Demons Slain - Cover

Demons Slain

Copyright© 2011 by Texrep

Chapter 3

Cautiously I approached. It would be folly to assume that she would want company under these circumstances, yet if she had seen me, turning around to walk away could be viewed as uncaring or rejection. She had seen me and lifted her tear-stained face, the distress changing to confrontation. I spoke before she could. "It doesn't get any easier, does it?"

"What does?" She was perplexed.

"The unhappiness, the sorrow, the feeling of failure."

"You know it?"

"Yes." I replied. "I know it all too well." She examined my face, trying to decide if I was telling the truth or not.

"How would you know?" She had obviously decided. "Men cause the problem, they don't feel anything. You are all totally unfeeling."

"If you wish to keep your prejudice that's ok with me. I just thought that another who had gone through the same experience could help, but I see I was mistaken." I turned to go.

"Wait!" I waited. "How do you know about my troubles?"

"Angela told me a little. She was trying to explain your attitude."

"I don't have an attitude."

"Ok. Your apparent dislike of me then."

"Well you're just the same as the others. Getting around, having a good time, screwing all sorts of tarts, not giving a thought to your wives."

"Your perceptions are false. I can't prove to you that you are wrong and what is more can see no reason why I should even try. You had one bad egg. It doesn't follow that all the other eggs in the box are bad as well. Your mind is made up so carry on with your blinkered ideas. It makes no difference to me."

She stared challengingly at me for a moment, then her face crumpled again and tears ran slowly down her cheeks. I was torn. My logic told me to walk away, my emotions wouldn't let me. Compassion won! I took out my handkerchief and offered it to her. At first she ignored the offer then reluctantly took the cloth and wiped her eyes.

"If you let it get to you like this, then he's won again." I offered as a crumb of comfort. "Angela tells me that you are an asset to the hotel. Build on that and make a new life for yourself." She looked up.

"Is that what you did? You did say you know the feeling well. I presume that means you have been divorced."

"Yes. Eighteen months ago. Luckily I had my job and put all my energies into that. It helped."

"What is it you sell?"

"Cushions. You could say I had a cushion to fall back on." A faint smile crossed her face. Even that glimmer of a smile revealed the beauty she had hidden so well.

"Just cushions?"

"Yes, but very special cushions. The very best quality for the very best of furnishings."

"Why did your wife divorce you?" Her blinkered ideas remained as the assumption that I was the guilty party proved.

"Wrong way round. I divorced her."

"I suppose you are going to try and tell me she was unfaithful?"

"No, she wasn't. She was a cruel, manipulative, mendacious woman who not only made my life hell; she made her friends lives hell as well. She lived in a world of lies and fantasy, creating enmity between her friends and those she professed to love. I think the best description of her problem is aggressive paranoia mixed with an overwhelming controlling trait." Mrs. Winton was surprised as I went on. "You see it's not only men who cause the problems and it's not only men who are unfeeling. We don't have the monopoly on that and contrary to popular belief we suffer just as much as women."

Angela interrupted us at that moment calling me from the terrace. "Greg! John says that if you don't sit down to dinner this moment, your steak will be like shoe leather." Mrs. Winton urged me to go.

"You know what Mr. Fitton is like. Nothing but nothing is more important than his meals." She paused for a second. "Thank you Mr. Hammond for caring and trying to understand. No one has shown me that sort of kindness in a long time." She proffered the handkerchief then thought better of it. "I will wash your handkerchief; it's got mascara all over it now."

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