Chapter 9 – Pimlico House

Caitlin – November 1978
Caitlin settled down to married life with Mario in the knowledge that she had made a bad mistake. Worse than this it was the feeling of isolation; she felt unable to share her unhappiness with anyone. Mario treated her like his princess; he was kind and loving in every way but one. How could she complain about him as a husband? Their lives ran smoothly as long as the issue of sex remained unspoken. Mario tried to make up for his shortcomings in other ways. Once Caitlin had tried to discuss her concerns with him, Mario’s face had contorted with anger and he shunned her company for days.
Mario desperately wanted to have a normal married life and a family so he forced himself to come into Caitlin’s bed once every week to perform his conjugal duties. The experience never got any better for either of them. When Caitlin found she was expecting a child she was astonished that Mario’s feeble attempts at penetrative sex had resulted in pregnancy. She was pleased that she was pregnant in some ways; at least having a baby would give her something to do. But she also felt trapped, more than before, in her sham of a marriage.
Caitlin made an appointment to see her Doctor to make certain before she broke the news to her husband. Mario was ecstatic. He had proved that he was a man and he was going to achieve his ambition of having a family. Mario lost no time in telling both sets of parents and their wider families the good news. He showered Caitlin with gifts and fussed around her constantly. Caitlin was touched by his delight and show of affection for her. She made up her mind to be a good wife and mother to their child. She would have to get used to the downside; nothing was perfect.
For the sixth months that they had been married Caitlin and Mario had lived in his apartment on Park Avenue only a couple of blocks from her family home. Even though the apartment was large enough for a nursery with plenty of space for themselves and guests Mario started a search for the perfect family home. Caitlin too threw herself into the activity. It was an occupation that brought them close together, each liking to choose colours and drapes, furniture and fittings to achieve the right ambience. After viewing a couple of likely contenders the couple settled on a triplex on 5th Avenue and 72nd Street.
Mario’s team were brought in to completely refurbish according to Mario and Caitlin’s design. The finished effect was of understated luxury emphasising the natural light and spectacular views of Central Park. The spacious triplex afforded them ample family space with four elegant reception rooms, five bedrooms each with their own bathroom. The top floor was laid out to accommodate a nursery, playroom, two more children’s rooms and a suite for the Nanny. Mario planned to have a least one more child though for the time being the couple was spared the necessity of pretending that sex was a pleasure. Caitlin’s pregnancy excused him from conjugal responsibilities and she didn’t feel like it anyhow.
Caitlin’s closeness to Ariel had continued to blossom with her geographic nearness. Frank also enjoyed having his daughter and his son-in-law in close proximity. Not long after Caitlin’s wedding Ariel and Frank’s second child had been born. Emily Stella Alexander bawled continuously for sixth months rendering Ariel tired and irritable continuously worried that there was something wrong with the child. Caitlin, concerned for her baby sibling and for Ariel and her father, spent a lot of time attempting to comfort and support her stepmother. Emily having reached the grand old age of six months mysteriously transformed into the perfect baby just in time for the announcement that she was to be an Auntie.
During her pregnancy Caitlin spent a lot of time with Ariel and her two baby half siblings. Sebastian was a real little boy now running around and chattering non-stop. It was a comfort to have Ariel’s advice and support during her pregnancy and also to know that her child would have ready-made playmates close to hand. Caitlin’s main regret was being so far away from her friends. Had she been in England she felt sure that she would have sought advice from Penny and shared her experiences with Rebecca. She had of course heard that Rebecca had a son and she knew that when he was christened she would be his godmother. She had not heard yet that Rebecca and Dylan were already estranged.

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