Jealousy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's difficult to have in one house two people with different goals.

Submitted: March 27, 2016

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Submitted: March 27, 2016

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JEALOUSY

 

Aidan couldn’t say the day or time when he understood that his wife, Helen, was jealous of him and his profession. They had met when they were both at university studying architecture. At first it was a rather tentative, but they soon became a couple. Aidan’s father was a well-known architect, and he was given all the encouragement he needed to get on in his profession. Helen was not such a good student, but always managed to pass her exams. She came from a family with interests in owning properties, so it was obvious she would have her own estate agency. On leaving their studies behind them, they got married. Aidan would have preferred to remain single for a few years more, but Helen was used to getting her own way and insisted on the wedding, and all that went with it. Aidan was buried in work and was doing very well, when he was offered a job in another, more influential city. Helen, not to be out-done, told him she was pregnant, but it made no difference to Aidan, he accepted the post offered to him, and off they went.

When the baby was a few days off from being born, Helen said she was going home to her mother’s to give birth.

Aidan said, “There’s nothing wrong with the baby being born here. I don’t understand what you’ve got against the baby arriving here. How long will you stay up there with your mother and the baby?”

“I’ll stay until I feel strong enough to come back and look after you and the baby.”

Was that the first crack or the second in their relationship? Helen remained at her mother’s house until the baby was three months old. Before his birth, Aidan told Helen that if it were a boy, he was to be called Aidan like him, his father and grandfather. He had trouble trying to explain to Helen that it was tradition that the first son was named Aidan Jr.

Helen’s mother consoled her daughter by saying, “The next one will have the name you choose.”

 

There were no more children because Aidan didn’t want any more. He wasn’t the ‘father and son’ type, playing football at the weekends. Aidan Jr carried on with his studies and his work. Helen began complaining that she was bored being at home with the child. She got herself a job in an estate agency, and for a while she seemed content with that. Aidan was slowly but steadily climbing up the ladder at the company he worked for. He was called away to other countries for special courses and for seminars. He loved it, and was very popular with everyone he met. Meanwhile back home, however, Helen kept on saying how she just couldn’t like where they were living. She pleaded and begged him to return to their home town. She said she missed her family and friends.

After five very fruitful years, Aidan, Helen, and their son, went back to their home town. Aidan was given a good job, but nowhere as good or well paid as the previous one. Helen’s father bought her an estate agency, to make sure she would be happy back home. The little family fell into a routine of: Aidan going abroad whenever he was invited, and the child at school.

Every so often, Helen’s mother would raise the subject of more children. Aidan never told anyone that he had been given a vasectomy on one of his trips. For a long time afterwards, Aidan asked himself why on earth he had got married. As time passed, Aidan was happier than ever, and was given a lot of responsibility, until he was made the head of an architectural department in a university. On the other hand, Helen was becoming more and more frustrated. She was totally bored, and every evening she complained about the stupid people who went into the agency asking questions, and after seeing a property, said it didn’t quite fit into what they wanted. She explained how everyone did up a house as they so desired, and then later complained it wasn’t sellable but her words fell on deaf ears.

Aidan became more and more ambitious and it seemed that Helen was happy with the agency, but it was all superficial. While Aidan was busy pursuing higher and higher posts, she felt left out of the picture. Helen began taking on more and more properties to sell or to be completely refurbished. The For Sale notices with her agency name written on in large letters, were to be seen all over the town, and even into the suburbs. Her aim in life was to be as successful as Aidan. Every day her agency was full of expectant buyers. Helen had several people working for her as sellers, and they were awarded a good percentage when a property was sold. If the prospective buyer wanted a reform, they had access to one of her own decorators, but on the other hand a different decorator might be more expensive or not as good. Another problem was, that nobody had any idea of how much a reform would cost, and when asked how much they were prepared to pay, the answers that came back were ludicrous. Women were the worse, of course. They always asked why is this here? or why’s that there? It was very frustrating.

Every day after battling with silly people who didn’t know their own minds, Helen went home, tiredly had a shower, put on her pyjamas, and after a light supper, went straight to bed and fell asleep.

