This short story was written in response to the following Word Prompts:
The Word of the Day: Gregarious
We had that kind of relationship where we never knew what we would do next. One day we’d be all over each other and the next we’d be at each other’s throats, or not talking at all. Sometimes we didn’t know whether to have a fight or to embrace.
We had been together, on and off, since university. We had split up and gone out with other people, but somehow, we always ended up getting back together. The longest apart was six months when I’d gone trekking across the outback of Australia and she’d gone to L.A. She had a dream to be a starlet, but that didn’t work out. When we both had finished our separate journey’s, we’d gone back home and got back together again. Home for us was Knightsbridge in London. She worked as a sales girl at Biba and I was an artist. Very occasionally I sold one of my paintings and feeling gregarious, I’d take her out to dine at the Savoy. Usually we ate at cheap café’s and shared a salad and a coffee. We lead that bohemian lifestyle for a while, until Dad died and I inherited the title. Marquis of Stowbridge sounded very grand but the ancestral home, Baldock Park, had already been sold to the National Trust. It had been a crumbling ruin and had cost more to maintain that we could make from its small farm. I inherited what was left of the family fortune, which amounted to barely a thousand pounds a year. I don’t know what made me suddenly want to, maybe it was having a title, it made me what to behave more respectable. After we’d been together all them years I suddenly said I wanted to make a lady of her. It had been meant as a joke, after all, as wife of a Marquis, she’d be called a Lady. Always touchy about her independence, she led with her left and gave me a sock to the jaw that had me seeing stars and hearing the ringing of bells. Tintinnabulation, it’s called, apparently. I said to her, “Look, Love, while I’m hearing bells anyway, why not make them wedding bells?” I didn’t give up that easy.
Eventually we tied the knot. She would never be the Quintessential aristocrat, she refused point-blank to be referred to by her title of Marchioness. “It makes me sound like an Alien from Mars” She said. I think that’s why I always liked her. She is so unlike any of the set that my parents had wanted me to mix with. I wanted something different, and she is different. We will never lead a conventional life but that’s fine by me.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 07/July/2018