A Question Of Values

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 cake. 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 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 his charge without complaint: perhaps the greatest gift we can give another is our kindness and he always offered 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 don’t see themselves as brave, but in protecting her from herself, he granted that most fragile of characters 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 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to A Question Of Values

  1. Marvellous sketches of two people and their relationship(s). I giggled with delight from go to whoa.


  2. grumpytyke says:

    Wonderful. The final sentence of the first paragraph grabbed me from the start and the rest didn’t disappoint.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stardust310 says:



  4. Kim-Lee P. says:

    Wow, this is deep. So many underlying messages to ponder. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ksbeth says:

    I loved the ‘4 years’ as the measure of her moral standing, and one never knows all of the reasons why people choose to do what they do, we can either accept them as they are, or not, and act accordingly. as always, your words draw the characters beautifully.


  6. Ah, my friend. Forever peeking into the souls of your fellow beings and finding something of import.


  7. Al says:

    Another entertaining read from you that I have come to appreciate so much. Your microcosms of life tell us so much and remind me of Thoreau’s aphorism “most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As ever, a wonderful observation of life and relationships. I can’t help but think that for him the comfort maintaining a relationship was enough – whilst for her he was the security blanket beneath her dalliances. To outsiders perhaps all relationships seem a little strange as they differ from our own, but does it matter as long those involved are happy? Always a pleasure to read your stories, Peter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Robin says:

    OH your words! “softened in her case by a comforting friendship with cake..” Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. araneus1 says:

    ‘her current physical appearance owed more to the ruthless passage of time, softened in her case by a comforting friendship with cake’, gold!


  11. Scarlet says:

    Oh she’ll be fine. Freddie would have put everything in place in his Will. There will be trust funds, people put in place to serve her. Freddie is the sensible, thoughtful type.


  12. “A comforting friendship with cake” – I certainly have one of those, and it made me giggle!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. tiostib says:

    Once again, you’ve delightfully woven deeper truths into a humorous vignette of human fragility. Always a pleasure to listen to the workings of your creative mind. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. nelle says:

    May she at last find her way.


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