 

Aidan and his son sat in the kitchen. Aidan was not after money like his wife, but to achieve as much social status as he could, and had put in for the post of head of the architectural department in the local university. He had a pretty good idea that he’d get the post, but kept it to himself. He knew Helen would make some kind of negative comment. Mainly he wanted the post to help his son, who was on the point of going to study architecture. Aidan and his son went into the kitchen for something to eat. “What do you fancy, a takeaway or something from the freezer? If you don’t want either of those suggestions, we can always eat out,” Aidan said to his son.

Helen saw herself as being on an equal footing with Aidan as far as household chores were involved. She rarely cooked, and the only time there was anything left ready to eat was, because the cleaning lady had already prepared something and left it on the counter top in the kitchen.

 

The question of money was quite scandalous because of the general ignorance. Everybody wanted a prime property, but had no idea of the expense. When eventually an undecided couple made up their minds what they wanted to do, then the wife usually wanted to have a house like one they had seen recently in a much better district. That was quite a common mistake, and meant that the money that the miserable couple had at their disposal, was not nearly enough to cover the costs. However it never came to a fight. They then knew what house they were after, and would get it at whatever the cost and struggle it would mean. All arguments created a depression in Helen, who had never thought that running a business could be so wearing on her nerves.

 

“Aidan, I’m getting quite fed up with the agency. I feel like taking early retirement. It’s the same old thing day after day, with wives nagging their husbands.” Helen went on in that monotonous whining voice she had when complaining. Aidan and his son were bored by her constant moaning, and then of course there was the fact that she had made life impossible when they lived in the big city, and had insisted on returning to their home town. The agency was making excellent money, and as the agency was hers, she could do as she pleased. Aidan suggested, after one of Helen’s outbursts, “You can have early retirement if you so choose, keep it going with the same staff working, or on the other hand you could sell it. I earn more money than you and certainly enough to maintain you to the level you’re used to, therefore it’s up to you to make a decision. And don’t forget you’re in the menopause, which affects women badly,”

 

There were moments when Aidan Jr wondered why his parents stayed together, because they led separate lives. Helen didn’t refer to early retirement for a long time. Aidan obtained his position at the university, and began leading a different life style. He only had to go to the faculty at certain hours, and he oversaw exams and kept an eagle eye on everything and everyone who was involved. There were frequent meetings with other members, somehow he had more work and thrived on it. Aidan Jr was happy to be the son of someone so important.

 

Helen had always envied Aidan’s social abilities and his talent. Although her agency did well, it didn’t give her fame. It was just another estate agent. The menopause was fading, and she began to feel physically better, and a little heavier. A rather sophisticated man went into her agency one day, to sell a property and buy another one smaller. His name was Kelvin and was recently divorced. The house that had been the family home for twenty years was far too big for just him, and his ex-wife wasn’t interested in keeping it on. So what started out to be an innocent relationship of client and agent, soon blossomed into a romance. Helen was astounded by the whole situation, and when she arrived home after being out with Kelvin, had to put on an Oscar winning performance in front of her husband and son.

“Helen, when are you going to tell him about us?” Kelvin pleaded with her on several occasions.

Helen liked to say her husband was the head of the Architectural department in the faculty, and enjoyed the fact it gave her an extra glow to her own life. She had often wondered how to tell Aidan she was having an affair, but she was caught between two currents: one being Aidan’s wife; and the other if she married Kelvin, being he wife of someone who ran several women’s clothes shops. For some months Helen juggled with such thoughts. Aidan was so involved with his work, he seemed not to take any notice of Helen’s comings and goings. One day, after dinner when the three of them were together, Helen told her husband and son she wanted a divorce. The two men stared at her, and then Aidan said, “Are you sure about this?”

“Yes, I am. I’ve found someone new, and he’s more fun that you. Well, will you give me a divorce?”

Aidan  who had suspected that Helen had a problem, said, “I came back here for you when I had a promising career in the previous place, and now you tell me that you want a divorce. I hope you treat the new man in your life better than you’ve treated me. It’s taken me many years of hard work to get where I am, and yet you don’t appreciate it. Yes, of course you can have a divorce. I expect you to leave this house as soon as possible. I’ll put it up for sale, and give you the money that corresponds to you.”

Helen stood up. and said, “I’ll stay in a hotel while the divorce is going through. I trust our son will be looked after financially by you.”

Aidan and his son stared at her. She went into the hall and picked up a suitcase, and left the house.

 

The father turned to his son, and said, “So, it was jealousy after all.” 


© Copyright 2017 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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