Reading time: 6 minutes, 48 seconds
Rebecca was nervously holding her pink woollen sweater..Her throat was sore, and her hands were sweating as she was announcing to Eric that they were leaving with Jack for a week.
“What?” Eric managed to reply.
Rebecca’s heart started pounding..and she had a tremendous urge to cry.…Why?
She didn’t seek Eric’s approval, but his wrong word choices often left deep scars underneath her skin..
She didn’t need another marriage battle. Every time she tried to relax and Jack became needy, Eric made Rebecca feel bad for sitting around and doing nothing…he made her feel like a mother that was not paying attention to her son..And then she firmly suffered from a mother’s guilt.
“Why are you going, Rebecca?” Eric shook his head.
Jess’s eyes were fixed on both. She deliberately observed their conversation. What happened to these two? She wondered. They were such a sweet couple. Perhaps not soulmates or a perfect match; but they choose to be together for a reason once. They fell in love..They made their beautiful vows to each other and a year later welcomed a new addition to their life..Their beautiful son Jack..If Jess was ever admiring anyone in her life, it was her sister…For her enthusiasm; kindness and love..
As if Rebecca wrapped herself in fear, though..As if she became her own prisoner..Was she overreacting or was Eric such a beast after all?
Well, last night, when Rebecca talked, there were thousands of reasons to leave Eric for a week..thousands of reasons to cry over a bad marriage..and thousands of reasons to believe Eric was insensitive and cruel…
“Look, Eric, I really need Rebecca. I have some personal problems, and having her around with Jack would really help me. You can understand that, right?”
Eric looked perplexed..
Jess sounded so genuine and convincing..What a gift to have a sister like her, Rebecca thought. Jess was puzzled, though. What happened to her sister? She used to manage a team of jealous and toxic chicks.. And never took a no for an answer..She used to be a warrior, but now all traces of her confidence vanished.
“Fine. But please let me take you there at least.” He added briskly.
“That’s not a bad idea.” Jess smiled politely.
Jack was walking up and down the hallway wearing his dinosaur travel bag; which he stuffed with farm animals. He was utterly excited about the trip.
In less than four and a half hours, they arrived at the beautiful scenery of the Peak District National Park ..It was a different world from the concrete jungle they lived in..Even Eric looked amused..Jack was fast asleep in his car seat. Jess was sitting at the back next to him, and Rebecca was glued to the window, absorbing the energy that the open green space offered, and that was bringing so much joy to her heart already..
Welcome to the dreamland, she murmured to herself.
Just off the narrow road, they were driving on, Rebecca spotted a cute white cottage surrounded by massive hills..Right next to the cottage was a meadow full of sheep and a chunky tree with something hanging that looked like a home-made swing..
The sky was grey, but Jess reassured Rebecca that it was not going to rain..They were planning to unpack; meet Malcolm and explore the local corners of the Peak District National Park by foot – only as far as Jack would walk..
Eric was slowly approaching the property of Malcolm’s Dairy Farm On The Hill. It was a perfect spot for writers to create the most romantic stories..it was a beautiful place where you were milking cows and stroking sheep all day long..not everybody’s dream but mesmerizing.
“Are you going to be riding horses, Jack?” Eric gazed at him, but he was still fast asleep.
“Malcolm doesn’t have horses.” Jess giggled.
Rebecca, Jess and Eric stepped out of the car. Jess started ringing Malcolm. Eric stretched his legs and arms and headed to the sheep land.
Rebecca stayed near the car. She was admiring the massive hills which were evoking respect in her. One of the green hills was surrounded by something that appeared to be a dark line, and she wondered if it was a public pathway. From her view, it looked like a beautifully painted drawing of an artist.
Outside the white cottage was an old wooden bench. She imagined a happily married elderly couple sitting there every day after lunch and telling local tales to their grandchildren..For the month of May, it was quite chilly, but the green hills were partly covered in bushes which were singing burgundy colours.
“And you haven’t seen the other side of the cottage.” A male voice pierced Rebecca’s ears.
“You must be Malcolm.” Rebecca offered her hand and scanned him from top to toe quickly. He was wearing blue jeans and a tight black shirt with long sleeves. He was missing a hat to look like a proper farmer from a magazine. Jess was right. He was incredibly charming and sexy.
“So what’s on the other side?” Rebecca smiled. His presence made her feel nervous.
