In the morning Philip woke early, trying to remember the previous night. Some was very clear, some was hazy and he was not sure why he felt rather guilty over something. It made him annoyed, and he got up in a bad mood and went to shower. He cut his foot on some glass, looked down and saw the picture of Lisa. His bad mood increased. He just hoped Anthea would wake and bring him coffee and a headache pill soon.
Anthea looked rather awful, her eyes and mouth all puffy and the one eye he could see also seemed a little discoloured.
Then he remembered she had driven him to anger and he had hit her. Well that was her fault for pushing him too far.
As he came out of the shower, the doorbell rang. It was his mother, she had come to have a last breakfast with them before Anthea left for her parents’ home and to check that everything was in order for the wedding. Philip and his family would follow at the end of the working day.
He went through to wake Anthea to make the breakfast. She could barely open her eyes and he suggested she go and have a shower to wake up properly. He dressed and went through to the kitchen where his mother was looking around in the cupboards and fridge to see what she could cook for them all.
Anthea came through, apologising to his mother. She looked rather awful, one eye really swollen, the other puffy as though she had been crying. One cheek was rather purple.
He went and kissed her, but she pulled away. His mother watched and made a
“tsk tsk” sound.
She brought Anthea a glass of water and Anthea smiled faintly.
Philip’s mother sat down next to Anthea and said, “I see you two have quarrelled. That is so common just before a wedding.”
Anthea looked at Philip and said “You hit me and you raped me”. Philip started to deny this when his mother interrupted, “Anthea, many brides back home have a black eye or similar, it’s all part of learning to be a proper wife with respect for her husband.”
Anthea just sat and stared at her. Philip said “Now I know what the men back home were saying, a woman will drive you crazy if you don’t make yourself the boss of the house.”
Anthea just said “I’m late I must dress and go”.
As she packed all her clothes and toiletries in her big case, he and his mother had breakfast. Then he came in and took her in his arms. “You know how much I love you”, he said, “and tomorrow you will be all mine to love and care for”. He kissed her, holding her gently until she responded.
He helped her with her suitcase down to her car, kissed her again and waved to her goodbye, until she turned the corner and was gone.
Then he went in to have his breakfast and go to work for the last time as a single man.