BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
More than anything I wish for Jonathon's opinion. He always knew what questions to ask and where to look next. He was tactful and subtle, whereas I lacked the obvious charm and would bulldoze into situations rather than wait for the opportune moment. I try and think about all the information that I have and wonder 'what would Jonathon do'?
It's rather unnerving to have to think about two people who were such a big part of my life, whether I wanted them there or not, and how I have outlived both of them. Is this God's idea of a joke? Is this allowing me the opportunity to say 'I won'? Honestly, I feel betrayed that both Jonathon and that woman have dared leave me in this world alone, when they are most likely together.
I can remember when I first heard the rumours about Jonathon having an affair. We were both supposed to be at an office party, we were celebrating our tenth anniversary since the firm opened and had invited all our colleagues and friends to a large party in the city. It didn't occur to me that Jonathon wouldn't be late; he worked so hard that I was used to starting things without him (a far cry to his more punctual days when we were courting!) but he was doing good work and I enjoyed playing at hostess.
I remember walking up to a group of wives, none of whom worked and all of whom couldn't believe that I did. It was still rather unconventional for a woman to take a managerial role even in the early 1960s, and because of this I always felt somewhat of a pariah, though I enjoyed being able to ignore their jibes. This time, however, I couldn't ignore their conversation as I sidled up closer to them.
'She has no idea about the entire affair, and she thinks he husband is a saint.'
'I've heard her go on and on about the good work that Jonathon does and all I want to do is shake her and tell her what an idiot she's being.'
'But I suppose that's what you get when you try to fit into a man's world. She's naïve enough to think that her life is perfect, and one of these days she'll find out that it's not. It'll be an interesting to watch it topple.'
'Clara! You're terrible to say such things...'
Their voices droned on, high pitched giggling drowning out the rest of their vapid conversation, but I could hardly focus on anything else other than what I'd heard. They surely couldn't mean MY Jonathon. There wasn't a chance that my husband was having an affair. He loved me and our children and our work... But who else could they be talking about?