Day 114 – Alienation – Part 2

Part 1 can be found here

Word count: 1030

Certainly believes his story, convinced abduction really did happen, perhaps suffering from importance complex, need to believe in something, failings in marriage? Family background? History? Doctor Vincent Blackman was scrawling his notes from last week on to a fresh sheet of paper in order to organise his thoughts.

There was a knock at his office door and Frank slipped in, quickly smiling to Vincent before dropping his gaze to the carpet and shuffling his way to the sofa. It was their second session together and Frank was clearly even less at ease than he was the first time.

Frank’s nails were bitten away and his mood seem erratic, paranoid.

“Is everyd-ting alright, Mr Jefferson?” Vincent’s rich voice soothed Frank’s ease.

“No, not really,” Frank replied calmly.

Vincent set aside his notes and sat forward in his comfy armchair.

“What d matter, den?”

“I just had a weekend with my in laws…” Frank’s memories came flooding back to him as if they were scenes from a war movie.

Frank was standing on the second step next to the front door. His two children, Kyle and Georgia were just in front of him, casually designed to draw any attention away from Frank. Moira was fretting over the hallway rug. It could never be straight enough. She was yelping and swearing under her breath, in the calm manner that Moira always composed herself in.

To say that Moira’s parents were punctual were an understatement. Greenwich Meantime was tardy compared to them; so when they announced their arrival at Eleven on the Saturday morning, they meant it. Everyone was ordered to their battle stations at ten fifty. Moira inspected them for creases and any visual signs of lethargy. Frank was reminded of his usual spiel for they had never got around to – and were not planning at any point in the near future in correcting this – telling her parents that Frank had lost his job due to the unannounced two week work hiatus explained solely – and regretfully – by his abduction by aliens.

The neighbours were in the dark about it too. Frank was given strict instructions to stay indoors most of the day and he had a set of emergency phrases to use if he were ever to be spotted outside during his usual working hours. Moira had the advantage that Frank had worked in the next town over – and thus no one could really confirm that he was no longer going to work.

The doorbell rang. Moira gave her husband a fierce look before brushing her hair over her shoulders and answering the door and allowing two whole days of hell to descend.

Kyle and Geogia were enjoying it about as much as Frank was. The first meal together was difficult.

“Could you please pass the salt, Frank?” Moira asked stiffly over the beautifully laid out table.

Frank did so.

Irene and Derek insisted at silence at the dinner table and having their own daughter break that rule made Kyle choke on his food with laughter. Georgia was relentlessly dabbing her napkin on her lips to camouflage her giggling. Meanwhile, adjacent to all this, was a gripping stillness. They could hear each other chewing their food; forks scratching against plates; orange juice being swallowed and everyone’s digestive functions were playing like a symphony orchestra.

It was always this difficult whenever Irene and Derek visited. They would always frequent around the same tourist shops and cafes; do the same forest walks and talk about the same stories over and over again. Frank never minded this with his own family; but it was the pretence that he had to keep up which was really strenuous.

“And how is work going, Frank?” Irene asked, sipping over her afternoon iced tea.

“Very well. Good sales targets this month. Excellent in fact.”

Moira threw him a look of a dagger.

Frank panicked – had he said the wrong thing?

“But I thought you got a promotion?”

Frank panicked.

“Oh yes – that!” all he could see was Moira’s face contorting murderously, “Well, I still have to manage.. that aspect of the business, of course – being an expert in my field.”

Frank had not bothered to read the script this time around – he had assumed it was exactly the same as previous versions?

The rest of the time followed on in the same vein. Irene kept on wanting to take Moira aside and speak to her about “something” – which was clearly about how odd Frank was acting. Kyle feigned illness to get out of Sunday’s walk and Georgia was wishing she had done the same. Frank, meanwhile, was wishing he had just walked in front of a car on Friday and had a perfect excuse not to deal with the scrutiny of Big Brother watching his every move, judging the way he worded his sentences and least of all Big Brother’s in laws taking scrupulous notes and marking his behaviour against previous visits.

“Well that was almost a disaster,” Moira sighed, applying her hand cream whilst they both sat in bed together on the Sunday night.

“It wasn’t too bad, was it?”

“Frank, it was hell. They knew we were lying about something.”

Frank, too, sighed, “Why can’t we just admit to everyone what happened?”

Moira closed the lid on her hand cream and opened up her facial night cream and started to lather it on. She was actioning these movements in such a way as to clearly broadcast that she was ignoring his last comment. Frank picked up his book and searched through the pages to find the last point he was at; they had had this argument before.

“So why da pretence?” Vincent was surveying Frank carefully.

“Well, you know… Moira isn’t comfortable with… with what happened to me.”

“Don’t she believe ju?”

Frank shook his head, “Do you?”

Vincent waved his hand, “Dat is not why I be here. Would ju believe jourself, if ju were in her choes?”

Frank allowed his gaze to fall to a bird sitting on a tree just outside the window. It was bouncing around, free to fly at any second. A black cloud was brewing behind the tree; rain was coming.

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~ by S.G. Mark on January 29, 2012.

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