The unspoken and tacit agreement between father and daughter seemed locked in place. A few months had passed and on the surface everything was back to normal. Jess had got her horse. Rosa had been hastily fired for ‘stealing’ and Jess’s parents Charles and Gail appeared to be getting on like a house on fire.
Jess felt that she had done the right thing in keeping quiet about her father and Rosa, but she would often take her horse for long aggressive rides in the fields to release a whole load of misdirected tension. All this grown up drama was hard going for a fifteen year old. She had made an attempt to talk to her closest friends about her parents, but a loud side-conversation about boys penises had burst through her circle, invading and overshadowing her discussion with her small group of confidantes and she was not able to regain their interest in talking about …parents…ho hum.
Jess’s grades had plummeted and no one seemed to notice, except maybe Marta. Marta was Oliver’s new nanny and she was as generous with her hugs for Jess as she was for the baby. Although they never really talked, Marta seemed to have a sixth sense about Jess’s unease, whilst Jess in turn could relax a little, knowing that with Marta’s age, experience and girth there would be no likely repeat of nanny-gate…
Although the creeping guilt about not informing her mother had stayed with Jess…
One evening Charles came home. His wife Gail was sitting bolt upright on the sofa with a stern expression on her face. His daughter Jess had her head bowed and was studiously avoiding his gaze. There were about three suitcases and some bin liners clearly containing some of Charles’s bathroom and office-y nic nacs arranged by the front door.
‘What the…?’ He said, slightly flustered. Could she know?!
He tried to catch Jess’s gaze. His failure to make a connection with her answered his questions.
Thoughts of how to make his next moves whizzed through his mind at breakneck speed. Denial? No. Blame Rosa? No. Pretend to be ill…Quick! Fake a heart attack! No. Say you don’t remember anything? Blame work load? Blame Gail…
In the end, all he could muster was, ‘I thought we’d agreed…’ bleated rather lamely at his embarrassed daughter.
‘You leave her out of it!’ Retorted his wife. ‘She didn’t have to tell me anything.’ She stood up to reinforce with a body block that her husband was no longer welcome in the home, then used her hands more obviously to usher him back towards the front door.
As she finished her sentence in walked a coquettishly confident Rosa, the ex nanny, from the kitchen…
She was over-seductively sucking on a lollipop and her eyes never left Charles’ bewildered stare…not for one moment.
With a sly smile she sauntered over to Gail, his wife(!), clasped her way too intimately around the waist and rested her head amorously on her shoulder…
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