Chapter 9

Written by: Suraya Dewing

“It's really time you stopped feeling sorry for yourself, “ Mary tells him sharply, “… It’s time you started acting like a proper man.”

Phil looks up from where he carefully balances on the edge of the bed, holding Harry’s hand.

“I felt it,” he says.

“Felt what?”

Phil nods at Harry. "Truly. He squeezed my hand.”

She lets out a puff of air and the air chills. “Your imagination is getting out of hand.” She clicks her tongue impatiently. “As usual.”

Harry squeezes his hand again and elation floods through Phil. “There it is.”

Harry’s eyes flicker open, take in his parents, and quickly shut. He hugs his bear.

Mary rushes over and perches delicately on the edge of the bed in front of Phil, closer to Harry. She strokes Harry’s matted hair and tenderly settles it in place.

“Welcome back, son.” Tears pool in her eyes as she gently lays her dimpled hand along his cheek.

“He is my son, too,” Phil says, hurt by her obvious exclusion of him.

Mary takes a deep breath. “Well actually…”

The atmosphere becomes electric. Phil sucks in his breath. His eyes narrow and his head tilts to one side as if he is hard of hearing.

“Go on,” he says icily.

She lets out a long sigh. “Well, you might as well know. I know you blame me for the state of our marriage….but take a look at your own contribution.”

Her lip curls in a derisory sneer. “You, the big radio executive, with all those girls fawning over you. You think I don't notice how they suddenly dart away when I walk into your fancy office. Think I don't hear the giggling and see the snide looks.”

Phil is surprised. He thought he conducted his affairs discreetly. He began gasping excuses. She holds up a hand and stops him.

“You remember Fraser, that producer you sacked…?”

Phil gulps a heavy lump from his throat. He remembers Fraser all right. The man was always hanging around his wife, paying her compliments and even calling when he was on one of his week-long hunting trips with his mates that occasionally included a woman. His eyes narrow. He had believed Mary when she assured him everything was above board. That was because he wanted to. But now he wonders. When Fraser messed up a production featuring a visiting opera star, it was just the excuse he needed.

Mary drew herself up tall and leaned over so that Harry could not hear what she was saying. “I kept seeing Fraser and,” her eyes settled on Harry, “… can’t you see the likeness?”

Furious rage flares through Phil. How could that possibly be?

She continues. “Fraser and I are still very much in love. I'm leaving you. She nods towards Harry, “…and he comes with us.” She issues a long contented sigh. “It’ll be such a relief not to listen to you endlessly whinging.”

He smiles grimly. She might be a lawyer, but she will never win.




Dead mum, boy in a coma, infidelity. These are aspects of life that happen every day. One more chapter to cleanly end this serial. No pressure!
Thank goodness...not my life!