AN – Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry Sorry. I'm really sorry for not updating. The second bit of this chapter is different than the book as I have lost my copy of Love Lessons and so I have had to use my memory to write this chapter.
When I asked Prue to baby-sit I forgot the other person in the equation – Marianne.
"Babysitting?" she had asked "I don't know Keith; I mean how could we trust one of those rough Wentworth kids with our children?"
"Marianne" I sighed "This is different. She's kind, well spoken, and different from all the Wentworth kids. She's mature with experience of babysitting" She still looked unsure so I grabbed her hands "Babe we need a night out. Just me and you otherwise we are going to go crazy. We need some alone time together"
"Ok fine" she sighed "but I want to talk to the girl before she baby-sits. I'm not happy about this Keith" she slammed the door behind her. I groaned. Whatever I tried with Marianne to improve our relationship didn't work. I was beginning to think it was not worth it. "Stop it Rax" I scolded myself mentally "She's your wife"
The next day I had Prue in one of my lessons. She never mentioned the babysitting. Had she forgotten? I called her back at the end of class and she told me that she could baby-sit for me. She was dead casual but my hands were sweating. After she left I paced the staffroom floor pondering why she had this effect on me. The thought of spending more time with her had my hands shaking. I spent a lot of time thinking about her during the uncomfortable nights with Marianne. I was confused. She was a sweet girl but that was all …right? No this was stupid. I was just being a kind teacher that's all and I was thinking too much into my feelings. I groaned. All these thoughts were giving me a headache. I looked out of the window at the blue sky but two figures in the playground caught my eye. It was Prue and that boy Toby. What were they doing out of class? They were talking. He was chattering along eagerly while she looked slightly bored. I smiled. She deserved better than some lowlife troublemaker. All of a sudden she started running away. He tried to chase after her but gave up after a couple of moments. I frowned. He should learn to respect her privacy. How dare he! I spent the rest of my free lesson going over my feelings again and again and reassuring myself I was simply being a good teacher.
That Friday I tried to calm my nerves. The house was a mess and the kids were crying. I heard a timid knock on the door when I was changing Lily. I answered the door with the naked baby in my arms.
"Hi Prue, Sorry we're in the middle of a nappy change aren't we Lily?" I grinned apologetically while Lily grizzled happily. She reached out for Lily uncertainly but Lily leaned away butting her head on my chin. She started crying in earnest. Prue looked like she was going to cry herself "Take no notice she's tired" I reassured her while trying to quieten Lily. "Come on in" I offered. I lead her into the living room stepping over stray toys. She smiled at me and I smiled back. I was about to offer her a drink when Marianne shouted down
"Keith, your son wants you to read him a bedtime story!" I sighed. She always did this whenever we went out. She would spend hours in her room doing her make-up and trying on countless dresses while leaving me to cope with the kids.
"I'm a bit busy with Lily at this present moment in time" I shouted back to her
"Multi-task!" she shouted down before slamming her bedroom door.
"I'll go and read him the story. You can change the baby" Prue piped up. I nodded gratefully to her and dodging more toys I took her upstairs. He was jumping up and down on his bed "Story Story Story Story Story Story" He kept shouting over and over.
"Hey this is Prue" I pointed to Prue who was stood shyly in the doorway "Come on in" I said to her before turning back to him. "She's going to be looking after you while me and mummy go out tonight"
He pulled his face and muttered "stupid girl. Don't like her" I frowned and felt like he had actually insulted me
"Hey! You shouldn't be rude to our guests. I want you to apologise and then let Prue read you a story" I said to him. I think he could tell by the tone of my voice that I wasn't kidding around.
"Sorry" He muttered lying back on the bed and crossing his arms. I nodded satisfied
"Will you be ok" I asked Prue
"Yeah I'll be fine" she assured me. I smiled and took Lily into the bedroom. Marianne was giving me the silent treatment over our argument before. I changed Lily on the floor and walked out. I couldn't stand the awkward silence.
After a while Marianne finally came out of the bedroom. After she made sure Prue was suitable and telling her where numbers and stuff was we were finally able to get out of there but as soon as we sat down Marianne confronted me about what happened before.
"What the hell did you think you were doing speaking to me like that in front of the babysitter?" She frowned at me
"I'm Sorry Marianne. Can we just not do this now?" I almost pleaded. I was tired and stressed out and really wanted to relax
"No" She replied stubbornly "I felt humiliated Keith"
"You? What about me? I was being ordered round by my wife in front of the babysitter. The way you spoke to me like I was your employee rather than your husband!" I was raising my voice now and the people at the other tables where beginning to look. "Look Marianne. We both are in the wrong and I've apologised. This is one of the few times we get a night out to ourselves and you want to spend it arguing!"
"Fine I'm sorry too" she said grudgingly "We'll drop it"
"Thank you" I said relieved "I do you love you Marianne" I said putting my hand on hers.
She smiled up at me "I love you too" and the truth was I did love her. She was the mother of my children and I had been together with her for a long time. She hadn't done anything wrong. It was all me. Regardless of my feelings or obsession or whatever for Prue nothing would change that.
We arrived home about 11pm. Prue was just doing some drawing. I don't know why I expected anything different but somehow I did. After an onslaught of questions from Marianne I took her home and in the short time it took for me to drive from my home to hers something changed. It had gotten more personal between us both. She know knew things about me no other person at school knew and that was something I didn't want to happen. My heart raced and my palms where sweaty as I dropped her off and said goodbye casually. It took me a long time to get to sleep that night.
AN: I promise you I'm not gonna wait that long to update again! There is four chapters left after this and this story will be complete by end of January 2010 I promise. I hope you accept my sincere apologies.