A Good Wife – teaser
Gloria pulled her feet onto her favourite floral chair. It was finally becoming well used. The fire before her was blazing, and Rufus was resting his head on scattered books. A year had passed since she’d arrived in Kreef Bay; a year to the day, to be exact. All the questions she’d sat here today pondering, she’d covered numerous times before. And there was every chance she would do so again.
The cottage she’d purchased was exactly as she had imagined. She was treating it as a canvas, to be embellished as and when she so pleased. Rushing, she was not. Her only straying from this being a gift from Anton, an empty beer crate, upturned. It would suffice as a table for now, he’d told her. He was right.
Set on her life’s journey, Gloria had no preconceived ideas of where it would lead, other than a firm belief her destiny had been set the moment she was born. She wasn’t convinced this was based on a religious perspective. As a child, she had had little, if no religious influence, with public displays of worship and acknowledgement limited to Christmas mass – and even then that had been rare.
The feeling regarding her destiny, then, was not conscious. Quite simply, her continuum of life had comprised education; to acquire and enjoy good friendships; work as an interlude while finding her life-long partner; marry well; dedicate her life to taking care of her husband; bear his children if so determined; and finally retire financially secure. The blueprint – she believed for the most – was faultless, but she was happy to concede it was likely outdated, with women pursuing careers and deciding to have or not to have children. The rights and wrongs of which, she held no opinion for and against. But she felt strongly that she would not contradict, or burst the bubble of those who – like herself – believed in destiny.
She found it difficult to explain and, over the years, had settled on using an example of a confectioner with a dream to open a bakery, or a young couple setting out to buy their first house. If either had been told the hidden costs or amount of work required, was there a chance they would not try, and therefore deny themselves the experience of great joy and success? Quite possibly, she had concluded they would. Fear was hard to overcome.
Gloria wondered of late how it would have transpired if she’d been advised that, by the time she reached sixty, the final path of her destiny would have collapsed, leaving her as she found herself today, no longer married. Would she have married Roger – or, for that matter, anybody?
No amount of consideration brought conclusion. At times, she was adamant her life would have reached the pinnacle of career and personal success without a man by her side. And then, when she woke, when it was dark outside, with Rufus beside her bed, his breathing uninterrupted, she was consumed with knowing she would have married Roger after all. To wake and find somebody by your side, there was nothing to compare. Not even the hurt that came and went could sway her on this. Who could not delight in being held in someone’s arms?
If she took away – wished away – the negative aspects of her life, Gloria still could not be guaranteed fruition of her destiny. Life was fragile, something she well knew.
Gradually, she was concluding that everything in her life up to now had been her destiny. And that good and bad combined had shaped her to be the person she was today, with the people she wanted to be with, doing and living the life she needed and enjoyed.
Shortly, she’d leave the comfort of her cottage and head to The Blue House, where she would argue with Anton the merits of allowing a local band to play one evening mid-week. They were a group of local boys, strumming on guitars, their harmonies to be envied. Anton would groan, no doubt, but he’d come around. Later, they’d retire to his upstairs room, to share a glass of whiskey and begin the planning of the upcoming fundraiser for the school. And, if there was time, they would explore their upcoming road-trip to who-knew-where yet. They would travel and stop as the whim took them, allowing time to catch up at its will.
. . . . contd.