Some Difficult Times
My relationship with Clare deteriorated rapidly after my return from Brazil.
For three years, we tried to avoid each other as much as we could, she busies with her golfing tournaments or other engagements related to sponsorship obligations, and me, after been appointed as an inspector for my company, busy supervising jobs around the country.
Rarely were Clare and I home at the same time and we slept in separate rooms. Our paths crossed occasionally at breakfast, but we only exchanged a few conciliatory words.
When Clare was in town, she spent her days practicing at the golf club, and having her meals there. Most of the time, in the evening, she was out at parties. She loved the limelight of the occasion, as it allowed her to meet people and be surrounded by attractive male admirers.
Living in this way with Clare, got me exasperated and on some of those rare occasions we were together I suggested to amicably consider the idea of separating and getting a divorce.
She simply replied, ‘It’s not necessary. Each one of us is quite independent and besides, you know I’m not jealous. I don’t mind if there are other women in your life, you are free to be with them. But remember one thing, our marriage has been consacrated in front of God, and therefore you will be my only husband.’
She stood firm on that point and never again was I able to talk it over with her. Her friends admired her, and in their eyes, I was considered a very lucky man to be with a woman of such principle and devotion.
Of course, Clare’s friends didn’t have the complete picture of her. They didn’t know that when she was away in other cities, free from their judgment, how she chose to enjoy her nights out in the company of the latest Romeo or toy boy she had found.
These were only my suspicious, as I didn’t have any positive proof of Clare’s behavior, other then gossip from a friend of mine, who saw Clare with another man in Melbourne. But at the same time, knowing her well, I wouldn’t have accepted that she had suddenly converted into a monastic lifestyle overnight. She wouldn’t have changed so drastically from the Clare I had come to know in our early days together.
I remembered well her sexual prowess in our first three years of marriage. She was a very sensual woman and she wanted to practice and experiment what she was learning from ‘The Kama Sutra’, which was her sex bible of the time.
Eagerly, night by night, she taught me the many different ways to perform the act of lovemaking and then she compared the level of enjoyment she’d received back in that sexual experience.
I was amazed, when returning from my first job abroad, to find a quite different Clare. I didn’t recognise her, at least where sex was concerned. She had become cool and calculated, and no longer the instinctive woman I knew before.
It was during those days that she started to use hypocritical excuses to avoid making love to me. I asked what was going on, but she ignored my questions, as well as any of my approaches. Our intimacy in the conjugal bed had ended.
I could ever find a plausible excuse, as to why she had forgotten the pleasure of sex, more then likely she had found some other partner, able to satisfying her more in the physical contact of love.
Why didn’t we divorce at that time? That was a question that I asked myself often. At that time, and many other times after, she was obstinate in her principles, answering that she always fronted her Christian beliefs that marriage was a life contract.
So, we kept living under the same roof as strangers. It became a habit for us to live our own private lives without any involvement in sentimentalities or affections.
I remember well the last morning I saw her and we had breakfast together. ‘I’m going to spend Christmas in Melbourne. I’ll be away for two or three weeks, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see you before you leave for India.” She said, with a smile.
That was the way she farewells me. She was well aware I would be away for a long time in an isolated province in Bangladesh, but that didn’t matter to her.
That was all. The only words she had spoken to me in weeks.
I shrugged my shoulders without bothering to reply. I found how superfluous our communal life was and Clare’s decision to spend Christmas in Melbourne didn’t surprise me. I realised we had reached the end of our marriage. Not even the Christmas celebration was able to keep us together for one day.
Suddenly I found I had a few free weeks before taking up my new position, and I thought it would be nice to be once more with Juanita and Dolores and celebrate the festivities with them. More and more in my mind they had become part of my family and they were the ones I really cared.
End Part 1