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WrongSideOfTown - The Voice
WrongSideOfTown - The Voice : Chapter 17

Chapter 17

  2008.02.16. 14:14


Chapter 17


The first thing she did was to put on some music - she chose " Playing the Angel" and was soon singing along to " A pain that I'm used to " as she changed into jeans and a T-shirt.

By about eight, when she had had no news of Dave, she started to think it strange, but poured herself another glass of Sicilian centare red wine and carried on with her lasagne.

By nine, the lasagne was starting to look dry and crispy on the top and the bottle of centare was all gone - two glasses in the sauce, four into Carla. On her empty stomach this made her quite wobbly when she rose from the sofa to turn the oven off.

She refused to chase Dave up by phoning him - what would that look like?

She put on the TV and zapped from channel to channel, finally settling on a black and white film on Arte, when she heard a key in the door.....

" I was waiting for ya... " she added casually as she noticed Dave's shadow on the wall and she slowly turned around to see the owner.

" Sorry hon, but... Carla did you drink something? " he asked half serious, half smiling as he took off his jeans jacket and walked towards her.

" Yepp, because the hours waiting for you were toooo long .... So I needed to do something after cooking " she shrugged and took his hand into hers as she looked up at him.

" Love, I had a very busy time today. But you have to believe that I was thinking about you and coming home... Ahhh, you silly girl... " he added with a smile on his lips. " So... anyway... have we got something to eat? What did you cook? " he stroked Carla's blushing face gently.

" Lasagne... but it's cold and it's like a stone now... You'd better kiss me if you want to have something... " she couldn't end the sentence, because Dave bent down and started to kiss her heavily.

Dave was still smiling because Carla was slightly drunk again, but continued his kiss full of longing. It was incredible that he wanted her again. But his stomach had stronger needs now. When he pulled himself back, he heard Carla blurt out :

" Will we ever have a baby together? "

He looked down at her speechless, then he started his reply carefully:

" Why are you asking this - I mean now ? "

Carla didn't have an answer and needed time to think of one. She avoided his eyes, and went to the kitchen to serve an unnecessarily large portion of cold lasagne and salad onto a plate for Dave, which she took to the dining table, then returned to serve herself a small portion, with which she walked back to the table and sat down.
She held her fork over the food, elbows on the table, poised, staring at her food.

Dave sensed the tension in the air and his smile faded.

" Carla - this is a big issue - erm - it's not really a yes or no question, is it, babe? "

Her eyes flew up to meet his - they were pleading with him - no need for her to speak. He really did not know what to say, but tried in his unprepared way to look at her lovingly with concern. He reached across the table to take her free hand in his.

" Listen - it's something we can think about one day - why not ? Maybe soon, I don't know - you know I love kids, so that's a start, huh ? But I'd really like to know why the question has come today. You have to try and tell me, mon amour. Please" and he squeezed her hand.

Carla sighed and tried to do as he asked: " It's just that - you know you sent Véro round to keep me company today? Well this afternoon she got tired when we went shopping, because ... because .... " and her eyes filled with tears at this point -

" Véro's expecting a baby, Dave. "

" Yes. That's great news for them, and I know she told you today. "

" Yes, even before she told Justin, but by now she will have told him."

" So she's pleased ? Was it planned? "

" Oh yes, very much so - they've been trying for about six months now. They're going to invite us round for dinner to celebrate some time next week " Carla bowed her head, and pushed her lump of lasagne to the side of her plate.

Dave didn't think it was appropriate to start eating, so he just sighed hungrily at his plate before carrying on -

" So you started wondering if this could ever happed to us, yeah? "

" Mmm - hmm " came a muffled reply accompanied by a nod.

" Well why not? But maybe not right now - but perhaps in a few months' time. Would it mean a lot to you, sweetheart? That we have a child together? ”

" Yes but you'd have to want it to happen too, you know. There'd be no point if you were saying yes just because you thought that's what I wanted to hear. It would be another child for you too - if we ever manage to have one - as neither of us are that young any more ...."

" Listen Carla, we have met at this point in our lives, and maybe it is too late to have a child together, who knows until we try - but above and beyond that is the fact that we found each other. That's more important to me than any children we could have. "

" But that's easy for you to say - you already have kids! "

" OK - listen - you're right - if it matters that much to you, I'm willing to try, but what I mean is that if it doesn't happen, then I won't miss it - it's you I want. Am I making sense here? And while we're talking kids, I'd like you to meet mine soon - would you like that too? "

" Really? Your little Stella - and the boys ... " Carla smiled for the first time that evening.

" Well I don't know about the boys, that's going to be more tricky, to be arranged separately I think. " Dave also produced a nervous smile, and dared to cut off a piece of lasagne with his fork.

