Steph sat propped up in bed. She was too exhausted to eat the chicken dinner on the tray on her lap. Having to ask Nick to get her into bed after an argument had been humiliating but she had no energy left. They hadn’t even laughed about it. The remote lay next to her but she didn’t have the strength to use it. Tears fell because this time she couldn’t work out what the hell she’d done wrong.
“Mum?” Little Luke came in and lay on the bed next to her. “Can we watch Fireman Sam?”
“If you can put it on. Was dinner OK?”
“Alright. Dad didn’t speak.” He found Demand Five and put on The Great Fire of Pontypandy.
“I didn’t realise you meant the full movie.” Steph refrained from adding again. “Can you help me put my tray on the bedside table?”
“Sure thing, Mum, I’ll take care of you.” He gave her his cutest smile and came round to help her before cuddling right into her to watch Norman Price steal sausages from his mother’s shop.
They snuggled for the hour and a half, cuddled, kissed and he went to bed, leaving Steph alone in bed. At least her legs had started to work again.
She’d drifted off and by the time Nick came up to bed it was dark. He didn’t say anything and got undressed.
Her eyes were half open and she watched him. It was like watching a stranger. He was changing and he was changing into something that didn’t love her any more.
He sat on the side of the bed. “I’m sorry.”
Steph didn’t respond. She was fed up of being the one who apologised first. She was fed up giving in to him to quickly. She was fed up that her anger never lasted long enough to get things sorted. One kiss and she was being too bloody understanding. This time she was going to make him work for it.
The bed depressed and he lay down, but he didn’t turn his phone off. The light kept her awake…
… and awake.
It was probably less than half an hour but it felt like hours.
“Not content with saying you’re not my sex object, you’re now cheating on me online.” She couldn’t keep quiet any longer and the words just came out. “Can you at least tell me what you’re doing?”
“Well on this site women put up pictures of themselves for us to comment on.”
“I read that site.” Yet again she’d made the first move. With a sigh she rolled over so she faced his back. “Any of them got a beard? A Cupid Stunt or two?”
“Ha. No. That was unique to moi.” He rolled over and gave her a kiss. In the light of the phone she picked up he was treating her to a sexy smile.
This was hard. Right now he was Nick. Her Nick. The Nick she loved and the one that loved her. She had always struggled to say no to him, but tomorrow she could wake up next to the bad tempered bastard that she’d dealt with earlier, and she was still no clearer to understanding who he was any more.
“What do I call her?” she asked. Steph needed a name. She needed to label what was happening to them. It had been so much easier in her head when she'd called her Nicola.
“The other woman in our relationship.”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. Hadn’t thought about it.”
His tone told her otherwise. Nick knew her name and he wasn’t sharing it with Steph. More and more Steph was feeling cheated on. Could a husband cheat on you with himself or herself?
"Best Possible Taste" is very loosely based on real life events.