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The Developer

Page 3

Mrs Thorneycroft dreaded the afternoons, because the afternoons became the evenings, and the evenings meant Mr Thorneycroft would be home. She would have liked to welcome him home, to ask him about his day at work, make him a cup of tea, offer him a little cake, which, for once, she had not burnt in the oven. But it was the stare, the ever-ready stare that came with him from work that came into the home, the stare that he brought with him.

It was simplicity itself, because she simply did not know what to do. She could take his rages, his rantings about his work, his ravings about his father, his childhood, never ending stories, which went on and on. She had even resigned herself to lonely nights in bed, with his back next to her, when she wanted a man, even just for a bit of a cuddle, but she knew that she wanted a man, and she knew she needed a man. There is a limit to this, she thought, there has to be a limit, a point where something gives, where something new happens to change things. This she knew. Maybe she should go to the doctor, talk to Dr Jean, tell her about her feelings, how she felt guilty about the way she felt, the feelings she had in the long nights staring at the wall, just wanting.

She wondered how men become the way they are. Why do they stop loving? Why do they turn away from a woman when they know they are needed? Is this the way it is meant to be, is this the way it is, this barren desert feeling, this rush of passion for a few short years, then nothing, is this what it is all about? It is not just the sex, or the lack of it, it is the lack of a gentle touch, a thought, a nice remark, a gentle touch on the arm when the day has not been all that good. There must be something other than this; there must be something to end the sheer bloody boredom of it all.

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