Chapter Twenty Five

SOPHIE

I enjoy going shopping with Tracy. In spite of my earlier misgivings she and I had become quite good friends and we both had time in the day. I’d pick her up and drive us to Wimslow.  After a coffee we’d wander round the shops, trying different things on, showing them off to each other and, if we both like an item, one of would often buy it. We always bought different items as we didn’t want to risk both wearing the same things out. Tracy would treat me to a nice lunch with a glass of wine and after a bit more shopping we’d head home before the traffic rush.

It was often a bit of a downer coming back home. I’d be on a real high, having had a lovely day just doing what I enjoyed doing and I’d know Tim wouldn’t approve. He never said anything but I could tell. He never showed any interest in looking over my purchases and It made me feel frivolous and superficial. Sometimes I could get him interested when I modelled them for him but I think he was more interested then in the parts of my modelling show when I was undressing or dressing than the clothes themselves.

Yesterday was worse though. I was late coming home which didn’t help – there’d been an accident so it wasn’t my fault. Although, if I’m honest I did stop at Dad and Tracy’s for a cup of tea and we did get carried away modelling the clothes we’d bought for each other.   When I arrived home I rushed out of the car and dropped the bags containing my purchases in the hall.

“Sorry I’m late,” I called “There was an accident.”

Tim was in the kitchen peeling potatoes and didn’t look up which I knew was a bad sign. Normally he would drop everything and give me a big hug and a kiss.

“Had a good day?” he asked flatly. “The kids are in the bath and I’ve got the meal under control.”

“I’ll go up to see them in a minute. I’d like to show you my purchases first.” I said, hoping, I suppose, to charm him out of his sulk. “I’ve bought some fabulous things today. Had a lovely day and I got you a little pressie. Just some joke hankies I thought were rather nice. But just look at these tops. I liked them so much I bought them in all four colours.” I was really excited to show them to Tim. I’d really fallen in love with them. They really suited me, showing my bosom off so I looked really sexy. Tracy had persuaded me to get all four colours because she liked them on me so much. I’d also bought a new winter coat which was a bit different to my usual style. I bought it with Tim in mind because it was a bit hippyish.

Tim showed not the slightest interest. He just continued with his potato peeling. Then he made a cutting remark that really upset me.

“I don’t know why you keep buying clothes. You hardly wear any you’ve already got. Your wardrobes are overflowing with things you’ve never worn. You waltz in late so I’ve had to sort the children and all our food out after a hard day’s work and all you want to do is talk about some stupid additional clothes you’ve spent a fortune on.”

“I said I’m sorry I’m late. I can’t help it if there’s an accident. I go out with Tracy once a month at most and I can spend my money as I want, thank you very much. You like me to look nice and I buy clothes so I do.”

“You buy clothes because you like buying clothes. Admit it. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that per se. I just happen to think it’s a waste of money. And you’d look nice whatever you wore.”

“You think I should just give the money away to charity, is that it?” I knew he felt guilty that we had so much whilst there were poor people scavenging food out of food banks.

“Oh I’m not sure what I think.” said Tim, much less angry now.   I think he felt guilty about his remarks.  ”Oh by the way your mother rang. She can’t have the children tomorrow after all.”

I had a hair appointment in the morning an one at the beauticians in the afternoon. These had been arranged for ages.

“She said she had a cancellation at the hospital which she couldn’t refuse.”

Just then there was some screaming from upstairs and Tim rushed upstairs to sort it out. I followed him up, collecting my bags on the way. The fight had stopped by the time I got there. The children were in the bath and there was water everywhere. Tim was washing Di and I just stood and watched him. He lifted the two of them out of the bath one by one. He put the towel under their armpits and, holding one end in each hand, lifted them right up towards the ceiling, shouting “Gubba, Gubba.” It was one of his tricks, a family tradition and the kids loved it. Then they both shouted “Train, Daddy, Train” and sat on one of their towels. Tim then proceeded to tow them round the room on the towel making “Choo, Choo” noises while they shrieked with pleasure, falling off and jumping back on as he went slower and faster.

“Don’t get them too excited,”I found myself saying. It was lovely to see them having such a good time but, if I’m honest I was just a teeny bit jealous. I wished I enjoyed playing with the children as much as Tim did. I sometimes thought they preferred him to me before correcting myself and thinking they like us for different things.  I knew they loved me.

I was still smarting from our argument. I knew he had a point but I liked shopping and buying clothes. It doesn’t harm anyone and it keeps people in work. We continued our talk when the children were in their pyjamas and tucked up in bed.

“I can’t have the children tomorrow, I’ve two appointments,” I said.

“It’s half term so somebody’s got to look after them. I can’t have them I’m at work. Can’t you postpone your appointments?”

“No sorry, It’s very difficult to get an appointment with Toni for my hair, you have to book up at least 4 weeks ahead, and June, the beautician, is always booked up as well.”

“So your bloody pampering is more important than my business. That’s right isn’t it?”

“Your business is a bloody joke.”

“Well I didn’t have a rich Daddy and have had to make my own way in life. So my business may be a joke but at least it’s mine. That’s more than you can say.”

That really hurt. It was my Achilles heel. It was his deadliest weapon in any rows we had. I was just a silly little rich girl. End of story.

Tim knew he’d gone too far and said as much. He served a lovely meal and even suggested I try on my new clothes on for him. I wasn’t in the mood. I felt too deflated and we hadn’t resolved what we were going to do with the children in the morning. I thought that would have to wait till later.

Tim didn’t say anything more about the row that night but he wasn’t himself either. I tried to cuddle up to him in bed, pushing my breasts into his back and trying to caress his privates, thinking sex would bring us back together. He responded by just turning onto his stomach so my hand couldn’t reach. He said he was sorry but he wasn’t in the mood. Normally he was like putty in my hands. If I gave him the come-on or showed him that he was in with a chance he couldn’t resist. But that night he wasn’t having any and he wanted to show me just that.

In the morning we were still both subdued but Tim did offer to take the children into work with him so I could attend my appointments. I collected them from him as soon as I could and took them to the park. I also called in at Marks and bought one of their meals for two that came with a bottle of

wine so that I could treat us both.

It’s all very confusing. We seem to approach things from the opposite ends of the earth. I do feel inadequate because of the rich girl having done nothing in life issue but I have to accept that’s who I am. If only Tim would let me help him in his business I might have more purpose in life.  He won’t let me and I’m not sure that my heart would be in it anyway.

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