Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Romance Writer
Jane Seatter

Snores emanated from the bedroom where Cedric lay corpse-like in the king-size bed. Fay pushed at her ear plugs and continued typing. Her fingers flew. A smile hovered around her mouth as she wrote of Rebecca's cries of passion as Nigel teasingly titillated her taut young body.
The sound of birds heralded the dawn. She had been writing for five hours. Fay climbed with cat-like stealth into the bed next to Cedric. “Stupid,” he muttered. “Why don't you write during the day? You look terrible. Black rings under your eyes. Letting yourself go.”
Finally she could stand it no longer. Her creativity was being undermined by Cedric's constant negativity. She found herself a cheap bed-sitter; bought some op shop clothes and settled down with a gin on that first night of solitude to gloat over her freedom.
Days and then weeks passed. The typewriter sat on her newly acquired desk with a blank sheet of paper reproaching her. In desperation she would type The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog to assure herself she could still locate the letters on the keyboard. She borrowed books from the library on How To Write. She called up her fellow writers from the Group who commiserated with her over Writers' Block and told her not to panic; once the shock of shifting was over the words would flow. Be patient. Read. Eventually she stopped calling them.
Cedric rang every evening. He was beside himself. When was she going to come to her senses and come home? People were talking. Fay felt stirrings of pity. She gazed at her strained face in the mirror as she brushed her lank hair. Why didn't he forget about her and find a younger woman. Other men of his age did.
Her arm wielding the brush stopped mid-air. What if he did?
The typewriter on the desk was an accusation. She packed it away and put a vase of flowers in its place. She wondered if Cedric was giving the cat his vitamin pills.
Lugging the suitcases from the garage to the house was the final humiliation. Completely unsuccessful as a writer. Completely unsuccessful as a wife.
Cedric was over the moon. The top of his bald head shone with joy as he bent to kiss her tenderly. As a dutiful wife she cooked and cleaned and attended business functions .
But the old feelings of restlessness returned. She crept from the bed late at night and picked up her pen (the typewriter was too noisy.)                                  
Rebecca's passionate cries resumed and eventually she married the titillating Nigel and everyone lived happily ever after – despite the fact that Cedric did not find Fay's pale face or the rings under her eyes attractive.

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