David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.
“Well, there’s really not much to tell,” I told David at the restaurant. “I’m the first in a family of four, my father was a teacher – he passed away when we were still pretty young – but my mother is still around and she’s a hairdresser. I live alone, and work for Mark, and that’s pretty much it; very boring I’m afraid.”
I shrugged apologetically.
“Not at all boring, but I’m sure there is lots more; is there a special someone, for instance? And please feel free to tell me it’s none of my business, because it actually isn’t, but I’m curious.”
He was right; it was a personal question and I would be totally justified in not answering it, but I did.
“No, there isn’t; I don’t really have time for a relationship at the moment.”
“But surely one day you want to settle down, get married, and have kids, right?”
“That’s not even something I can picture at the moment; with my younger siblings, I feel like I already have three kids,” I laughed lightly, then turned the question back on him. “And you? Do you have children?”
“Yes, three as well; a boy and two girls.”
“That’s lovely; how old are they?”
“The boy is seven, the girls five and two; but enough about me, what do you do when you aren’t working? Do you hang out much?”
“Ha! No, I’m either at work or at home; the party scene isn’t really my sort of thing.”
While Julie had initially been shy and reserved, by the time we were done with the main course, she was relaxed and appeared to be enjoying herself as much as I was. We talked about a whole range of things, from her childhood and family, to politics, music and business.
I found she was not just beautiful with a kind and tender soul, but very intelligent and informed as well. This time, probably because of how late it was, she let me drive her right to her gate.
“I’m sorry there’s no space for the car to come in,” she said apologetically, as I pulled up in front of a black gate, through whose bars I could see a row of small rental units.
“No problem; I’ll just wait till you are safely inside.”
She smiled that same shy smile that I found so enamouring: “Thank you for the dinner, it was lovely, and for dropping me home. I appreciate it.”
“The pleasure is mine, I had a great time - maybe we could do it again sometime?” I asked hopefully.
“Alright,” she answered in little more than a whisper, as she looked down at her laps and twitching fingers.
David still hadn’t returned by the time I collapsed into bed exhausted right after the nine o’clock news, and I felt my blood begin to boil, especially since despite having to mind three children, and clean the house, I had still managed to cook a great dinner of pork chops and potatoes, with a spinach and mushroom cream sauce, and he had not even come for it.
It felt like all my effort had been for nothing. Still, I was determined not to react when he did eventually come home, for I knew the game he was playing; he was still punishing me for the pizza dinner fiasco, and that was alright.
When he felt like he had sulked enough, he would find the house clean, and dinner cooked – proof that I had learned my lesson, and life would return to normal.
Thankfully my mother had promised to send me a new maid tomorrow; so, at least I would have some help again, and would be able to return to my own job and not have my life revolve around only childcare, cleaning and cooking.