Neglected Wife

I’m a twenty-something woman married to Andris, my former Science professor at London University. We became involved while I was in his class. Our relationship was kept under-wraps, of course until after I graduated. A couple of years later, when he became a best-selling Science fiction author, he stopped teaching at the university.

I was thrilled when he dedicated his first book, Elemental Orbits which is still on the Times Best seller list to me. I read it and found that I couldn’t put it down. It was a crime story about a space traveler who solved crimes on different planets, worlds–the hero is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who traveling on a spaceship like the Star-ship Enterprise on Star Trek. I couldn’t wait to read the sequel. It came out last year and I gobbled it up in no time. Now, he’s working on the third installment of the series.

Lately, though, I feel neglected since he was contacted by a producer from Pinewood Studios. They want to make Elemental Orbits into a feature film. So, Andris has been very busy working on the screenplay. He spends hours and hours working on it with his secretary, Hannah. I hardly see him except at breakfast and dinner. He has lunch in the study or skips it altogether and he comes to bed late. He’s too tired to make love so I lay there feeling sexually frustrated and emotionally starved.

I don’t want to seem selfish or that I’m not supportive of his work. I’m thrilled that his book is going to be made into a movie but I miss him. I miss spending time with him, talking about things, going out for dinner occasionally, traveling and making love. And I find myself resenting Hannah because she is spending more time with him than I am. I wish it were just the two of us like before. Before Andris left the university, I was at home alone during the week. I’m a self-employed web developer so I work from home. It was wonderful having Andris home with me during the week and during the day. We took breaks to have lunch and to spend time with each other. When the weather was nice, we went for walks.

Now, I can’t even remember the last time we went for a walk or a drive or anywhere together. The only times I left the house was to go grocery shopping, get my hair done and to visit my grandmother in the nursing home. Both of my parents are dead. My grandmother is the only relative I have here in England. Andris’ family are in Jelgava, a city in central Latvia. After we got engaged, he took me there to meet them. They were nice people and they treated me well although, I got the feeling that his mother would have preferred if he had married a Latvian woman.

When she and Andris’ father came to London for our wedding they stayed at Andris’ flat. I had my own flat. After we got married and returned from our honeymoon in Anguilla, I moved into his flat.

And now, five years later, we are living in a posh four bed-room penthouse in Canary Wharf. The master bedroom is ours, of course, two of them were turned into offices and one is a guestroom. When we decide to have children, my office will be turned into a nursery.

It’s after six now, so I finish working and get busy preparing dinner. I’m in the kitchen when Hannah walks in. “I’m leaving now,” she said. “I just wanted to say goodbye.”

I turned to face her and when she saw the expression on my face, the smile faded from hers. “Hannah, I want my husband back.”

She looked startled. “I beg your pardon?”

“This screenplay is taking up so much of his time that he and I don’t spend any time together. I’m getting tired of it. I want my husband back.”

“Oh. Oh, dear. I see what you mean. Why don’t you talk to him? I know that he’s anxious to get the screenplay finished by the deadline which is at the end of the month but maybe you can persuade him to work on it during the week and keep the weekends free for the two of you.”

I sighed. “I’ll try.”

“I’m sure he’ll agree to the suggestion.”

“I’m sorry, Hannah. I didn’t mean to sound rude just now. I guess it’s the jealousy.”

“Jealousy?”

“Yes, I’m jealous because you’re spending more time with him than I am.”

“You have no reason to be jealous. Talk to Andris and I’m sure everything will be fine between you two. He’s mad about you, you know. Every time we see each other, he talks about how much you love his books and how that has encouraged him to continue writing them. He bought this place for you because he wanted you to live in style.”

I teared up. “I had no idea,” I said after a while.

She smiled. “You’re a very lucky woman, Lexi.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Have a good evening.”

“You too, Hannah. And, thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” She turned and walked out of the kitchen.

I finished preparing dinner and then, I set the table. After I was done, I popped my head into the office to let Andris know that dinner was ready.

