She didn't have the ring she always had."It got lost" she said, somewhere between the first child and third. She now walked with a limp, her fast gait lost along a motorway in India."Riding motorcycles can be dangerous" she said. Paul kept hovering nearby, I could feel his eyes boring into my back, the questions would come, at night, when all was quiet and the children fast asleep. He would ask, "do you regret marrying me?", "do you regret not leaving when you had the chance?". Then we will make love and sleep off in each other's arms, the confirmation that everything is exactly as it should be. I wish Paul would go away...even my friendships are not truly mine. "How are the kids?" I finally asked. She told me they were all doing well. Joan seemed to take after her, studying art and all that "hocus-pocus" as her father called it. She has a small exhibition coming up, perhaps I'd like to come? Paul said I couldn't, we had a lot of unfinished work in the garden. That's what we would be doing next Saturday. "It is?" I looked up from staring at Agatha's hair, now black, jet black, the colour she had always wanted.Paul said it was, then he finally went away. Agatha said she had something for me, she reached into her bag, and brought out an old picture. Good lord! How old could we have been? only 16, that was before Paul and Frank had come into our lives, before the children, before the gardens, before the houses. Before we became like.... everyone else. It was great to see Agatha again, I waved until her scooter disappeared into the darkness and I could not see her scarf flying behind her anymore.
On Saturday, I wore my dress, the one he says makes me look like an old prostitute. I wore my lipstick and my black heels. He looked up from his weeding and said "You know, sometimes I don't know who you are". I did not blame him for saying that, I felt the same way too. Most mornings, I look into the mirror and I say "I don't know you".