Tuesday, 20 March 2012

an extract from my novel Angelica's Promise

Verity and I take a walk with Rachel and Sean in the park as arranged. We feed the ducks as the sun warms our backs. The park is busy on such a summer day and I begin to notice all the things that people are enjoying that I will never do again.
A couple lie together on the grass and smile and caress each other. The dark skinned young man strokes his girl’s arm and whispers something in her ear that makes her laugh out loud. She flicks her long fair hair and the man kisses her neck while she giggles. I am jealous of their intimacy, something I may never experience again.
An elderly couple stand beside us feeding the ducks, they are so at ease with one another, smiling and holding hands when they leave.
A woman about my age is calling for her toddler son and when he comes running towards her she scoops him up and twirls him around with her cheek pressed against his. Then her husband joins them and kisses them both tenderly, he has his arm around her waist when they walk away.
A group of friends having a picnic laugh and joke around. They open a bottle of champagne, the cork flying into the lake causing more laughter and shouting.
All these things that seem insignificant on any other day to every other person are to me - piercing.

Monday morning comes around easily and the saying 'time waits for no man' is starkly clear to me. I want to suspend time, to have longer whilst I am well but the universe has other ideas. The sun rises and falls just to mock me and the moon orbits our planet to wink at me through the clouds and say 'won't be long now.'
I had no need to consider the horror of leaving my life before I was ready to, I was too busy enjoying it. Too busy grasping for the things I wanted in it. That includes Verity. I wanted a baby so much that I was willing to sacrifice my partner for it, burn his love in a flame of temper and desire to achieve my goal of being a mother. His opinions didn't mean anything to me while my injected hormones raged around in my veins. I was obsessed, some would say. Ben was the casualty in my campaign of war against the biological odds of my ageing and fertility - but it was worth it.
As I lie in bed now staring up at the ceiling, thinking over my actions and sometimes devious thoughts - I have to admit them - I feel ashamed and can feel the heat rise in my cheeks when I picture myself saying some of the hurtful things I threw at Ben. If I had been a man and not the woman he loved  he would have punched me and I would have deserved it.
A part of me feels let down that he didn't do something drastic like that to bring me up short. Wake me to my compulsion to ignore all that was good for me and trade it for something wonderful - yes - but something I allowed to cause destruction.
It wont do me any good to lie here chastising myself and feeling bad because it will set the tone for the rest of the day. This Verity's last week of school before the summer holiday and I need to tie up a few loose ends before I can devote our last summer to making it a memorable one.

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