Posted by: writingwitch2013 | May 26, 2013

The woodpeckers song

Our woodpecker

Our woodpecker

“I’m going to be myself today.” I said to his disappearing back.
I had chosen my moment carefully this morning. I had planned to say it to his face, but once again my courage deserted me. I was scared of what he would say. I knew he wouldn’t be listening as he went out of the door. His mind would be on other things, work, the traffic, meetings  and bills to pay, but I announced it anyway. “I’m going to be myself.”
 I watched him get in his car and go to work, then I rushed out of the back door and down to the bottom of the garden. I walked quickly through the trees in the wood and climbed the locked gate and ran down to the stream. The stream ran past the bottom of our garden but it was difficult for me to get to. The route through the woods was easier, but I had to be careful because it had been bought since we moved into the cottage, and the new owner discouraged trespasses, hence the locked gate. The deeds of the woods declared them to be for the use of everyone and the owners, old or new, weren’t  allowed to stop us getting through, so discourage was all the gate lock did.
  “Hey,” said David and Jude together. “Who are you going to be today.” they asked.
” I’m going to be myself. “I said, and I meant it.
  They shook their heads. They knew me well. They had known me all my life. We had grown up together. Constant friends from birth, they had been at my wedding, at the birth and christenings of my children, at my graduation, at the death of my Nan, they knew me better than I knew myself.
 They certainly knew me better than any of my family did. We shared everything, there were no secrets.
  “You’ll never tell him.” David laughed. “You’ve vowed you’ll tell him so many times and you’ve always backed out. It’s probably too late now.”
  “I want to be myself. My migraines are getting worse, I feel trapped, if I could just be myself it would help.”
  Jude patted the grass and I sat down beside her.
  “Don’t tell him, just change your ways slightly. If you do it ever so slightly over a long period he won’t notice. Eventually John and all around you will just think you quirky and you can be more like yourself.”
 I smiled. I wasn’t convinced that was the solution. I’d tried it once before when I was demonstrating at the shows. ‘What rubbish are you wearing Alice?’ he’d said. ‘You look a mess.’ John wasn’t at all creative, preferring his ‘man about town’ look to the dressed down scruffy casual look our son had adopted. Big earrings and bangles and long flowing frocks caused a frown when I dressed to go to work. ” I need to dress creatively to attract the creative people. If I put on a suit or plain clothes they would think me twee.” I told him constantly. Then he would reply with his usual, “You’ll attract a load of nutters.”
 “Where are we going today?” David, tired of all the counselling talk, changed the subject.
 “Nowhere. I can’t stray far today I have a mountain of ironing and washing to do. I need to be back early.”
  “Boring.”
  “I thought we could look for the Kingfisher.”
  “Alice who are you talking to?” Startled, I turned around. What was he doing here? No. Where was I. My mind scrambled for information. David and Jude where still with me but we were no longer by the stream. How long had we been back at the house? I presumed that they had lingered because John had surprised us all and there had been no time for us to separate and say our goodbyes
 I got up quickly from the table and looked around. He was home early. I hadn’t done his tea, ironed his shirts or cleared the breakfast dishes. I felt ashamed. He had been working all day and here I was, to all intent and purposes, still sitting at the table and  staring out of the window, daydreaming.
  “Nobody.”
David and Jude stood there with their hands on their hips out of sight of the window. Jude was wagging her finger. David raised his eyes. He was miming ‘tell him’. Now wasn’t the right time to tell him.
  “Nobody.” I repeated.

 

 

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