Too many of those mornings were lost to rain. Jenny stood at the window, looking out each morning as though she was seeing portents in the falling rain. She would turn back to look at me, as I waited for her to come back to bed, as if the world outside were my fault.
But, then, recently she does wear the expression of a woman living with a man who has disappointed her in some way.
I know how she feels.
This was not the life I expected to be living, either. When I was young, of course, I was going to be a footballer, then, as I got older, a rock star. There was a time when I even thought I could be a writer. I do – at times – have a glib way with words and an ability to appear to say more than I actually do.
Everything, all those naïve childish dreams, came to nothing in the end.
Jenny and I met, a long time ago now. Back when I was still wearing the long overcoat and carrying around Camus as if he and I shared some great mutual understanding. But the French cigarettes made me cough and Jenny said they made me smell like a rancid skunk.
I remember a few years back, finding that old overcoat shoved in a bag at the back of an old wardrobe. It still smelt faintly of Gauloises and no longer fit me.
When I threw it out, I knew my dream of being a famous writer had died long ago.
I was thinking about all that past that has gone as I watched Jenny at the window on the last morning of the holiday.
‘I don’t know what happened to all the dreams either.’
She turned ‘what?’
‘You look like someone who is wondering where it has all gone – all our youth, all our dreams.’
‘Do I?’ She shrugged and wrapped her arms around herself. ‘I was just looking out at the rain. That’s all.’
She shrugged again, walked back towards the bed, and got in next to me.
‘I’m sorry life didn’t turn out as I… as we expected it to.’
‘What are you talking about?’ She turned to stare at me.
‘Can’t you remember, back when we met?’
‘She shook her head. ‘What about it?’
‘Back then I was going to be a famous writer.’
She shifted closer, looking into my eyes. ‘Were you? I can’t remember.’
‘Don’t you remember that overcoat, the French cigarettes…. Camus?’
She shrugged. ‘I never liked those books… to dull… worthy. As for those god-awful cigarettes, I’m glad you gave them up.’
‘What about the overcoat?’
‘I’m glad you gave that up too.’ She snuggled up to me in the bed and kissed my shoulder. ‘It made you look such a pretentious wanker.’