Becky: Part Twenty-Five

This is the twenty-fifth part of a fiction serial, in 725 words.

After our talk, there was a long period where things worked a lot better. Becky’s blog was less like a fairytale, we arranged our time together to do more, instead of her preferred activity of ‘chilling out’. The parents were put on a rotation, and we stuck to the arrangements fairly. Although she never brought it up, I knew my mum had expected us to change our minds about having children, and she was disappointed when we didn’t. Becky’s dad often asked why I hadn’t sought promotion at the bank, and my answer that the biggest jobs were usually the first to get the chop didn’t seem to satisfy him.

I now had what we called a ‘Luke Night’ during one of the shifts when Becky worked nights. I would go to his place after work, take a change of clothes for the stopover, and we would have beers and a takeaway while I watched him play on one of his latest video games. Becky had thought it would be good for me, but it just made me realise all the more that Luke and I were growing apart. In turn, she would have an ‘Old Place Night’ when she was off during a weekday. She would stay the night with Fliss and Jackie, and their new flatmate Antonia, who was a medical secretary. Apparently, they all got their pyjamas on early, and binge-watched reality TV. The one positive about that was that it made her realise just what a mess the old flat was in, and encouraged her to help keep our house really tidy.

It was hard to shake the feeling that we were getting boring though. Our life together was safe, and well-organised. But to say it lacked excitement was an understatement.

Early that summer, I bought a small kettle barbecue, and suggested we make some more use of the garden. Becky came home from a shop with lights on a string, and we fixed them around the fencing. After some fiddling, I got them working, and we sat outside eating burgers, and drinking wine. I had thought of inviting the immediate neighbours, but the lady didn’t speak English, and her husband, who had only told me his name was Ali, was a taxi driver, and always at work. As for the rest along the street, we hardly knew them. That’s London for you. I also suggested that we invite Jackie and Fliss, even Luke. But as usual, shifts ruined any plans, and they couldn’t all make it on the same day.

When it had cooled down, I put the vinyl cover over the barbecue, and we never used it again.

Our holiday had also been discussed in advance for a change. We rented a place in Brittany, and drove over in our car, taking the ferry from Portsmouth. The car managed the journey well, and it was a really good holiday. The small apartment was part of a large house, and close to Quimper. We got out and about every day, and had exceptionally good weather. Away from both of our jobs, free of the bank targets and her shifts, we got on really well. On the way to the port to go home, chatting happily about how good it had been, Becky said something that hit a nerve.

“Yeah, I agree, it was really nice, Frankie. But it wouldn’t hurt to be more spontaneous at times you know. You do get stuck in your plans and routines, and I can’t remember the last time we just did something without making a big case about it”. I was concentrating on driving on the wrong side of the road, so let it go. But it didn’t escape my notice that it was her shifts that were the cause of all that planning, and the lack of me doing anything spontaneous. As well as the days and nights on her rota, there were the others that cropped up, alongside training courses and management meetings on her days off. I was reluctant to even book cinema tickets, without being completely sure she would be off duty.

After driving onto the ship, we made our way upstairs for some lunch. Sitting smiling at each other over deliciously fresh baguettes, I made up my mind.

If she wanted spontaneous, then that’s what I would be.

33 thoughts on “Becky: Part Twenty-Five

  1. That sounds like a separation is about to happen. But it is also difficult to plan many joint ventures with a partner working a shift. But with children, it would be even harder to be spontaneous.;-) You built up the tension very well Pete! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like being married to a stagehand as far as never being able to plan anything.
    Your comment about not watching much of Star Trek goes for me also. Something I never told my old friend Nimoy. As far as the spinoffs, I never have watched any.
    I heard of a couple that wanted more excitement in their marriage, more spontaneity. Just do it, don’t think about it. The first time worked like a charm, of course they are not allowed in that particular grocery store anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. (1) Capt. Kirk met Antonia in 2282 while horseback riding near his uncle’s farm in Idaho. They lived together in a cabin near the mountains. Despite having fallen in love with Antonia, Kirk ultimately chose to break off the relationship in 2284, choosing instead to return to his career in Starfleet. Antonia was so miserable, she initiated a time warp and sent herself back to 21st Century England, where she became a medical secretary.
    (2a) At the bank, a poster read, “Beware the Job Choppers!”
    (2b) One apocalyptic morning, Frankie, upon hearing that one of his colleagues was among those being fired, lamented, “I like the smell of Tina Palmer in the morning!”
    (3) “Luke and I were growing apart.” This became obvious after a while because whenever Frankie showed up for Luke Night, he received a lukewarm reception.
    (4) “I also suggested that we invite Jackie and Fliss, even Luke.” I feel bad for Antonia. If I were her, I’d show up at the barbecue anyway, and set my phaser to stun.
    (5) Thanks to the good weather and Becky’s congeniality, Frankie was a happy camper in Quimper.
    (6) Before getting back on the ferry to go home, Frankie and Becky stopped for burgers and port wine at a quaint cafΓ© named Barbe au Cul.
    (7) “Becky said something that hit a nerve.” It’s okay, she’s a nurse.
    (8a) “I was concentrating on driving on the wrong side of the road, so let it go.” It’s always best to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
    (8b) The French drive on the right side of the road. The British drive on the wrong side of the road. Frankie’s confused about right and wrong. And that could pave the way for trouble…
    (9) “If she wanted spontaneous, then that’s what I would be.”
    DR. CRUSHER: “You’ve got to get into the spirit of things. Learn to be spontaneous. Live in the moment. Do something unexpected. Get it?”
    DATA: “Got it.”
    And that’s when Data pushed Dr. Crusher off the sailing ship into the sea.
    Will Frankie do the same thing to Becky?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. (1) and (9) refer specifically to “Star Trek: Generations,” which I saw for the first time in a movie theater on the Champs-Γ‰lysΓ©es. So there’s even a French connection! (Of course, Capt. Picard, who is also in the film, is supposed to be French, even though the actor is British.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wateched the TV show for a while in the Shatner/Nimoy days. Even then, I found it hard to stop laughing. Later on, I saw a ‘Borg’ episode, and quite liked the Borg. Also a female crew member called Seven of Nine. But working shifts, I never kept up with it πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

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