This is the twenty-third part of a fiction serial, in 735 words.
As we got into our third year of marriage, some things were becoming easier.
I had got to grips with the fact that Becky had friends separate from our relationship, and learned to deal with the odd night out or celebration that didn’t include me just because we were married. But the parents were always a problem, on both sides. Working shifts, her weekends off were rare, so treasured. It was her natural inclination to want to see her parents, and mine to visit mine. When her brother was over on business, I got to meet him again at a Sunday lunch. But with such a family reunion, I was very much the outsider as they chatted about things in the past, without the slightest effort to include me.
The next time she had a Sunday off, I wanted us to go to my mum and dad for lunch, but she said she was tired and just wanted to chill out. So I went on my own, and had an awkward couple of hours fending off my mum’s questions about why Becky hadn’t bothered to show up.
Transport also became an issue. My old car was beginning to need money spent on it, and we talked about replacing it. Becky was all for buying a brand new car, as that would be more reliable. I could see her point, but I was reluctant to use such a big chunk of our savings to buy one.
Then on her days off during that week, she went and bought a Fiat 500, ex-demonstrator model. When I got home, I saw it parked there, and wondered who was visiting. When she told me she had bought it on low-rate forty-eight month finance, I was flabbergasted. Yes, I understood that she earned enough to pay the monthly cost, but yet again she hadn’t spoken to me about something that was a big financial commitment. I was then stuck with having to try to sell my old car for next to nothing through an online ad, and let it go to the first guy who made me an offer for cash.
I wasn’t happy, and even less so when she began to refer to the Fiat as “My car”, and we could just about get our weekly shop into the tiny vehicle. I also felt more than a little silly running around in that mint-green car that felt about as solid as a roller skate with a cover. Luke had just bought what he described as a ‘vintage classic’, a Nissan Skyline 240K GT. It had huge performance and a mean exterior, and he couldn’t stop laughing at me having to drive the Fiat. Though I made all the right noises about him having no need for an over-powered gas guzzler, I couldn’t even convince myself.
It didn’t take long for me to calm down. We hardly used a car, and the little Fiat was actually ideal for the crowded roads where we lived, and the traffic-heavy journey to visit either set of parents. I had to admit, albeit releuctantly, that Becky had made the right choice. So I had a chat with her, and we agreed to pay off the finance using some of the savings, freeing up the couple of hundred a month she would have been paying out for four years.
Becky being Becky, she saw that as a green light to book an autumn holiday and came home one day excited about the fact she had booked a week away to Cyprus, in late September. She hadn’t even asked if I could get that time off work, just presumed. She didn’t think much of my job, and made that obvious. Even though it meant we got cheaper mortgage payments, she didn’t consider it to be a worthwhile career, not like being an Emergency Department nurse, anyway. I had to go in the next day and act all creepy to get the week off, eventually helped by one of my colleagues cancelling the same week she didn’t really need.
But it was irritating, never to be asked. I decided we were going to have to talk about that.
Annoyingly, it was a great holiday. The weather was perfect, we got on really well, and the hotel and choice of area was the best on the island.
Once again I found myself eating my words, and didn’t bother having that talk.