Suzanne – October 1985
Suzanne decided to walk across Green Park and back home to Pimlico. Her shoes were not really suitable for walking but they were quite flat. She needed the fresh air and exercise to clear her head of all the conflicting emotions. Suzanne had no thought of ever clapping eyes on the detested Michael Peterson again. What she couldn’t get a grip of was how he had got himself into such elevated circles that he could have met Caitlin. That it was all some sort of con trick she was in absolutely no doubt.
Nearing home with her mind still knotted up with the conundrum Suzanne redirected her footsteps to the library. She soon found what she was looking for. She had heard from Rebecca that Caitlin’s husband to be had received a Knighthood for his services to Industry. A scan of recent Honours Lists soon revealed the name. Armed with this information she researched in back editions of the business press and looked into some of the companies he was fronting.
Sitting back in a squeaky library chair Suzanne considered the picture she had built up. The irony that struck her was that Peterson should have welcomed her with open arms. He would have in all probability bumped along in the lower rankings of the civil service had she not precipitated his departure. That he had done extremely well financially in a short space of time was unarguable. His track record was phenomenal. Suzanne pondered his success against what she knew of him; lazy, dishonest, vain, a risk taker with unscrupulous tendencies. There was no comfort to Suzanne to be gleaned from this exercise but at least she ‘knew her enemy’ in Sun Tzu’s words.
Suzanne renewed her journey homeward, only a few streets away. She was pleased that her father was out; she’d seen him very briefly when she’d dropped her bag off. She made herself a cup of tea and sat on the big comfy sofa in the kitchen trying to calm down. She was comforted by the arrival of Zorro and then Ziggy who rubbed against her and purred rhythmically doing more to settle her than anything could. She sat motionless gradually unwinding as she waited for Rebecca to return.
The girls had spent many a happy evening in the kitchen of the Pimlico house but this was not ordained to be one of them. Rebecca went upstairs to change into her usual uniform of jeans and tee regretting that she had ever chosen the red dress; it had been a disaster. She clattered downstairs to be greeted by the equally glum face of Suzanne. The usually trusty solution of a glass of wine proved to be illusive in its recuperative powers.
Jack returned to the house expecting to see smiling faces and was disturbed by the greeting he received. It was unusual for his daughter to be down in the dumps, or Rebecca usually; although Dylan always seemed to be able to provoke a bad mood, which saddened Jack as he liked Dylan. There was no doubting that something was really amiss.
Jack replenished glasses for the girls and poured a drink for himself. His daughter looked well he noted in an emerald green dress. He made the compliment to her adding mildly,
‘You should change though you’ve got cat hairs over it already.’
‘I know I should have. It’s too late now.’ Suzanne responded desultorily brushing at her dress.
‘So may I ask what the problem is?’ Jack continued in his gentle manner, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen such long faces on you two girls.’
Suzanne sighed heavily and recounted the sorry tale of Caitlin’s wedding. Rebecca took up the tale where Suzanne’s part ended. She recounted how Caitlin had looked shaken and upset and the insufferable smugness exhibited by her new husband. As she told of the awful stilted conversation and awkwardness of the meal she started to become uncomfortably aware that she had been the cause of much of the tension herself. She looked almost beseechingly at Jack,
‘The worst of it is that I was a complete bitch to Dylan and he didn’t do anything to deserve it…’ her voice rose to a wail, ‘he’ll never ever want to see me again.’ She burst into tears and ran from the room. Jack and Suzanne were left gaping at each other in amazement.
Suzanne – October 1985