Marianne – A PROBLEM

22 Jun

Marianne left the surgery and got into her car to drive back to the Theatre. For almost the first time since she had the suspicion might be pregnant, she gave a thought to the father of her child. Would he be pleased? What a strange thought. She hadn’t considered him at all. After all, it had as much to do with him as with herself. Maybe he’d welcome the idea – perhaps he’d be horrified. She realised that besides not thinking of him as the father, she knew little about him – she had no idea of his innermost thoughts and feelings. Theirs was a loving relationship but hardly intimate. Did she, in fact, love him\/ as a woman should love a man. She had no idea. A loving friend, a sexual partner, a rewarding workmate. She tried in vain to recall a conversation that didn’t have to do with work. Gossip of course, but as to their real selves, their working selves never. So was this a basis for a shared partnership – a marriage even? A marriage! The very idea made her gasp. Yes, she did have a half-suppressed feeling of excitement at the thought of being Mrs Sherwood –no even stranger – one day perhaps Lady Belize. Lady Belize! Darling Jessica as she was always known in their circle. What on earth would Jessica say? Would she, the greatest snob in the English peerage, would she welcome the mere country doctor’s daughter into the aristocratic Belize family. Though she was a ……. from the slums of Hull, perhaps because of that very fact, she was sensitive to the attitude of her class. Marianne gave an involuntary shudder and exclaimed aloud “Darling Jessica is walking over my grave.” She suddenly felt very cold and she shut her car window against the keen Autumn breezes. Never mind Jessica, although her hold over her only son was powerful, Jason did have a mind of his own – didn’t he? When she arrived at the Theatre, she went straight to her office and, overcoming her reluctance to get on with the job in hand, she called Jason’s number. The phone rang and rang and went on ringing. She felt a surge of relief in not having to deal with the matter just yet. She sought him out at the Theatre that evening. He was making up in his dressing room She looked at his face through the mirror as he prepared his face with glycerin and rose water ‘Can we get away quickly after the show tonight? I want to talk to you.’ ‘Sounds ominous.’ ‘Yes, could be, but Interesting. Can we do that? He grinned at her in the mirror, his face looking like a red Indian with stripes of five and nine all over his face. ‘Whatever you say, Boss, I am yours to command. I can always slip away. You’re the one who always has to stay and have a drink with your precious stars.’ ‘Well, not tonight. I want to get away as soon as possible. Meet me at my flat?’ ‘Of course.’ She felt strange, she had thought he might refuse, but why should he? She felt her heart flutter. Maybe, after all, she was a little in love with him. Why should she suddenly fear him? As soon as the curtain came down, it seemed Jason was at her side.. She saw a little makeup adhering to his ears. His eyes still watering from an over hastily application of Cremine. He was still sweating from his vigorous portrayal. It took him at least twenty minutes to cool down after the show. He gave her a kiss. ‘See you in a minute’ he said. Just then a large blonde young woman arrived from one of the tourist magazines. She wanted an interview with Marianne. Jason gave Marianne a wink and a toss of the head towards the car park. Marianne made her escape while Jason kept the girl talking. She ran to the care, feeling comfortable, safe, feeling that Jason had her interests at heart. She couldn’t understand why she had been afraid. ‘He’s just a loveable kindly bear’ she said. She let herself into the flat and set about preparing coffee. She set the small coffee stale, after a moments thought, adding a bottle of whisky and a couple of glasses. Jason arrived just as the coffee was ready, and lowered himself into the big armchair. ‘So shoot’. He said. He shook out a cigarette from his packet of camels and lit it with a flourish of his Zippo lighter. Marianne looked at him fondly, he was like a child playing with his toys. He was being Humphrey Bogart this evening, she decided. He had actually dressed up and was wearing a black shirt, white tie and a fedora tilted in the back of his shaggy coffee coloured mop of hair. She certainly thought maybe she loved him quite a lot. She was certainly very fond. Marianne sat opposite him and tried the direct approach OK Buster,’ she said in a Jimmy Cagney voice,’ Hold onto your hat. I’m Pregnant!’ He was at the point of raising the cup to his lips He stayed, just as he was, the glass halfway to his mouth, his face never flinching, his eyes never moving from her face.#e stayed where he was, the glass halfway to his mouth, his face never flinching, his eyes never leaving his face. ‘Aren’t you going to say something? Said Marianne,’ Marianne left the surgery and got into her car to drive back to the Theatre. For almos the firt time shince she had the suspician might be pregnant, she gave a thought to the father of her child. Would he be pleased?What a strange thought. She just hadn’t consideted him at all. Abtu after all it had as much to do with himas withherself. Maybe he’d welcome the idea – maybe he’d e horrified. She realised that besides not thinking of him as the fatehr, she knew little about him – she had no idea of his innermot thoughs and feelings. Theirs was a loving relationship but hardly intimate. Did she in fact love him\/ as a woman should love a man. She had no idea. A loving fiorend, a sexual partner, a