Carla came to her senses and realized that Dave was probably hungry, and apologized for assaulting him with her million dollar question the minute he walked in the door. She decided to leave him to eat in peace.

She got up and went over to kiss him, saying she wasn't really hungry any more, then once she'd opened another bottle of wine for him, she went to have a soak in the bath.

Dave stared at his cold lasagne, eating small chunks to appease his stomach, thinking of what he had just said. He smiled - another child would be wonderful - a little harder to bring up now he was older, but he'd see his Carla ecstatically happy, and knew she would make a great mother.

He suddenly missed his own little girl very much, and decided to wait up until she got out of school to call her. With the time difference, that meant staying up until eleven.

He ate a little salad then cleared the plates and glasses off the table before tidying up the kitchen.

He sat where Carla had been sitting, and watched parts of programmes, unable to get the idea of their discussion out of his head for a while, but then his attention was caught by a documentary about climate change, and his thoughts turned to Rosie, to his sons, to the sort of world they'd inherit from his generation. He became absorbed in the startling facts revealed by the reporters and the breathtaking Antarctic photography - the time passed more quickly, and glancing up at Carla's kitchen clock, he smiled as he reached for the phone. He dialed his New York number - it felt strange to think that it was no longer the place that he thought of as home ...

A tired little voice answered: " Hello? "

" Hello little girl! How's my favourite little Rosie? Back from school, sweetheart ? " Dave broke into a smile as he heard his daughter gasp with delight at the sound of her father's voice. They chatted about school, gym, her friends, and Dave felt a lump coming into his throat. He missed Rosie! How was he going to do this - see her only for her school holidays?
Or would Carla come to New York with him? It would mean leaving her friends and her parents in Europe ...

" Daddy are you still there? "' Dave realized he'd been daydreaming and had not replied to his daughter's question, so she repeated it -

" When are you coming home, Daddy? " and this was even harder to hear - home for him was here now, with Carla. He had asked Jen not to say anything yet to anyone - just to say he was doing promotion work in Europe -

" Soon my sweetheart, as soon as I can. OK? Now pass me Mummy please, just for a moment. "

He knew he couldn't hang up without speaking to Jen - he swallowed hard and listened for Jen's voice.

" How are you? " she said, in a neutral tone, for Rosie's benefit, he guessed.

" OK - it feels weird at times, but I suppose that must be normal, considering .... "

"When are you coming back to see Rosie? She deserves a definite date.”

" I know she does, and I'll know by the end of this week. OK? There's a lot of stuff to tie up here and ...."

" Listen to me ” Rosie must have left the room as Jen's tone had hardened now. " You warn me before you set foot in here - is that clear? I don't want her getting upset like she has been these past few days, watching the removal men take all your stuff. "

" OK point taken - I'm sorry you had to see that with her. Listen, I'll call as soon as I've booked a flight, OK? "

" Fine - until then .... "

" Can I just .....?" click : The line went dead before he could ask to give Rosie a kiss. Next time, he said to himself.

His heart was heavy, heavier than before and slowly his mood turned to black. He sighed and sighed again, standing up and went to the window, staring out. He'd never been good sorting out personal affairs, what he knew was that he doesn't love his wife anymore and he misses his children very much.

He thought a long walk in the cold air would do good for him, helping to find out what is the right thing to do. He took his black trenchcoat, popped into the kitchen and wrote a note to Carla to say that he was going for a walk. She'd gone to bed and he didn't want to disturb her.

Dave went down the staircase and nodded a polite "good evening" to Damien at the door, before going out into the street. He settled into a leisurely pace, and decided to head for the park where he'd got soaked and caught a cold.
It was a warm early summer's evening with no wind, and soon he was uncomfortably warm in even a light coat. He removed it and swung it over his shoulder, all the while keeping his course towards the park.

He would have to ask Carla as soon as he returned if she would move to New York, just to make things easier while there was a custody problem with Rosie - just eight years to manage!!!

What would she say? She'd uprooted herself once to leave London and only really settled in Paris because her Mother was there. He had no idea what she would say, and was still imagining all the possible scenarios when he saw the park gates ahead. She could think it was a brilliant idea and say yes with all her heart, she could think about it and say yes at a later date, but her heart wouldn't be all in it - she could think for a while and decide no, or she could come straight out with a refusal to leave all she had built up and worked for here ...

Barely had this thought been formed when Dave felt a sharp blow to the back of his head.
He collapsed in a heap, coming first to a kneeling position, as surely as if someone had hit him hard behind the knees - then he keeled over and his head thudded onto the tarmac of the path. It had been getting darker gradually but suddenly for Dave everything went black. So black - as if his eyes were tightly shut, except that they weren't. He felt someone moving him roughly but neither shout for help nor trying to help him up. it was then that all his senses stopped transmitting…

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