Carrot cake or Victoria sponge…
God, I don’t know…maybe she’d prefer some good old Mr Kipling. What kind of cakes do 80-year olds like anyway?
And then what do I get mum…we’re going to hers afterwards and I hate walking in empty handed, especially with a husband who eats for two, sometimes three…
OK, I’m getting the Victoria sponge – and some Mr Kipling for good measure. And bread for mum…she loves bread.
I grab some baguettes and nice-looking loaves and head to the checkouts.
My phone vibrates in my pocket. Oh God, he’s probably calling to see why I’m taking so long. I feel a flicker of panic as I answer…
“Where are you?” he asks bluntly. I pretend not to notice the aggression in his voice and tell him I’m paying. He probably thinks I’m being chatted up by someone, so I’m hoping he can see me through the shop window, and realise I’m not.
I head for the exit. We’re parked on a small but busy street, and I’m surprised to see that he’s no longer sat in the car with our baby; but stood outside, staring at me.
He storms towards me shouting. I’m shocked….is he really doing this in front of all these people? I walk towards the car as he shouts at the top of his voice, demanding to know where I’ve been and why I’ve taken so long. I look at him, shaking in disbelief, waiting for him to snap out of this craziness. But instead he leans towards me and snatches the shopping bags out of my hands.
Everyone is watching…
He hurls the bags into the boot, the baguettes snapping into pieces. He screams into my ear to go and comfort my son, crying in the back seat. Apparently, that’s my fault. I haven’t said a word yet. I’m in a daze, not quite believing he’s this angry…
Then, he changes his mind and before I can reach the car door, he drives off without me, leaving me stood on the pavement, staring after them.
I turn and start walking home. A voice behind me asks…”Sister, are you ok? Do you need help?”
I panic. I know this brother only wants to help, but there’s no way I can risk my husband seeing me talking to another male. Who knows what he’d do. Without turning around, I reply that I’m OK and walk off. He must think I’m so rude.
Our Volkswagen Polo comes hurtling towards me. The passenger door swings open and he screams at me to get in the car. I go to my crying son first, but my husband thumps the passenger seat repeatedly, shouting at me to GET IN THE CAR!!!
And so, I do.
And once I’m in the car, I bend over…and sob. I sob whilst he drives like a mad man, and I sob as he pulls up outside his friend’s house, asking me to sit up and accompany him inside, as if nothing had just happened.
I look up at him, my face red and puffy, and tell him I’m not going anywhere. He waits as I cry, and calmly asks again, his mood totally changed.
Eventually he gives up, and as he stands on the doorstep, all smiles and cheers, I hear him telling his friend I’m not feeling well, as they ask about me and wonder where I am.
I’m bent over on the passenger seat, heartbroken and sobbing over what just happened, unable to make any sense of it.
That’s where I am.