’ he said.
‘Problems? I’m not running away from my problems. I’m going to London to confront my problems. To get things going with work, to try and bring in some money for the [Agency]. All you ever do is ignore things and hope they’ll go away.’
‘Like what?’ he asked. ‘What have I ignored?’
When I said that, I meant his kids. He rarely disciplines his kids, or even deals with the reasons why they’re acting up. He just ignores it, does the ‘boys will be boys’ face and expects everything to work it self out. But even in my anger, I was smart enough to know that I shouldn’t throw his kids into the fight. But if he wanted to know the truth, there was another very big ‘problem’ he chose to ignore. His wife.
‘How about the fact that your wife is asking for the divorce so she can remarry,’ I said in a slightly smug manner.
His face changed, and he looked a little deflated.
‘You think I don’t know,’ I said. ‘I know that the only reason you’re getting a divorce is because you’re wife has asked for one. If it weren’t for that, you’d still be living in that house, married, and hoping it all worked out without having to do anything.’
Deflated went back to angry. He kicked the door then stormed back into the lounge. As he hunted for something, he raged, ‘You think it was easy. Having children with a woman I despise, and not being able to completely be with the woman I love.’ He turned to me then said, ‘Yes. [Helen] did ask for the divorce. But I welcomed it. If you’ve got a problem with the order in which my life unfolds, I’m sorry.’
He rummaged under books and stuck his hand in the sofa cushion. ‘I thought the age difference between us didn’t matter,’ he said. ‘But maybe I was wrong and a weekend trying to relive your University years is more important than me and my kids. ‘
And, you know what? A weekend with my friends is more important! Okay, I didn’t say exactly that, but I said that these people, those that I was going to see where like family. They were my family, and I miss them, and I want to see them. And he can just shove it if thinks I’m going to put his bratty kids over my mates. I miss my friends. So very much.
I started crying. Snot and tears, and the whole thing that I’ve done so many times in the past. ‘I don’t want to have to leave Scotland,’ I said. ‘This is where I live now. This is my home. And if the [Agency] closes, I can’t stay.’
It was weird. I meant every word I’d just said. The argument started out with me making excuses for going away, borderline lies, anything that would allow me to slip away for the long weekend. But I realised that I meant every word I’d just said. In the last two years, I’ve spent more time in Scotland than I have in England (granted, I also spent a lot of time abroad, but that’s not my point). And back home, no one is there. Well, okay, D and M are there, but they have their lives. (Oh and I guess Mum is there, but she’s always there. So she doesn’t count.) Anyway, my point is that Scotland now feels like home, and going back down to London and Surrey for the weekend wasn’t just tripping off back to my childhood.
I was very aware that these moments with my old friends would get fewer and fewer. And we may never have all of us, the old gang, back together again. I needed to make the most of it. Maybe I just want to live in Scotland because going home is never the same. (As they say.)
This fight made I realised how important it was that I not only went home, but that I came back to Scotland afterwards. I needed to do everything I could to get the Agency financially stable, and there was someone very special here in Scotland.
Fife rummaged some more, and cursed for not being able to find the mystery item. I was so angry with Fife, for holding back about Helen wanting the divorce, for accusing me of running away, of insisting I put his family above my own, and for making me feel the way I do. But I also thought about what I would feel like if he weren’t here when I came back from London. I’d be quite sad if Fife were suddenly gone. Then I thought about all the other things that would also make me sad about having to leave Scotland, and I thought not only of my boyfriend, but of HarryPotter the very best friend I’ve only just now gotten back.
I reached and touched Fife’s arm. I was going to say I was sorry. I was going to give him a hug as a peace offering, but he shrugged my hand away. He had found what he was looking for. His keys.
‘Don’t pretend for a second that you’re going to London to help our relationship. You’re going because you’re being selfish, and I’m really not in the mood to talk about it right now.’ He then went to the bedroom and I wiped the tears from my cheeks.
Fife came out with an overnight bag. ‘I’ll be at the cottage. We’ll talk when you come back. Whenever that is.’ And he walked out. I sank down on the floor and sobbed. ‘What if he doesn’t come back?’
About an hour after he left I opened my laptop last night planning on blogging, but D rang. We started making weekend plans, and HP started texting. Then Paris sent me an email confirming our lunch plans. It was midnight before I got off the telecommunications, and while I hadn’t forgotten about Fife, I was feeling much better. I am determined to put him out of my mind for the weekend.
I haven’t heard from Fife yet today, and I’m leaving straight after work to meet HP in Glasgow, and he’ll drive us down from there. I haven’t decided if I’m taking the laptop or not. I don’t think I’ll have much time for blogging. But NFTI has become my journal, and journaling is so addictive. Can I go for a long weekend without putting my thoughts and actions on paper/the screen. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll take my laptop…just in case.
Jubilee weekend. Here we come.