I was still smarting a week later. We we’re just about speaking to each other, if nothing else because of the children, but we weren’t close. We didn’t curl up round each other in bed as we did usually. I knew I was biting off my own nose to spite my face. I wanted to be close to Tim and I knew if I made the effort I could seduce him. It didn’t take much to get him aroused. And if we made love the row would become history, like other rows we’d had. But I was still smarting and wanted to punish him for what I thought was unacceptable behaviour. However, as the days passed I couldn’t quite see why I was so angry. I know we’d both said some awful things to each other in the car going home but they were just what we did when we rowed – part attack, part defence. But wasn’t Tim within his rights to want to go home so he’d be in bed by midnight on a weekday? My resolve was weakening and I wasn’t sure I was in the right anymore. But why didn’t Tim make any effort to make it up? Why should it always be me?
Anyway I was pleased this morning when Sarah rang and suggested meeting up for lunch next day. I thought if I had a good time I would be more likely to make it up with Tim. Perhaps a bit of time away would break my mood.
So I decided to take the day off work and persuaded Sarah to make a day of it. She was the only friend I felt I could confide in and I thought talking to her about what had happened might help me. I picked her up at about 10 and drove to Chester. We parked in the multi-storey and walked along the city wall to the town centre where we had a coffee and a pleasant chat. Sarah was still enamoured with Richard who apparently had already proposed to her. She wasn’t sure whether she’d got over Clive yet and didn’t want to just get engaged on the rebound. So asked him to give her a bit of time. I’d met him several times, most recently at the Chinese banquet a week ago. I told her I thought he seemed nice but it did seem a bit soon. Then it was time to go shopping and I hadn’t told her about my problems.
However at lunch I made sure I had my turn. I told Sarah about the row. She said everyone at the Chinese had noticed what was going on and had been a bit upset by it because Tim and I had always been so lovey-dovey in front of everyone before. Then I let her know that I’d spoken to Tim about the rape. She knew I’d been putting this off for ages and was pleased to hear that he’d been very understanding and not at all judgemental about it and that he had respected my decision not to take it further. She congratulated me on having the courage to tell Tim and said that she’d known that Tim would react like that. Then I told her that I’d found him watching porn on his computer. She was completely un-fazed about that too.
“Do you watch porn?” I asked tentatively.
“Doesn’t everybody? Clive and I sometimes used to watch it together. It got us into the mood. Actually, to be honest I found most of it a bit much but it did make Clive randy so I just pretended to enjoy it too.”
“Oh! I don’t think I could do that. I’m too much of a prude and I find it disgusting. Not that I’ve really given it a try. I just saw what Tim was watching.”
A bit later on after Sarah had told me a bit more about her and Richard I told her about the time in the pub when I’d been flashing a guy.
“What are you like?” was all she said.
Sarah then asked me how Tim and I were getting on. When I said fine she said that it didn’t seem fine the other night at the Chinese.
“Oh, that,” I said not wanting to elaborate. Then I had second thoughts. Sarah had been a good friend and she’d obviously kept my rape secret.
“You’re right things aren’t that great at the moment. I don’t know what to do about him. He doesn’t seem to want to make friends, certainly doesn’t make any effort with my friends. He seems distant these days and he seems jealous.”
“What do you mean, jealous?”
“Well he seems to resent my friends and things like our jaunt today.”
“Well he has to work hard doesn’t he? And I don’t want to be presumptuous but you do go away a lot and leave him on his own.”
“Do you think so? I’d go away with him if only he’d come. All he says is that he needs to get the business off the ground and he can’t afford to staff it more than he already does.”
“Don’t you think he has a point there?”
“I suppose so but I don’t see why his business should restrict me.”
“Except that you’re married to him and marriage is a team thing.”
“Whose side are you on?”
“Yours of course. I’m just playing devil’s advocate. I’d take Tim off your hands anytime.” She winked as she said that.
“Don’t talk stupid. I love him and ’till death do us part”.
I could see Sarah’s point but I couldn’t go along with it. I wasn’t used to being restricted on holidays. All my life I’d had holidays almost whenever I wanted. Dad and Mum, when they were together, were always swanning off somewhere and leaving us. I thought I should be able to do the same.
We continued shopping, my favourite hobby, almost an occupation as Tim said and I forgot all about the row and my worry about the way our relationship was going. I did go a bit over the top in the spending department and had to hide some of my purchases from Tim when I got home. I did try a few items on for him later but he didn’t seem interested. One comment – Haven’t you already got several of those? – really got up my nose, although I knew he wasn’t wrong.
The day out did nothing to repair our broken relationship. I was resentful that Tim wouldn’t accept me as I am, wouldn’t join in my love of clothes and shopping. His disapproval made me feel superficial and uncomfortable. So we were no closer in spite of my hopes earlier in the day that my change of mood would enable me to get things back on track.