A Discrete Frailty in Boadicea’s Behaviour

The wife, who I call Boadicea behind her back, because to say that to her face would be a recognised form of suicide, is not someone to mess with. Alright, that’s nonsense because I’ve already said it, but then she doesn’t read Blogs, “Useless warbling” as she calls them and who am I to argue. We get along on the “Anything you say dear” basis and I’m happy enough as long as I don’t look too deeply at the issue, but depths are not my thing. “Keep it light” is my mantra and I cling to that profundity.

Anyway, I’m rambling, because that is my thing, and a characteristic “Her indoors” finds more than irritating so, without further ado, let’s get straight to the point avoiding unnecessary dithering.   We met at university when I was one of the “Crowd;” adequate looking; well brought up to the point of mundanity, and with a natural unassuming manner which a Pigeon could walk over without unsettling itself. My only shine-out quality was in the brain department which, for some reason, could process information quickly which is why I am now a senior statistician at the Department of Transport.

“No more rambling please” I hear you cry, so with the briefest nod of apology I will continue my story. Boadicea, otherwise known as Caroline, was at the same University, at the same time, and must have spotted something useful in me, otherwise she never would have come up to me and said, “You’re going to take me to dinner” and behind the demanding and harsh tone there was an undercurrent of shyness which I found attractive and so I said “Yes.” By the way, socially speaking, never try to save anyone; you’ll drown in the attempt, but just at that moment there was that vulnerability in her and it drew me in. She doesn’t do weakness, so it sort of sticks in the memory.

In terms of the physicals I’m on the diffident side of nervous. I prefer my pretty girls to be on the other side of the television screen and at a safe distance but close up I find them unsettling. Don’t worry, of course because Caroline was not entirely “Model” material but, as with all girls around the twenty-two age mark, she could be attractive for the evening if she put her mind to it, and she had put her mind to it on my account. An effort which I would spend the rest of my life paying for: I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh.

Anyway, we’ve had the meal and it’s time to leave but she’s not really going and her feet are shuffling a bit, but not in a way which moves the rest of the body either forward or backward and even Mr Plod, namely me, picks up from the mixture of nervousness and exasperation in her eye that any gentleman worth his salt would do the decent thing, lean forward and kiss her.

That’s what I did in the end, and she relaxed a bit and kissed me back in a slightly animal way that was almost victorious. Well, if you knew Caroline, you’d know that we moved swiftly to a clinching session of horizontal gymnastics before she launched into her wedding planning speech as we lay in bed together.

I mean, it can’t be all bad because we’ve been married for twenty-seven years and she seems happy enough in the “You’re useless, whatever did I see in you” kind of way, but somehow I don’t mind you know. Sometimes, that vulnerability in her manner returns and her hand might move over to mine on the sofa while we watch the television, and you sort of know she’s seeking for reassurance. That’s so lovable don’t you find? I think so anyway.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in creative writing, Fiction, marriage, Peter Wells, Romance, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to A Discrete Frailty in Boadicea’s Behaviour

  1. mikesteeden says:

    Truly splendid piece of writing…gentle on the eye and defining a very English relationship I know so well. Bravo!


  2. ksbeth says:

    and the reach and touch of the hand makes it all so different even if just for a brief moment.


  3. cotswoldsgirl says:

    “Diffident side of nervous” – reminds me very vividly of two gentlemen who were, let’s be kind, lacking in amorous gumption… Most entertained!


  4. You capture so well the frailties, Peter.


  5. I second Sarah’s comment (First Night Design) you do capture the frailties of the human species…especially the English type…..Janet:)


  6. Two slightly lost souls, perhaps. It’s true how we often cling on to what we have in the fear that there is nothing else for us. As ever your writing says more than the words from which it is formed.


  7. I fling all sorts of insults at my husband (who responds in kind) and we never mean a word. Somehow, this story doesn’t feel the same.


  8. And isn’t it so that in the rush of monotony, and bumpiness of life — it is the touch that keeps us glued together.


  9. Carrie Rubin says:

    Vulnerability is difficult for many people to show, so when we spot it in our loved ones, it’s best to scoop them up in an embrace while we get the chance. 🙂


  10. As lovable as anything could possibly be after 27 years of marriage.


  11. asklotta says:

    Your writing is absolutely hilarious! Please keep the television screen on, along with the rambling!


  12. renxkyoko says:

    This is nice and sweet, actually.


  13. Scarlet says:

    I’m with Jacqui – I trade silliness with my husband – his nickname at the moment is ‘Two Soups’ after the Victoria Wood sketch 🙂


  14. Nice to read a story of yours that ends with a quiet satisfaction. I enjoyed it!


  15. Ina says:

    Ah , a happy marriage 🙂 Lovely again Peter!


  16. Being vulnerable is definitely hard, but when you do see it in the ones you love, you find the courage to do so yourself. This was just an uplifting read for me.


  17. Al says:

    That was one helluva first kiss!


  18. I’m always a little sad when this aspect of a marriage is revealed. When the memories of the past become the dried glue of keeps you together…and that’s good enough. I lived like that and believed that the strength of my marriage could be measured by its duration–what had gone before, not what was to come and how either of us felt about each other going forward. We did more reminising than planning. And that seemed fine. Until it wasn’t.

    Caustic Caroline shows her vulnerability and your protagonist is still humble and grateful for the company of the wife with whom he has grown so comfortable. I wonder if this is truly cause for celebration?


  19. nelle says:

    Is a marriage contract actually a peace treaty or a declaration of war? 😉


  20. olganm says:

    A very understated love story of sorts… Beautiful.


  21. Fabulous as always. I could see these two on the sofa, those hands just touching… Brilliant Peter . 😊


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