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The following morning I awoke with a dry mouth and painfully throbbing head. As I lay there I made up my mind that the time had come to pull myself together and get back on my feet… metaphorically speaking at that point, considering I had a broken ankle to consider. Anyway, my mind was made up. I would not win back the man I adored by getting drunk and shouting at him. That was not the Anna he fell in love with!And so began the first day of the rest of my life. I followed my determination and became even more than I had been before, the adoring but still somewhat dominant wife… Well, I couldn’t just roll over, could I? After all, that wasn’t the Anna he married either. I dressed properly again and pushed myself to be just as I had been, strong and loving.The weeks passed by and my ankle healed well although it would be stiff for a long time and sometimes it would give a twinge of mild pain if I moved a certain way but it was no more than I expected. I returned to work and settled back into the old routine. It would be wrong to imagine that things were perfect once more, though, Philip remained distant but attentive and the test of whether I would lose him, whether he wanted to go or stay and make a go of it, came when he took me to the hospital to have my cast removed. Once free of it, the hospital took back my crutches and offered me a walking stick for a couple of weeks until it was back to full strength. I refused. Aluminium crutches are one thing but an aluminium walking stick? One that looks like a crutch but with a handle? No, thank you. Philip had already realised that would not please me and we had driven to the hospital via the local garden centre where I bought a very smart wooden stick. Philip added a small metal badge shaped like a shield which had ‘ Anna ‘ inscribed upon it and fitted just below the handle with two tiny pins. I knew at that moment that there was a glimmer of hope for us. It may not have been dead certain at that point but that tiny gesture made my heart soar.Now that I was independent again, I had to be careful about where I went etimesgut escort without Philip and how long I was away. If I visited Penny, I would phone him on some made up pretext, just to reassure him and he also accepted her visiting me at home although I wondered whether that was because he could keep an eye on us.Gradually the nights shortened and spring was upon us. We were sitting in the living room, one evening, me watching a historical drama and him reading as was usual when, without looking up from his book he said, “I think we should have a break.” My heart sank. “Apart?” I asked, my mouth suddenly dry. He looked up. “Is that what you want?” he asked, looking somewhat bemused. “No!” I replied quickly, “No, of course not. I just thought that was what you meant.” He smiled, “No, I meant together, a holiday. I think it would do us good to get away from here for a while, take a complete rest.” The drama unfolding on the television was instantly forgotten “Oh yes, My Love, we could indeed. Where do you have in mind?” “Somewhere we have always wanted to go but never got round to.” “Good idea,” I agreed, “Bath? I have always fancied going there.” He chuckled. “I was thinking of somewhere a little further afield.” “Oh, all right,” I pondered for a moment. “How about, hmmm… Cornwall!” “No!” he laughed out loud, closing his book and placing it on the arm of his chair. “I was thinking more like Venice!” “Venice?” I exclaimed, “Oh gosh, I would love that, I really would!” My heart was beating wildly now, Venice, the capital of romance! I wondered if I dared hope that we were going to be together again at last. “Do you really mean it?” I asked slowly, standing and walking over to him. I knelt in front of him, gazing up into his eyes and taking his hands in mine. He didn’t look away but returned my gaze and I could see a faint glimmer of love flickering within them. “I have been looking at options while you have been at work,” he went on. “We can visit Verona too whilst we are there.” Now my mind was going crazy. He really eryaman escort had thought about this. Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragic lovers. Their deaths were less considered than their great love and I was sure now that this was what he was thinking. I remained sitting back on my feet, staring up at him with my heart full of love for him and a small tear formed at the corner of my eyes. “Then it is agreed?” I nodded, “Yes, it is,” I whispered joyfully. “Well, that is good because I have booked it already. First week in May.” “May?” I gasped, “But that is…” “Yes,” he interrupted, “In two weeks.” “But work!” I exclaimed, “What if I can’t get the leave?” “Oh, you will,” he answered with a mysterious smile. “What? But how could you possibly know that?” “Because I have already spoken to them. I told them I wanted to surprise you.” I leaned forwards and rested my head in his lap and almost purred when I felt his hand stroke my hair. “There is one thing, though,” he said slowly and it felt as though he were about to disappoint me in some way, “We have to fly from Gatwick.” Without moving I smiled to myself thinking that was hardly a problem. “Does that matter?” I asked softly, more to show I had heard him rather than a query. “Only that we will have to go down by train. The flights from Leeds or Manchester were nearly two Hundred pounds more.” I snuggled against his lap, squeezing his hand. “Ow, ow, ow,” I shouted out in sudden pain as I tried to stand but immediately sat back down on the carpet. Philip looked alarmed. “What is it, what’s wrong?” “My ankle!” I exclaimed, rubbing it vigorously and half smiling, half grimacing, “I shouldn’t have knelt for so long, it has seized.”That night I went to bed happy. I think I must have floated up the stairs on a cushion of love and I undressed with such ease. It is hard to imagine just how difficult life can be with a lump of plaster on the end of one’s leg but now it was gone, I could appreciate so much more being intact and independent once again. I lay back against sincan escort the pillow, wearing my comfortable pink pyjamas and picked up my book from the nightstand. I liked to read a few pages, I found it helped me to sleep. Halfway down the first page I was disturbed by the gentle, almost inaudible creak of my bedroom door opening. I lowered my book and looked over the top of my glasses as Philip stood in the doorway, illuminated by the light from the landing behind him. “I thought… If you would like… I mean… if you want me to…” He was uncertain and his clumsy words didn’t seem to want to form themselves into full sentences. I didn’t say anything but closed my book, placed it back on the bedside table, removed my glasses and placed those on top of it and then turned back the quilt with a happy smile. Raising a finger in a gesture of ‘just a minute’ he turned and flicked the switch on the wall at the top of the stairs, plunging the landing beyond my door into darkness then came to me, pulling the cord of his dressing gown and letting it slip from his shoulders. For the first time ever he dropped it to the floor and left it where it lay. Normally I would have protested but just for tonight, I said nothing. He kicked off his slippers, leaving those too where they fell and slid into the bed beside me. It had been so long it felt almost as wonderful as that first time over a quarter of a century ago. As he slid down I let the quilt fall back over him, put my arm around his waist and lay my head upon his chest. I desperately wanted him to make love to me but I was not going to spoil the moment by pressing too hard too soon. I would let him choose when he was ready for the next step and, instead just relaxed whilst listening to his heart beat as I slowly drifted off into a contented sleep.When I awoke the next morning I was alone! My heart sank. I hadn’t set the alarm as it was Sunday and it was now Nine-thirty! The curtains were still drawn but the room was light and I could tell the sun was shining directly against them. I knew it was too much to expect, he had obviously had a change of heart and gone back to his own room but wait, what was that? A sound from downstairs. “Philip?” I called down the stairs, “Is that you?” “Just a minute, Love,” he called back, “Give me a moment.” I was puzzled so went to the bathroom and cleaned my teeth.

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