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His Nemesis

Updated on June 5, 2011

Steamy Window!!

What the villagers saw.
What the villagers saw. | Source

A Short Story of True Origins

"Oh my God, what have I done?" John sat in his favourite chair, with his head lying in his hands. He pushed the palms of his hands deep into his eye sockets begging, pleading, for the pain to give him some sort of relief. The pounding in his temples, was just a reminder of what he had done, this is not what he had wished for. He hadn't made those choices so many years ago to face this hopeless future. Self pity stared him in the face, and he tried to make sense of what was to come. He realised in stark reality that fate had dealt him an appreciative blow.

John's family were always close at hand, forgiving, loving and nurturing him. They fully understood the situation, and although they did not agree with John's actions, they where willing to stand by him, albeit with closed eyes.

John sat and looked at Pat, and for a brief moment, he allowed himself to reminisce about the past. Pat was a striking looking woman, not beautiful or pretty, but handsome all the same. She had a very loving nature, and had proudly born him seven children, all now grown up into well adjusted men and woman. Many of the girls, just like their mother in looks and temperament, were kind and gentle and easy on the eye. The boys, John muse, were strong, handsome and dependable, just like their father used to be!

John's early years of marriage had been a delightful experience. Pat, always willing, submissive and nurturing was a pleasure to be with, and John thought himself a very fortunate man, he used to be the talk of the town.

John was a farmer and very comfortably well off. He was a regular church goer, a pillar of the community and very well liked and respected. To some extent, he was able to carry on his bachelor style of life, as Pat was a home bird, nesting, and nurturing her children. Pat was happy for John to take the limelight. She was reserved and didn't feel the need to have the villagers approve her lifestyle, Pat was happy to be a back seat driver, and never asked for anything more.

John could not recall when his life began to spiral out of control. He had savings in the bank, he was an extremely good looking man of seventy four. Smartly dressed, cleanly shaven and still considered to be a pillar of the community. John had principles, he didn't smoke or drink, and he was a gracious provider for his family. Of course he was a vain man. Who wouldn't be with such a reputation to uphold?

He briefly recalled arriving home from the market, his pockets full of cash, having sold his prize bull, to see many cars at the house; including that of his local doctor. With genuine concern, John approached the open door and passed in silence between his family members. Pat was lying on the ground, twisted, unrecognisable and foam trickling down her chin. John didn't know which struck him first, his wife had taken a fit or the knowledge that his dinner was not on the table, and it was past one. John looked around the sea of faces, all wanting him to explain what had happened, relying on him to bring them comfort; but he couldn't. Pat had always been so reliable, and now here she was, lying on the floor.

The Doctor explained to John that Pat had taken an epileptic fit, and he had arranged for a hospital bed, in which to carry out further tests. John looked about him with utter panic on his face. Pat and he had been married for forty two years, he could not as much as iron his own shirt, how would he cope?

As John stood and watched Pat being taken away in the ambulance, John's panic turned to revenge. How could Pat let him down like this, she knew he could not look after himself? He was still a man with needs, demands in fact, he still needed a woman to slip between the sheets with. How could Pat let this happen.

Following tests at the hospital, John was told that Pat had Motor Neurone Disease, and her life would now be in the lap of God. He was told that Pat's quality of life would be considerably compromised, and she would need a lot of care and attention to cope with this debilitating disease. But, most of all her emotional needs would have to be met to help her feel normal. "NORMAL, what the hell is that?" John spat at the doctor, his mind in utter turmoil.

Granny came to live with John and Pat, and the daughters took it in turn to help with the daily care. Eventually, Pat became confined to bed. Her speech and recognition of her surroundings became slow. Her reflexes almost non-existent. Pat became unrecognisable to John, gone forever, was his handsome, dependable wife.

Now, a man's needs have to be met, so before long John took a mistress. His family where aware of this, but dutifully stood by his side. They didn't like the arrangement, and they were all very hurt at John's decision, but they understood. The villager's soon became used to seeing John parked at the road side in the evenings, the windows of the car steamed up with the throws of passion inside. They too turned a blind eye.

The care givers attended Pat four times a day, and each and everyone of them loved her in their own way. The care givers where aware of John's absence from home. Or the fact, that when he was in the house he never approached Pat's bedroom. Her birthday's passed with not so much as a card from John. And, they watched every time she recognised his footsteps, her eyes lit up, and she turned her head to the doorway hoping to catch a glimpse of him. John's voice filled the house with laughter, whilst Pat's heart was breaking, and she was losing the will to live.

It was inevitable that Pat passed away, alone. She died as she had lived, making no fuss, no demands on anyone. God relieved her suffering and took her away in the depths of the night, whilst John still slept easy in his bed, and continued to live his bachelor life.

It was too late now for John to realise the depth of the pain and hurt that he had caused his wife. His nemesis, now only afforded him the self pity that he believed to be his salvation. As for his true love, she was gone forever. Gone to a better place to be appreciated and loved for all she was worth.

John received no pity, and his family realised the man they had called daddy, was no man at all.