rewarding workmate. She tried in vain to recall a conversation tht didn’t have to do with work. Gossip of course, but as to their real selves, their working selves never. So was this a basis for a shared partnership – a marriage even? A m,aarriage! The very idea made her gasp. Yes she did have a half surppressed feeling of excitement at the thought of being Mrs Sherwood – o=no eaven stranger – one day perhaps Lady Belize. Lady Belize! Darling Jwessica as she was always known in their circle. What on earth would Jessica say? Would she, the greatest snob in the English peergae, would she welcom the mere country doctor’s daughter into the aristocratic Belize family. Though she herself was a ……. from the slums of Hull, perhaps because of theat very fat, she was sensitive to the attitude of her class. Mariannae gave an involuntary shudder and ealimed aloud “Darlilng Jessica is walking over my grave.” She suddenly felt very cold and she shut her car window against the keen Autumn breezews. Never mind Jessica, alhtough her hold over her only son was very strong. Jason did have a mind of his own -[didn’t he? When she arrived at the theatre, she want straight to her office and, overcoming her reluctance to get on with the job in hand, she called Jason’s number. The phone rang and rang and went on rini=ging. She felt a great surge of relief h=not having to deal with the matter jus tyet. She sought him out at the theatre that evening. He was making jup in his dreessin goom She looked at his face thought the mirror as he prepared his face with cream. ‘Can we get away quicklya fer the show tonight? Iwant to talk toyou.’ ‘Sounds ominous’ ‘Interesting. Can we do that? He grinned at her in the mirror, his face looking like a red Indian with stripes of five and nine all over his face. ‘Whatever you say Boss, I am yours to commant. I can always slip away. You’re the one who always has to stay and have a drink withyour precious stars.’ ‘Well, not tonight. IO want to get away as soon as possible. Meet me atmy flat?’ ‘Of course.’ She felt strange, she had thought he ight refuse, but shy should he? She felt her heart flutter. Maybe after all she was a lilttle in love with him. Whyshould she sudeenly fear him? As soon as the curtain came down, it seemed jason was at her side.. She swaw a little makeup adhering to heis ears. His eyes still watering from an ove hastly application of Cremine. He was still sweating from his vigorous portrayal. It took him at least twenty minutes to cool down afte rthe show. He gave her a kiss. ‘See you in a minute’ he said. Just then a large blonde young woman arrived from one of the touorist magazines. She wanted an interview withMarianne. Jason gave Marianne a wink and a toss of the head towards the car park. Marianne made her escape while Jason kept the girl talking. She ran to the care, feelding comfortable, safe, feeling that Jason had her interests at heart.She coudn’t understand why she had been afraid. ‘He’s just a loveable kindly bear’ she said. She let herself into the flat and set about preparing coffee. She set the small coffee stale, after a moments thought, adding a bottle of whisky and a couple of glasses. Jason arrived just as the coffee was ready, and lowered himself into the big armchair. ‘So shoot’. He said. He shook out a cigarette from his packet of camels and lit it with a flourish of his Zippo lighter. Marianne looked at him fondly, he was like a child playing with his toys. He was being Humphrey Bogart this evening, she decided. He was unusually dressed up, wearing a black shirt, white tie and a fedora tilted in the back of his shaggy coffee covered mop of hair. She certainly thought maybe she loved him quite a lot. She was certainly very fond. Marianne sat opposite him and tried the direcft approach ‘OK Buster,’ she said in a Jimmyu Cagney vice,’ Hold on to your hat, I’m pregnant.’ He was at the point of raising the cup to his lips.He stayed where he was, the glass halfway to his mouth, his face never flinching, his eyes never leaving his face. ‘Aren’t you going to say something? Said Marianne,’ Goodbye, maybe?’ Then he laughed ‘That is a joke.’ he said,’ isn’t’ it?’ ‘No.’ ‘Congratulations.’ he said and took a large swallow of his drink. ‘Thanks.’ She didn’t know what to say next, and neither did he. So they sat and smoked and drank for about half a minute. At last, he spoke. ‘So what —now?’ ‘Well, yes – what now? ‘Am I supposed to do something? Or say something?’ Marianne swallowed the lump at the back of her throat. I supose not really. But the doctor would quite like to see you.’ He took a long drag of his cigarette. ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ ‘No.’ ‘Oh,Right, I see. When?’ ‘As soon as possible.’ ‘OK, tomorrow?’ Marianne nodded. ‘I’ll make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. I didn’t think you’d want to.’ ‘I’m the Dad aren’t I?’ he stopped and looked at her closely, ‘It is mine?’ ‘Oh yes, that’s for sure’ ‘So, we are in this mess together.’ ‘You think its a mess?’ He pondered a while. ‘it can’t be all that good for you. You’ve got a career to think of,’ he said, ‘and babies cost money.’ Marianne nodded. He sat a little longer. Took another gulp of his drink. ‘We’ll go and see the doctor together.’ he said. ‘Good’ she said, and she lit another cigarette. Suddenly he lifted his glass and emptied it. He rose to his full height. ‘Is that it?’ he said ‘Yes’ ‘In that case, let’s get out of here. I’ll buy you a spaghetti.’ ‘No, my diet. I have to cut out carbohydrates.’ ‘To hell with our diet. Come on we” have a large bottle of wine. Do you good.’ ‘

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