After he said a prayer of thanksgiving, I asked, “So, how is the screenplay coming along?”

“It’s coming along well. It will be finished in a couple of weeks.”

“Before the deadline?”

“Yes.”

“Andris, I have a request to make.”

He looked at me. “What is it, Darling?”

“I know how important it is for you to finish the screenplay and that’s why you spend seven days a week working on it. I-I was wondering if you could set aside the weekends for us. I miss spending time with you. We only see each other at breakfast and dinner. You come to bed late and are too tired to make love. I miss you, Andris. I miss the closeness we used to have.”

He studied me for a while. “Do you feel like I’m neglecting you, Lexi?”

“Yes.”

“I’m so sorry,” he apologized. “That’s the last thing I want.”

“I know how much your writing means to you–“

“If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be writing. I promise, Lexi that when the screenplay is finished and this is all behind us, I will make it up to you.”

“All right, Andris. What about my request?”

“To free up my weekends for you?”

“Yes.”

“Of course. I feel badly that you should even have to ask. I’m so ashamed of myself. You deserve a better husband.”

Immediately, I put my napkin on the table, got up and walked over to him. I cupped his face between my hands and told him firmly, “There’s not a better man nor husband than you, Andris Petrova. I should be apologizing to you.”

His eyebrows rose. “What do you have to apologize for?” he asked.

“I was rude to Hannah because I was jealous of her.”

“You were jealous of Hannah?” he exclaimed, looking confounded.

“Yes, because she’s spending more time with you than I am.”

He removed my hands from his face and stood up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he said, “From now on, you don’t have any reason to be jealous of Hannah or anyone. She and I will work on the screenplay during the week until five. I will stop working the same time as you do. And on the weekends, I will not do anything except spend time with you.”

I smiled. “Thank you.”

“I’m sorry I’ve neglected you,” he muttered, his expression grave.

“You can make it up to me,” I said.

“Anything,” he said. “I’ll do anything to make it up to you, Lexi.”

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“Good.” I took him by the hand and led him from the dining-room to the bedroom. After closing the door, I turned to face him. I walked over to the bed and after pulling down the covers, I began to undress. He stood there, watching me. It had been a while since we had made love so I was really looking forward to it.

When I was standing there, buck naked, I said in the most seductive voice I could muster, “Come and enjoy what is yours.”

In a flash, he was standing in front of me, his hands gripping my buttocks as his mouth moved hungrily on mine. I put my arms around his waist and eagerly responded to his kisses. For several minutes that was all we did-kiss wildly, passionately and then he broke it off, breathing heavily to remove his clothes.

I feverishly ran my hands over his body before I replaced them with my lips. He stood there, groaning as I covered every inch of him with kisses. I dropped to my knees and took him in my mouth, making him cry out. Then, as if unable to bear the sensation anymore, he reached down, grabbed me by the shoulders and hauled me to my feet. He pushed me down on to the bed, removed his glasses and tossed them aside and then, mounted me. My fingers gripped his arms when he nudged my legs apart and I grunted when I felt him inside me.

After that evening, things were back to how they used to be between us. We spent a lot of time together and the screenplay were soon finished. The movie was a blockbuster hit and Andris won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In his acceptance speech he thanked me, the love of his life and best friend, for being his muse and he also acknowledged Hannah. His family watched the show from Latvia, overjoyed.

The following day, we called his parents to share the exciting news that we are expecting their first grand-child in the Winter. Andris and I are busy turning what used to my office into a nursery. His mother is coming just before the baby is due to spend a couple of months with us. We’re both looking forward to having her. It would be helpful to have another woman around for a while.

If it’s a girl, we will name her Anna Zuzana after our mothers and if it’s a boy, we will name him John Eduards after our fathers. I will continue working until a month before the baby is due. I’m not sure if I will return to work. I might just decide that I want to be a wife, mother and homemaker instead. We’ll see.

Posted for January 2021 Writing Prompts – #29 – Elemental orbits

Source: The Balance Careers; Turquoise Holidays;

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