Thursday, 26 September 2013

Private Number Calling
By Grace O’Reilly

Bronwyn had been with Jerry since they were 19.  She had borne his son and they had been engaged for 9 years.  She had thought they were happy and may finally decide to either get married or try again for a sibling for 6 year old Max.  Oh, how wrong had she been?
It started with a phone call from a private number.  Bronwyn never checked to see his messages and as Jerry’s weird behaviour continued she checked his phone but there were no texts, or added numbers in his phone book.  They used to be intimate twice a week and he had not wanted to be intimate for about 4 months now and was rapidly losing weight, looking tired and had to work late.
“He is definitely having an affair?” she sobbed down the phone to her best friend of 16 years Mairead.  “Look hun, you don’t know that for sure.  Calm down pet.  Why on earth would Jerry want to jeopardise his relationship with you?  You are his World and so is Max.  There is some reasonable explanation I am sure.”
After a good half hour Bronwyn hung up the phone and took her car keys off the hook on the wall in the kitchen.  She had to go and collect Max from school.  It was hard to believe that he was in to his third year at primary school now.  She hopped into the car and parked at her usual spot just around the corner from the school and walked up to the school gate.
“Mummy, Mummy, I made this for you and Daddy”.  She looked at it and smiled.  It was a photo frame made with glazed pasta shells, gloss and cardboard.  “I thought that we could put a photo of the three of us in it Mummy, he added excitably.  “That would be nice love”.  She said this while thinking “Oh God, if there still is a three of us” her eyes welled up.  “Are you crying Mummy?” Max asked.  “No, it’s hayfeaver.  I’ll be alright.  What do you say we go get ice cream”?
They got home and the house phone was ringing and ringing and ringing.  It was a woman, looking for Jerry and said that it was private and that she would try his mobile.  “Who was she?  What did she want with her Jerry?  How did she have the house number and mobile number?” she asked herself mentally.  Then another voice in her head said “If she is his mistress why would she be calling on the house phone?”
Jerry came in the front door at 6.45, singing to himself “It’s a beautiful daaaaay”.  In his hands he held a bottle of wine (Bronwyn’s favourite), bunch of flowers, a toy truck for Max and had a great big  smile on his face.  “Oh he looks like the cat that got the cream”, she thought.  She started to sob.  “What is it pet?” he asked panicking.  “I know there is someone else.  She, she rrrang earlier and....”.  Jerry interrupted.  “Look, we have to talk.  You have this all wrong.”

Jerry had found a lump on his testicle and had gone to the GP who had then referred him to the hospital for tests which came back abnormal.  He had lost weight with worry and also lack of sleep.  He hadn’t wanted to worry Bronwyn.  He had to wait and do another set of tests and wait again for results.  The waiting had really played on him.  The lady on the phone earlier had been the hospital receptionist, who had been asked not to ring the house and had forgotten.  She couldn’t say anything to Bronwyn because of patient confidentiality.
The news was good though.  He had been run down with work deadlines and meetings and that is why the tests were abnormal, the second set was perfect and that is what the receptionist had rang to say earlier.   
“This had made me think, lets try right now for baby two and start to arrange our wedding.  Life is too short baby”.
A bottle of wine later, followed by copious amounts of lovemaking, cuddles and kisses they fell asleep, happy in each other’s arms and dreaming of visions of what Max’s sibling would look like when they struck lucky second time around. 
Bronwyn was right she couldn’t have been more wrong.  Her partner and son were perfect and she was a very lucky woman.