Hang On - Can I Say Something?
Nick and Jane had had a bad night. Baby Tom was teething and they were up four times. Now Nick was hastily swallowing his coffee before dashing off to work.
Jane was dreading the day. Joanna was due at playgroup by 9.30 am, but Tom wasn't really well enough to be taken in the pushchair. She had to do some cleaning. You could write your name in the dust everywhere. And she had a headache brewing.
'Nick' she began, looking at him hopefully.
The coffee cup crashed into the saucer as Nick looked at his watch.
'Must dash,' he said, 'Traffic's so bad these days.' He gave Jane a quick peck on the cheek, grabbed his case and was gone.
Jane sat down on the stool, still warm where Nick had used it, and began to cry. She poured a lukewarm cup of coffee, held it between her hands and gulped mouthfuls, staring at the dirty kitchen floor. Then the baby cried. The dreaded day had begun.
Nick didn't understand. He didn't notice. He just rushed off to work, and she wanted to call after him, 'Hang on - I want to say something!' But she knew the answer would come back: 'Can't stop now - we'll talk later!'
'Later?' when would 'later' be? When he came home it was the garden, or the cat, or the telly, or a noisy meal with the children, or phone calls to do with work. But never a time when they sat down together to talk about themselves. Hot tears burst out of her eyes and ran down her cheeks. She tore off a piece of kitchen roll and mopped her face.
'Where are you, Nick?' she cried in her heart. 'I love you. I need you. I want to talk to you. Please hang on a minute.'
Have you ever felt like Jane? Do you know how your partner is feeling about life right now? Did you know that your husband was in daily fear of losing his job since a new boss took over?
Why is it so hard to keep in touch once we're married with a family? It's as if someone has cut the telephone line and we don't know why and can't get it mended - or can we?
DIY Make a date to go out together. Plan something special, just for two.
(Excerpted by permission from 'Hang on I need to say SOMETHING' by Gillian Warren, copyright & published by Gazelle Books, ISBN 1 899746 09 9, retail price £5.99)
Tip by Gillian Warren