The Consequence Was...

Entry by: Olivia

1st January 2016
‘The consequence was ….’

She just loved texting, it made her feel connected, wanted, even loved. Some days it was a challenge, but she didn’t feel as if the day had gone well unless she had had a text from him. She enjoyed the subversiveness, the furtiveness, the sheer naughtiness of a suggestive text.

Sometimes she wondered if it really mattered to him, but she let him off. He was busy, he wasn’t alone, the battery was low, the signal was bad. Life was like that.

All was forgotten when that little ping sounded, how had it happened that it took so little to give her a thrill? It was almost like him touching her. As soon as she saw his name on the screen she wanted to open the text and read it, but got caught mid – expectation. Would it be a ‘look love, I can’t do this anymore’ text? (She had got skilled at dealing with those now). Or maybe a bland ‘really busy, catch you later,’ text, or one of those ‘I’ve been thinking about you all day’ texts (she had had one of those, she knew what that meant). She supposed that this was why she loved the little computer that she held in her hand so much. The possibilities that it offered were so big in her small life.

It wasn’t as if her life was empty she rationalized. There was lots for her to do, lots of projects on the go and her job kept her busy didn’t it? And the garden, that would need a lot of her time soon. She needed to keep on top of things, well, you never knew did you?

She was very strict with herself, well, that was important wasn’t it? No texts before 09.00, give him a chance to get to work, she didn’t want to risk disturbing him at home and no texts at weekends or on Bank Holidays. She knew that it wasn’t fair and he liked to keep her separate.

Some days it was such a struggle to keep the discipline. Evenings were the worst, she often thought of a little snippet she would like to share with him, but she couldn’t, could she?

She thought that it might be good to talk to other people too. She texted friends, of course she did, and they dutifully texted back. She could usually guess the back story. The ‘poor Mary’, ‘she’s alone again you know’. ‘I like to support her as much as I can’, should we invite her round?’, discussions. She didn’t need their pity; she had Paul, hadn’t she? She understood why he limited the contact so much, she knew he didn’t want his wife to find out. Poor love, he was so caught. He didn’t say much but she just knew. Their grabbed coffee, and those special times. She was sure that any day now he would ask her if she would come on that conference with him. Once or twice he had admitted that he thought of her when he was at home. She knew that he would love her if he were free. The birthday card he had given her last year was still standing in her room. She just knew he hadn’t forgotten this year, she knew it was difficult for him.

Every work day she dressed carefully, glad that she had always looked after herself. Of course, she was older than him, but he had said he liked older women.

That little sound broke quickly into her thoughts and she jumped on her phone will the light was still on; ‘Paul, text message’, it was practically all she needed. She considered making a cup of tea before she opened it, she had asked him how his day was going; keep it simple, don’t make demands – she always tried to be quietly in the background, supportive, ready, his for the taking.

Abandoning her attempts to be cool, she tapped in her code and opened the little hope. ‘Good day thanks & you?’ Oh, how lovely, a question, he wanted her to reply. A chance to text him back. She hated it when she had sent 3 or 4 texts in a row, she much preferred it when they took turns.

‘Mine’s fine, busy, but that’s OK. Would you like coffee?’ press send. And wait. She started on the new customer accounts, she liked to keep on top. It wasn’t really time for coffee and a break would put her behind. But she didn’t mind, anything for Paul.

She spent vast stretches of time planning their life together. She knew she would be just what he wanted. She would enjoy cooking and cleaning for him. She knew that women weren’t really like that these days, but he would love it, she felt sure. She wouldn’t ask for much, but would be very grateful for anything she got from him.

She flicked the screen on, no reply yet. She knew he was busy and he’d asked her not to visit his desk, in fact she only saw him at work if he was doing one of his walk abouts. But they did have to be discreet didn’t they?

He’s only kissed her once but she knew he had liked it. That ‘thinking of you’ text that had followed had kept her going for two years now. The following year’s office party had disappointed her, but she knew that they shouldn’t be too obvious.

She had known that she would be on her own at Christmas and was never keen on going out New Year’s Eve, so that didn’t matter at all. Its what happened, it was the price she paid for falling in love. One day he would know the consequences of her love, but for now, she would just wait for the next text.