It was one of those calls I’ll never forget. We were just finishing off lunch when my mobile phone rang. It was a UK mobile number. I wonder who this could be, I thought. But actually deep down I already knew.
“Hi Helena, its Heathcliff.”
We chatted for a while about where he lives, what he’s doing, how old his children are and then he mentioned that he sometimes thought about divorcing his wife. I didn’t like to ask more. The signal was bad so we said goodbye. I told him I will let him know next time I come to England so we can meet up.
But of course I had to know more so I asked our mutual friend. Apparently Heathcliff’s wife is a lesbian. Well, I suppose she wasn’t one when they got married, and they have several children so she’s had a few lapses, but she now makes a habit of spiking his drinks so that she can go out and meet girls. He has woken up several times in the middle of the night fully clothed in the garden. And when he’s stumbled into the house, she is nowhere to be seen.
Did he turn her into a lesbian I wonder? I asked my husband what he would do if he had married a lesbian. “All men marry lesbians,” was his rather enigmatic response, but then it was four o’clock in the morning.
Poor Heathcliff. The hero of my youth stuck with someone who would rather get into bed with his sister, or in fact anyone else’s.
Can I deny that a tiny part of me is rejoicing? That there’s just a minuscule little bit of me that’s saying ‘ha, you should have married me when you had the chance, I got over that lesbianism thing in my teens’. No I can’t.
But what should he do? I guess drink only bottled water from reliable sources, refuse the early morning cuppa or the evening aperitif. Maybe he should try the approach my son tried on me this morning as I refused to give him a piece of chocolate cake to go to school with and smear all over his classmates.
“You’re grounded,” he said shooting me an evil stare. Yes, that might just rein her in.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007