Becky: Part Twenty-Nine



This is the twenty-ninth part of a fiction serial, in 730 words.

Some arguments are hard to get past in a marriage, and the drunken Burns Night was one that dragged on. For a few weeks, the atmosphere was frosty. I didn’t bother to go and see Luke, but Becky stopped over with Fliss and Jackie for the whole three nights of her days off. There was no holiday planned, so I tried to sit down with Becky and talk about one. With all the extra money coming in, we could have afforded to go anywhere, but she just shrugged. “Anywhere you want, I’m not that bothered”. I realised we needed to work on what was going wrong, but she wouldn’t be drawn into conversation about it, and just left the room if I pushed it.

Staying over with my mum when Becky was on nights, I tried to talk to her about it. She was of the opinion that we should have had children, and that was what was wrong with Becky. But mum’s main concern was with moving away to a bungalow on the coast somewhere. She was even thinking about buying one of those log cabin style Park Homes, and had a brochure for a site in Lincolnshire, near Cleethorpes. I dreaded the idea of her moving away that far, imagining the awful traffic when I had to drive all that way to visit her.

Then Becky started to act normal again, out of the blue. She mentioned we had been invited to her mum and dad’s place for a Saturday dinner, and it had been arranged for the end of the month. When we got there that night, her parents had pulled out all the stops. Four courses of great food. lots of wine and liquers, and the offer of stopping over so we could both have a drink. Her dad was praising me up for my new job, and even Becky chimed in, with “He has done so well”. During after dinner conversation, I chatted with her dad about cars, and he suggested we get something better than the Honda. “After all, Frankie, you are doing well, and can afford it”. Becky overheard, and shot us a huge smile. “That’s a great idea. We could get something new, and have a driving holiday in Scotland”. I almost laughed out loud at her bringing up Scotland, but nodded as I sipped at a large Port instead.

After perusing the car market for a few days, we agreed on something extravagant. Trading in the Honda and adding a hefty deposit from savings, we bought a new car, with three-year finance on the balance. An Audi Q5 in pearlescent white, that looked pretty amazing parked on the driveway. Even Luke approved, though he jokngly referred to it as a ‘Tart’s Wagon’ just to wind me up. Becky had bought guidebooks and maps online, and was busily planning the trip. She had decided we should take almost three weeks, starting in Edinburgh, up to Inverness, and back down along the west coast. She was really into it, booking hotel rooms or bed and breakfast places, with the itinerary looking very tight. I asked her if we were visiting wherever it was her family came from. It was a test really, though also a bit of wickedness on my part. But she missed the implication.

“Well, dad mentioned Ayr, but we haven’t got any addresses there now. It was too long ago. Still, we could go there, it’s on the coast”.
She said it with such sincerity, she almost managed to convince me.

Sadly, it was a disastrous holiday, mainly because of the weather. The new car was fabulous, and the four-wheel drive helped, but that early summer in Scotland was one of the worst in decades, and wherever we went, it never seemed to stop raining. I remember spending most of that trip completely covered in a knee-length parka, with the hood up. Becky was determined to see everything she had planned, even if much of it was in either mist or cloud. I checked her blog one night when she was in the shower, and it was full of photos of wet places in Scotland, with captions like ‘Amazing’, ‘Soulful’, and ‘So historic’.

But on the long drive home, she moaned constantly about the weather, bitterly regretting we had not chosen somewhere warm and sunny.

That gave me an idea.

39 thoughts on “Becky: Part Twenty-Nine

  1. (1a) When in Cleethorpes, never ask the boy with the leaking boot for directions. He’s not allowed to leak information.
    (1b) “Thorp’s Bride” is a stop-motion animated fantasy film in which a mortician named Mapplethorpe courts a partially decomposed dead girl from Itterby.
    (2) “When we got there that night, her parents had pulled out all the stops.” Becky complained that she had requested bagpipes, not a pipe organ!
    (3) Frankie nodded as he sipped at a large Port instead… In other news, due to the waves, the HMS Franklin nodded as it slipped into a large port. Steady as she goes!
    (4) Becky “was really into it, booking hotel rooms or bed and breakfast places, with the itinerary looking very tight.” So much for spontaneity!
    (5) I’m not surprised that Becky, who has an outie, would belly up to an Audi.
    (6) “Ayr Port” (1970), a disaster film in which the Flying Dutchman sails to Scotland.
    (7) “I remember spending most of that trip completely covered in a knee-length parka, with the hood up.” At least he learned to never parka car with the hood up. It’s hard to start up a wet engine!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting chapter Pete…not sure where Becky is coming from, the way she treats Frankie suggests she is either: one, unwilling to become “a couple” as she enjoys some aspects of her freedom – or worse: she “enjoys some aspects of her freedom” that will become more clear soon….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the day after Becky finishes with him and he goes off to Luke’s place, but don’t see the connection with the idea he’s having now. I suppose it’s going to be a bad idea and all will be revealed! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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