The summer holidays are drifting off like sand into little dunes of achievement, joy and confusion. Today, another day out – this time to the south of the island. I promised Rosie I’d take her to the beach this summer so it didn’t matter that it took several hours (about four: one bus, two tubes, one train and one more bus) to get there.
Ben came, too. It would have been impossible with just Rosie and me. With three, one person can always look after the bags. Ben and I took it in turns to take Rosie into the sea. Despite the throngs, we had a good time: jumping waves, playing badminton, building castles in the sand, searching for sea shells.
Of course, we means Rosie and me, not Ben. Yet again, I made the mistake of asking him if he’d enjoyed himself. “I never come out for me,” he said. “It’s for her.”
I think he thinks he’s telling the truth when he says these things. Perhaps he doesn’t come out for himself, but he isn’t immune to having fun. He certainly looked happy enough holding onto Rosie in the sea.
Fast forward to night time. Rosie’s tucked up in bed, I’m emptying out bags. The first thing Ben does is ring his friend, whom he has been helping for several months now. His friend recently relapsed (again), tried to commit suicide, then decided he was going to have himself sectioned under the mental health act.
Ben took him to hospital on Saturday, having spent the night at his friend’s place, making sure he didn’t try to top himself again.
Now the guy is in hospital and Ben rings him regularly to see how he’s doing. All good, of course. At some point during their conversation, I hear Ben say a very strained ‘yes’. He says it a couple more times before closing the door, so I can’t hear what he’s saying.
I look at this act in two ways. 1. He just wants privacy. 2. He wants privacy to talk about me. I’m guessing it’s 2. I can just imagine what he says to him about me. I understand that we all need someone to moan to about things that go on in our lives, but I can’t help but feel he’s being unfair. He is the most unpleasant person to take on holiday/trips out, so friction between us on those outings is almost inevitable. I only do it for Rosie. So, I suppose, the feeling is mutual.
But Ben talking about me to this guy (whom I’ve met, by the way) feels like such a betrayal. Why? Because I stuck by him when he was a drunk.I did what I could to ensure he got the treatment he needed. I went to the courthouse with him after he was arrested for a DUI. I tried to keep his family updated on his progress or lack thereof. I found the detox and rehab centre he eventually used. I worried about him day and night.
And what do I get back? Bitching behind closed doors.
It’s pathetic and disappointing.