Before Malcolm could say a word, Eric appeared by Rebecca’s side and placed his hand around her arms.
“Hi, I am Eric, Rebecca’s husband.”
It was cute from Eric that he wanted to mark his territory. Jack was slowly waking up as the car was not moving for a while. He opened his bright blue eyes and started patting on the window. Rebecca took him outside and gave him a big squeeze. She felt thrilled that they left London. Malcolm offered Eric to stay or come back whenever. It was getting dark, so he decided to head back to the city. Jess and Malcolm led Rebecca and Jack to their new “home away from home.”
Malcolm prepared a room on the upper floor with a view at the mountains so Rebecca could finally see what he was hiding behind the cottage. It was a cow land (as Eric would claim) and a little pond which was perhaps right outside the back door.
Jack already unpacked his animals, and they started settling in. Jess made spaghetti bolognese for dinner and promised a fantastic week. It was dark outside. Malcolm introduced someone to Rebecca and Jack in the evening that Jess didn’t mention before. It was his eight years old son Liam.
Why didn’t she mention liam? Rebecca wondered.
Later that evening, Rebecca learnt that Liam’s mum passed away, and it was only Malcolm and him on the farm. Liam was going to a local school and every day was meeting his friends in a little village nearby. Malcolm was doing everything on his own. He was a farmer; father, and a loving boyfriend. He was indeed an inspirational man with a golden heart and pockets full of kind words. Rebecca wondered what was wrong with this man. No man was perfect!
The next day, Jack was up much earlier than usual. Rebecca was already up thinking about her life. She was digging in her memories the early days she met Eric. It was like watching a movie from far away. She remembered Jack when he was born..She remembered Eric when they brought him home. Eric changed. As if he had no understanding of the new look of his tired wife, who became a mother overnight. He offered no help. He didn’t ask about her feelings. Why?
But Jack was getting hungry. Rebecca walked downstairs to the kitchen; holding Jack in her hands. Malcolm was already up and making pancakes. She started to wonder whether this man was an alien? He had two adult women in the house and was making pancakes? What a dream to every single woman! But seriously..What was wrong with him? Why was he such a gentleman? And she now understood where Jess learnt her new cooking skills…
They ate and walked outside, each holding their black coffee – with the look of the most important decision-makers on the planet earth. Liam offered help and took Jack to see the sheep. Rebecca was nervous. Jess reassured her that everything was fine and she went to join them. Rebecca was left with Malcolm alone. He was particularly interested in Rebecca’s personal life. He was asking questions she didn’t appreciate – about Eric.
When Malcolm stepped away for a moment; Rebecca walked to get Jess. She pulled her away from the kids and asked:
“What did you tell Malcolm, Jess? Why is he spying on my personal life? And why didn’t you tell me about Liam? What the hell is going on?” She was enraged.
“Ok. Let’s sit down so I can tell you.”
The two of them sat down. Rebecca was still watching Jack and Liam. They went by the swing. Malcolm used to be a different man. Before his wife died, he was a workaholic. He spent days and nights working on the farm and drinking in his free time. He wasn’t a very respectful man. Ever since his wife passed away, he promised himself that he would change. No woman would need to feel disrespected again. He qualified as a marriage counsellor and in his little free time, started helping all villagers who were going through a marriage crisis.
“What?” Did you take me here for that reason? What the hell Jess? I didn’t ask you to sign me up for marriage counselling.”
“You were not listening to a single word when I came to meet you. This is a neutral ground here. You can talk about it with someone who can actually help you.”
“How dare you, Jess. I wanted my sister. I wanted to talk to my best friend. Not some stranger who was treating her wife like shit.”
Rebecca walked away to get Jack and disappeared in the cottage. She walked upstairs and started packing. Eric wasn’t answering his phone.
Jess knocked on the door of her room.
“Becky-boo. Please stay. I am sorry. I want to help you..”
“Fine. But tell Malcolm to leave me alone. All I want is to hug trees and go for a walk. I am not going to spend my time here telling the story of my life to some stranger.”
“Deal.” Jessica hugged her.
Why did Rebecca change her mind? Did she realise that her marriage was at risk?
TO BE CONTINUED…
Where do you think this will lead?
PS: If you missed part one; here it comes -> A-stay-at-home-goddess – PART ONE
Thank you for stopping by and reading my stories! It makes me feel soo happy!