The First Family Holiday Without Him


It was 1 year and 6 days ago when I decided to leave. He had been so bad that I was trembling.  Small, tiny, but resonating right through me like a hum. Right down to my cells. I still do tremble like that sometimes, and this morning is one of those times.

We aren’t going to the South of France any more. We need something new, without the old memories attached. I have the wetsuits, and warm clothes because we’re going to Scotland. Today I will cook and tidy and tonight we will be ready. Without him. 11 years of family holidays seem to flick through my thoughts, the way he went a lovely brown colour, the way they played in the sea together. The fan in the bedroom, whirring into the night to keep us cool. The change of scenery and how that made me feel like having sex more, because the laundry basket wasn’t anywhere near me, and because the sun and the heat and the light made me feel better.

I wonder how the kids are feeling. If they are thinking about it too, but I dont want to keep checking they’re OK because it feels like they want me to stop asking. So I will play some music, and carry on as normal, and take a deep breath and get on with it. We will go to Arran, with my friend and her kids and we will jump into the clear, icy cold waters and play and cook and walk in the rain, and I might not cry, even though there will be a space in the bed beside me, and even though I might still feel that humming tremble.

But at least I know what I have to deal with. No more nasty surprises.

I’d better get on with the packing. I’m only going to need 2 suitcases this time. I’ll use the 2 blue ones and leave the orange one, with the crack on the corner in the airing cupboard.




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