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    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      6 years ago

      Wow Net this was such a heart breaking story! I am sure this fits someone's life out there. A selfishness took over, and sadly at the cost of his beloved wife. One would hope that a loving man would be by a woman's side through sickness and health but the reality may be different. One can only hope. Masterfully written my friend,


    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 

      6 years ago from Australia

      John has to live with his self pity, he made his bed and now has to lie in it!! This is a very interesting story and a little scary as I have at times asked myself, would my partner look after me if I was unable to. Unfortunately the answer errs towards no, probably not!! That nuturing role comes naturally to females, hey? Love your writing style. My votes to you TBS.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      A great hub bluestar, and thanks for sharing.

      I vote up all the way.

      Take care


    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Bobbi, you know as well as I do that working with the elderly leaves such a bad taste in our mouths.No matter how we try, we can not make a family look after their relations. It is such a huge problem in this world in general, every one is too busy. I loved Pat and in her better days she was such a lovely friendly person. I miss her terribly.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Darling epi, you are welcome in my little domain as often as you like. It is always a pleasure to chat with a dear friend. Much love my King of prose.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Brought a definite tear to my eyes. Sad, haunting and scary all at the same time. Wonderful story. I enjoyed reading it, sad or not. Loved it.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...well I am back to revisit a classic and of course a classy lady - thank you for all of your love and support too - and I really think your new profile picture is so wonderful, well just like you!

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi shygirl, you are so right. I hadn't thought very much about politicians, but thanks for the comment.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautifully written, but very sad story. Reminds me of a lot of politicians you hear about today. So full of themselves, they don't see what they are really losing out on. Poor Pat and his family who suffered along with her.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Wow, having been away from Hub Pages for a few days I am delighted to meet all my lovely friends who have left such encouraging comments. It is devastating to think that someone like Pat who has given so generously of her life, is to be treated in such a terrible way. I can tell you that she was a lovely kind person, an inspiration to me and everyone else who knew her.

    • sonia05 profile image


      7 years ago from india

      wow...what a story! I am touched by the plight and fate of Pat and disturbed by the selfishness of John.Sharing and helping each other in times of happiness and also in times of need is the key to a genuine and beautiful relationship. However,many relationships are based on domination of one partner and submission of the other.These relationships have no meaning and are doomed for sure!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Yes there are those among us who are selfish right to the bottom of the grave and then bathe in self-pity when death takes away the loved one. What helpless souls they really utterly dependent on others to make them feel needed and secure while projecting an image of being in control and independent. It is a sad story which plays out somewhere on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing, Annette. WB

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Wow, what a story BlueStar, Sad, and so True. I'm sure many of us can relate to a "Man" or a "Woman" like that. One never knows until tragedy strikes. You told this one oh so well!

    • tumblintumblweed profile image


      7 years ago

      Well, Ms.Bluestar...this is a very heart-felt read.Taking one for granted is a sad thing,and a big price had to be paid.....voted up/awesome

      Blessings, my friend!

      Hugs, Janet

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I wonder though who knows what will happen until it happens to them.. One thing can be said now but what happens then? is what I question...I trust no one.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Bluestar, What a powerful story! We often take others for granted and also think only of ourselves. John is paying the price now. Still, I agree with Cardisa -- I'm mad at John!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Bluestar, I am angry with John.

      Good story.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, that was great!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Sounds eerily like our own John Edwards.

      Great story.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very well written and I enjoyed reading! Voted Up.


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You're SO right, blue. My husband and I are very much partners in our marriage, and neither of us would EVER abandon the other in such a manner. It saddens me ... honestly, brings me to tears.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Dustin, you are the cook, wow? I know that in such circumstances as I describe, it is easy to pronounce judgement. But we are all so fragile emotionally, that care is dependant on understanding of a families situation. Looks are very deceiving. Thank you for the comment.

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Mo, I love my job as a community carer, but at the same time I see such an awful lot of pain and unhappiness. I am by no means an angel, but I would not like to think of myself in this situation. All the physical care in the world is not as important as the emotion support that people need to continue with a quality of life. Thank you for your comments and support. x

    • OddDustin profile image


      7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

      Very good story. Depressing and sad, but very good. I'm angry and this a-hole and sad for the wife. I would always stand by my wife (especially since I am the one that cooks around here).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Annette, this is heartbreaking! And, to me a lesson that both partners in the relationship must be all out to do for the other at all times. It's difficult to realize how dependent we might be on the love of another, as Pat was. And worse, how to lose that love and attention can take away our very will to live. You hit the spot with this one, my darling! Blessings all around! :-)

    • thebluestar profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thank you Colin, as ever my friend. I always appreciate your visit and your sentiments. You give me so much encouragement, you are a joy to know. xx

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...this is a very stirring write my most fabulous Bluestar and one in which I did not take a sip from my coffee the entire time - call it rapt attention - but your story just took me to another place another time - and I thank you for your visit and your choices/selections to my questions - I sincerely hope all is well with you - I am awake here in the morning at 8:17pm by my lake of Erie getting through my trusty pot of coffee and wishing you health and happiness, always - and please keep writing.


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