The Wrong Brother?

“I wish I had married Roger.”

“Nigel’s brother?”

“Yes.”

“But why? Nigel’s a sweet man.”

“He’s dull, dull, dull. Roger’s more exciting. Not to mention, very attractive. It’s too bad I met him after I married Nigel. I honestly believe that I married the wrong brother.”

“Don’t say that.”

“Why not? It’s how I feel. Am I not allowed to express my feelings?”

“What if Nigel or one of the children heard you?”

“Nigel isn’t here. He’s giving one of his lectures. William is in the study playing that new computer game, Dr. Galaxy and Alice is in her room reading some book called, Pancake pandemonium.”

“What’s Nigel’s lecture about?”

“It’s about Alternating Deficiencies.”

“What?”

“Exactly. Now do you wonder why I say he’s a dull man? It serves me right for marrying a neurologist when I could have married a Member of Parliament and living in a fine home and meeting interesting people.”

“What’s wrong with being married to a neurologist? Neurologists are highly intelligent people who dedicate their lives to treating disorders of the nervous system. I think Donald has chosen a noble profession. There are many people who would gladly trade places with you.”

“Are you one of them?”

Flora flushed. “Of course not,” she protested. “I was just trying to make a point.”

“Believe me those people will feel the way I do after they have been married to Nigel for as long as I have been. The Bible doesn’t condone divorce unless one of the spouses commits adultery. And I can’t imagine Nigel having an affair. He’s too staid.”

“But isn’t that good thing? Would you rather have a husband who cheats on you?”

Of course not but I would rather have a husband who is exciting, fun, passionate. I don’t recall the last time Nigel and I did anything remotely adventurous. Roger and his wife, Meredith, on the other hand, take expensive trips. They have been to Hong Kong, Taiwan and India. And one year they took a family trip to Sri Lanka.”

“Who pays for these trips?”

“Organisations and governments do. They regularly invite politicians on all-expenses paid visits overseas.”

“Have Roger and his wife ever invited Nigel and you to join them on any of their trips?”

“No. How could we afford it with university and school expenses, the mortgage and other expenses? Besides, Meredith and I don’t particularly like each other. Going on a trip with her would be rather unpleasant.” She turned the television on. “Let’s watch the six o’clock news.”

“Breaking News: Conservative MP Roger Hardwicke resigns after he was caught sending explicit photos of himself to a woman, a party activist with whom he had been engaging in private conversations on a social networking website. The woman turned out to be part an uncover agent and part of a sting operation. The 55 year old married father of three tendered his resignation after learning that details of their exchanges would be made public.”

A somber Roger Hardwicke appeared on the screen and appealed to the media to respect his family’s privacy and to give him a chance to heal the pain he has caused them. He took full responsibility for his shameful actions and thanked friends and colleagues for their support and sympathy.

The television was switched off. Flora looked at her friend. Her face was pale. She was completely in shock. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now.”

“How could he do it? How could he degrade himself like that? What self-respecting man would do something so–so disgusting?”

“His poor wife. And the kids.”

“And to think that all of these years, I regretted not marrying him. If I had, I would be in Meredith’s shoes, dealing with this mess right now. How could I be so foolish?”

“Nigel is going to be shocked.”

“Oh yes, Nigel. This will deeply affect him. He should be home soon.”

“Would you like me to stay with you until he comes home?”

“Thanks, but I’ll be fine. Thanks for stopping by. Give me a ring tomorrow.”

“I will.” They hugged and then, Flora left.

She closed the door and headed for the kitchen. As she went, she silently prayed, “Thank You, Lord for Nigel. He may be a dull man but he’s decent. I’m truly thankful to be married to him and not to that rat, Roger.”

From that moment onward, she had great respect for her husband and a deeper appreciation for their marriage.

Posted for August 2020 Writing Prompts – #9 Dr. Galaxy; 8 – Pancake Pandemonium & 22 – Alternating Deficiencies

Source: BBC; The Sydney Morning Herald; Independent; Career Explorer;

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