Life Without Comment

Rosie Lotteridge is a woman who, she suggests, “Adds colour to many lives.” My aunt, who was connected to her in some way, something to do with committees I understand, said of her when her name came up in conversation. “At least she is a moral person: I know for a fact that she had been married for over four years before she had her first affair, and that says a lot about character don’t you think?”

Her husband, Rosie’s that is, who she patronised dreadfully, “Do get us some bubbly Freddie” and “Oh you darling” when he brought in the bottle and glasses before she returned her full attention to her new friend of the moment, seemed unnaturally patient: he worked long hours in his attempt to keep real life from spoiling her delicate absurdities and was extraordinarily forgiving regarding her casual approach to marital or any other conventions, always placing her interests above his own, but then he was just a stockbroker while she was that beauty for whom any man would lose his reputation, or that had certainly been the case.

By the time I came to know her, her “legendary beauty,” could be best seen in old photographs as her current physical appearance owed more to the ruthless passage of time, softened in her case by a comforting friendship with cakes. This being the case, lovers had become harder to acquire and Freddie, loyal and punctilious to a fault, was left to protect her vanity without the aid of passing romance, which he apparently did regardless of his personal enjoyment: I never heard him discuss his personal circumstances. Her brother, who sometimes came to visit them was “Talented” and we all know how tiresome that can be.

It was a subtlety of the situation that, in time, he was perceived to be something of a hero: a mixture of that noble knight who protects his charge from any trace of suffering, and a discreet valet who endures the mindless posturing of that person without complaint: perhaps the greatest gift we can give another is our kindness and he always gave his without reserve. No one ever asked him why he stood for it, and nothing in his demeanour suggested he was anything but content, although a clue to the true cost of his attentions might be found in his early death. I suppose even the most unregarded of plants still require watering.

Not all heroisms are obvious and many heroes are unaware of their own bravery, but in protecting her from herself, he granted that most fragile character a period of tranquillity. Some people spend their lives pandering to the vanities of another, and some may also be paid for their endeavours, but in the case of Rosie and Freddy I think the manner in which he conducted himself became his purpose. To those of us who are puzzled by his conduct, may we employ compassion in the face of mystery? It will be interesting to see how she manages on her own?

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

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

22 Responses to Life Without Comment

  1. davidprosser says:

    That was beautifully written and I could see the characters clearly. For some reason though I have them placed in the 1950’s for marriage and can’t get it out of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L. R. Palmer says:

    What a fascinating story, and so very well written! I love how you led me, the reader, first through a natural contempt for Freddie to a place of real compassion and respect. I felt it all! Thanks for starting my day out right… 🙂


  3. catterel says:

    More fascinating people for a new novel?


  4. A gentle way to remind us that love is not always expressed in the ways we envision. Who are we to judge the human heart?


  5. I suppose we all need something to give our life meaning.


  6. I love the comforting friendship of cakes personally


  7. Al says:

    Freddie sounds like one of those rare, contented souls. Someone we might consider emulating.


  8. I know lots of Freddies. Apparently, they get enough out of the relationship which we, the casual observer, don’t notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A well observed piece, Peter, and it is true that we find, or fall into, relationships that suit us, for whatever reason. And, after all, who are we to judge the relationships of others?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ina says:

    A good relationship for one couple is not a good one for another couple, this couple seemed happy the way they were. Nice story! I hope Rosy gives up cakes and goes on living 🙂


  11. It’s far too early in the morning here in New Zealand to be giggling and snorting. Thanks you for the delightful read!


  12. ksbeth says:

    sometimes those with the greatest strength appear to be the weakest in the eyes of others.


  13. nelle says:

    Some prefer tranquillity and dodge drama. I tend to shuffle the two, depending on circumstance. 🙂
    Once again, another astute look at a slice of human existence.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. laroseedespetiteschoses says:

    I can imagine Freddy will surprise Rosie one day. Another wonderful piece of writing Peter. I might be “tiresome” but I think you are so talented again and again 🙂


  15. gotham girl says:

    How do you do it? Time after time…beautiful.


  16. Shell Ochsner says:

    While reading, I imagined a different time when men and women had expected roles to play. 60 or 70 years ago? Elegant piece, perhaps the making of a novel?


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