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September 28, 2015 / hbrowne4

A DECADE by Jody Moylan

Bridal Scene

It had been close on ten years since the wedding, a heady summer’s day in 1985 when the bride looked gorgeous in white. He’d remembered pushing the veil back, with four whiskeys already in the tank. He was merry then, and happy to be punching above his weight.

The anniversary had been arranged; a weekend away at the end of July. Nothing much; a few days in Kerry to lighten the mood, to get them back on terms.

The sun had been up every day that summer, 1995, and a walk alone on Banna strand would do for Robert, he’d thought, if things went south.

Jane had been preparing a lot thought Robert, for a trip of just three days. For weeks, on Saturdays, she’d make her way to town, while he’d plod about on the farm. She’d bring back a few groceries – not much – as well as summer dresses, and new shoes.

‘A way to get the air on my face, and the breeze in my hair,’ she’d explain over tea.

He’d thought to leave it be; she’d seemed happy for once that summer. She was looking forward to the anniversary. In any case, his energy for the fight had drained. There was no evening chatter now, just television – news of a foreign war she’d taken an interest in, read the reports, and bought a book about.

A silly thing, thought Robert, for a grown woman to have; an interest in such things. Like the music she’d switch on, classical, a clatter of symbols and strings, that made no sense, no rhyme or reason to it.

He ate his tea, half baked, no effort, the chips she’d cooked were hardly done.

She wasn’t much of a wife he’d thought. Different people, not suited, but in their village there hadn’t been much choice.

He looked at her.

She looked the same as she did in 1985, and long before it, but the passage of time had deadened the appeal of her beauty. A marriage marred by bad experiences.

He hated himself for the way he thought, for she wasn’t bad, just sad in a way, too. Except for that anniversary summer.

It had been a good thing for her, thought Robert; her trips to town.

Always back with an energy, a delight about her, with new things. A suitcase for the trip.

She couldn’t wait, she’d said to him over tea, for their tenth anniversary. A fresh start for both of them was just the thing they needed.

When it came he spent the evening watching television over tea. The news, and a foreign war was all he had for company.

She’d left that morning with her new things. Her books, her dresses, and her shoes.

He did not mind.

A fresh start, he thought, was just the thing they needed.

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