Ray had issues. That’s how Giselle put it. But she’d always been a good Samaritan—rescuing injured animals, brokering schoolyard truces.

It wasn’t just his fragility that attracted her. He had the fragile beauty to go with it. They married amidst assurances of supportiveness and resolve. He’d lay off the booze and see someone about the things booze never cured. Giselle took a couple of months off work to help him out.

Five good years followed. But when William was born things changed. Ray came home later and later. He neglected his new friends and sought others from his past who were no friends at all.

The wheels fell off.

Now Giselle is planning another wedding. Eddy is a plumber. He has the build to show for his labour. His hands around her waist are the best thing she knows.

They are walking down High Street, checking jewellers’ displays. Suddenly she stops outside a dingy pawnshop. ‘That’s my ring.’

‘Great. So let’s get it.’

‘No,’ says Giselle. ‘It’s my ring. I lost it around the time of the divorce.’

‘Lost?’ He’s heard about that time.

‘Don’t ever take anything from me.’

He squeezes her. That’s how he tells her that it’s straight up with him. ‘Do you want it back?’

Giselle shakes her head. She has what she wants.

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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