At last, everyone’s gone. I’m on my own. I have to go upstairs and get out of this uncomfortable suit. I’ve always hated wearing this kind of thing. It’s too hot, too scratchy and I hate wearing black. Having said that I wear black a lot, it’s smart and appropriate, just what I’m meat to be.
It’s been a long day finally, I have a few minutes to myself sitting in my armchair. The chair dominates the bedroom, it doesn’t match anything else here, but I love it. It’s the one thing I own that really reflects me, as it’s a little bit too big, a little bit scruffy and not smart enough for its surroundings.
Everyone’s been lovely today, I’ve got great friends who would do anything for me. I feel so ungrateful for just wanting to be on my own. I could just stay within these four walls here on my chair and never see any of them again. Never swap recipes; compare notes on that fabulous place in
; gossip about the cheeky wink from the new tennis coach at the club. I know their lives are as imperfect as mine, but you must never let it show. Like I said they would do anything for you, Sarah lends her husband to Rebecca for after dinner entertainment. Rebecca reciprocates with a steady supply for class A drugs. Harry will give anyone the number of his stockbroker, gardener or favourite hooker in Tuscany Mayfair. David loves, I mean loved his friends. He always said he like living here because the neighbours were our sort of people.
“David, beloved husband, friend and neighbour,” I’m sure that’s what they said in the church today. They said so many nice things about him. Thinking about David makes me cry. Crying is good, it’s want I’m meant to be doing, it’s a proper emotion. Finally the emotions I’m supposed to feeling are coming through. Feeling relief, feeling safe wasn’t right, I wasn’t meant to feel like that. David would be please I’m being appropriate again. He didn’t like it when I broke the rules of suburbia. I never quite knew what the rules were meant to be, but somehow everyone else did. To start with David loved the fact I wasn’t an average suburban housewife, as he always put it. But over time he started telling me I should be more like Rebecca and Sarah, they knew how to behave. He seemed to think that I was wrong deliberately and just wanted to annoy him and how him up. I tried to be proper, I really tried to right in and do as he wanted, but it seemed as if the rules kept changing. My skirts became longer, my shoes became lower and more sensible, lower heels meant I was less likely to fall over if I had annoyed David. The cardigans meant I could cover up the bruises and be appropriate. The bruises on my back always seemed to take longer to clear. Sometimes my make up wasn’t right, but it’s hard to put on mascara with a broken wrist. He used to tell me he didn’t mean it. He wouldn’t do it if I hadn’t done something wrong. If I had got things right in the first place, then he wouldn’t get angry. His anger, at last I’m free of his anger. The feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach is slowly disappearing. I’ll never forget the look in his eye when he lost control, the moment he changed from David, the upstanding pillar of the community to David, judge, jury and frequently executioner.
But now I’m free, I can be wrong whenever I want, or whenever it inadvertently takes place. I can feel a difference inside, I wore my red shirt yesterday. I didn’t go out, no-one saw me. But I knew I wore it and nothing bad happened. This house is now my sanctuary, not my prison; it is free of anger. I always knew the anger would kill one of us, but I’d always assumed it was going to be me. This is the irony of my story, the final moment of justice. Ten days ago, he was angry, I’m not quite sure why, this time it wasn’t my fault, it was something to do with his work. He couldn’t cope with getting angry at work, as he couldn’t work out how to deal with it. He couldn’t deal with it like he did at home. Like my grandma always said if you get too angry your head will explode. Turns out she was a wise old woman, well it wasn’t really his head, but something to do with a blood clot in his brain, I don’t think his blood pressure helped.
So here I am, sat on my chair. My appropriate black suit is on the floor, the bruises on my arm, on my stomach, on my legs are fading. I think I’m going to wear my jeans this evening, I’m going to relax and be comfortable in my own home.
What was it they said about David today, he was a good man, loved by his wife, family and friends. He will be missed by those who knew him. There is no reason to change to official version of history. Mr David Adams may be dead, but Mrs David Adams has been reborn.