It was my husband’s day off and he seemed in a pleasant mood. Mid-morning — late enough for him to be awake and early enough for him not to have started drinking — he was in the kitchen tidying up from the night before. Years of beer and takeaway had made him heavy and slow.… Read More
Before I was married, I spent most of my time sampling a smorgasbord of lovers, without feeling any need to restrict my appetites to only one person. During those heady days of sexual freedom, there was always the thought in the back of my mind that I would one day ‘settle down’. I never questioned the expectation that… Read More
When I first met my boyfriend on the street outside my house five years ago, he hugged me and then kissed me on the lips. Just as they describe in books and songs, the heavens opened and the angels sang. This man was hands down the best kisser I’d ever met. They say you can… Read More
Women of a certain age complain loudly about feeling invisible. They report being ignored in shops and restaurants, eyes glancing past them as though they weren’t even there. Many women are reluctant to stop colouring their hair because they think this will make the problem worse. In the society we live in, older people in general,… Read More
As soon as the taxi dropped me at home, I telephoned my mother to let her know I was safe and sound. “How long were you away this time?” she asked. “Nine weeks,” I said. “We had rehearsals in Tokyo and then performed at the Singapore Arts Festival.” There was a long silence on the other end… Read More
The pastor stared at his hands as if he were avoiding looking at me. “Are you sleeping with him?” he asked. I wondered for a moment if I should lie and tell him no. But lying was as much of a sin as fornication. Maybe it was less of a sin. I wasn’t sure anymore.… Read More
He’s my dad but I like to call him Bob. When I was a little he used to say “When people say ‘Bob’s your uncle’, you can say ‘actually, Bob’s my father.’” In the photos I have of him when he was young, I can see a spark of mischief in his brown eyes. It seemed… Read More
I am fifty years old and my ovaries are on their last legs. They manage to muster up enough effort to squeeze out a tired old egg every couple of months or so, but to be honest, we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel. Very soon there will be none left. I could be accused… Read More
When my boyfriend and I started going out, every month we celebrated the anniversary of the night we met. It has become a tradition that we still continue. So today, on the 5th February, we have been together for fifty-eight months or four years and ten months. Another month has sped by and I couldn’t… Read More
When I read about other people’s grief, I am ashamed. I cannot legitimately take my place among those who mourn the loss of someone they loved, someone who they miss every day and who they long to see again for just a few moments. My husband is dead, and the manner of his death was unnatural… Read More
I stretch my fingers resting on his thigh, coming in contact with the hard seam of his jeans. I read once that sitting side by side rather than face to face with a man makes it easier for him to talk. My boyfriend and I have never run into the problem of not being able to talk, no matter how we are seated. I don’t think sitting side by side with Jack would have encouraged him to open up. He kept his dark thoughts to himself, right up until the end.
When I look back at my long marriage to a man who was emotionally damaged and took that damage out on me, I wonder why I stuck it out so long. I think of myself as intelligent, mature and courageous and yet all these character traits seemed absent within the four walls of our private lives. Allowing someone to abuse me for so long just doesn’t seem feasible given my personality.