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فصل 02

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 4 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER TWO

A perfect couple

Kate put down the telephone in her study and went back to join her husband Hugh in the lounge. Like the rest of their house, it had expensive modern furniture, with glass and shiny metal tables, leather sofas and armchairs, and a thick cream-coloured carpet.

Hugh was sitting in one of the armchairs, his feet up on a low table, reading the business and finance pages of the Sunday newspaper, and sipping a large glass of whisky. As she looked down at him, Kate noticed, not for the first time, that he was losing his hair and getting rather too fat around the middle. Sometimes she wondered why she had married him. He put the newspaper down.

‘So what was that all about?’ he asked.

‘It was Jan.’

‘I know it was Jan. You told me she’d left a message. What did she want this time?’

‘It’s about Mother.’

‘Oh, no. Not again surely! Does she really expect you to call on a Sunday evening just to talk about your mother?’ His voice sounded unpleasant, impatient.

‘She says Mother is getting worse. She says that she forgets things and can’t look after herself anymore.’

‘Well, she’s old, isn’t she? That’s the way old people are. They do forget things and get mixed up. What does she expect? What’s it got to do with us anyway?’

‘Well, she is my mother, you know. And Jan says that she can’t manage any longer. She wants me to go down there and discuss it.’

‘I don’t see what there is to discuss,’ said Hugh unhelpfully ‘Thank goodness my parents are both dead. At least they can’t cause any trouble like that.’

‘Anyway, I told her I’d go down to Lewisham next Sunday.’

‘You told her what? Have you forgotten we have a dinner on Sunday evening? I told you it was important. I’m trying to get Clerides and Mazumdar to sign up to my new investment fund. God, can’t you remember anything!’

‘I didn’t forget. I’m not like my mother, not yet anyway. I’ll go down there for lunch and I’ll be back late afternoon, in plenty of time for your dinner. Don’t be so bad-tempered. It’s not easy for me, you know.’

‘It’s not easy for any of us,’ said Hugh, and picked up his newspaper again.

Kate went back to her study, switched on the desk light and began to read the papers for her court case the next morning. It was a complicated case, involving a disagreement between members of a family about who should own the parents’ house and business property. She sighed. She felt tired - exhausted by the mountain climbing in Wales and the long drive back to Marlow - and now she couldn’t stop herself thinking about Jan and the problems with her mother. ‘Why wasn’t life simpler?’ she thought. She had a successful career as a lawyer. Hugh was doing well again in his investment business. The children were grown up - well, almost. She and Hugh had plenty of money; it should have been the time for them to relax and enjoy it. But instead, she felt discontented and unhappy. Why?

Something was wrong, but she couldn’t say what it was - just a feeling that things should be different.

It was past two o’clock in the morning by the time they both went upstairs. As they were getting ready for bed, Kate looked at Hugh again and wondered if he was the same person she had married all those years ago. He got into bed and turned off the light.

‘Good night, darling,’ he said, and turned his back to her. He was soon fast asleep. Kate lay awake for a long time, thinking how easy it was to say ‘darling’ and wondering if it meant anything anymore.

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