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The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – Book two Ch 1
Who was she?
Being overtired, depressed, and plainly emotionally exhausted from playing a role she had never asked for, that alone had made her search and question her truth; truth in a sense of who she truly was. Not that she was ungrateful about who she was, or thought she was; being a wife and mother of two great kids. Something was missing. Her life as a loving wife started to become a lie. Her feelings of loneliness, while she was never truly alone, made her question what she did wrong.
Had her inner dialog with herself made her mentally unstable? Her inexplicable experience of hearing a voice while she was alone in the lounge this morning, had that really happened? Being emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted felt like being awake in a sleep mode, like a zombie...
Visions from the future?
“Mommy are you okay?” she heard.
“Mommy why are you sleeping in the lounge?” the little girl’s quivering voice whispered close to her ear. The gooseflesh all over her whole body felt as if she had been far away, but the ringing in her ears told her otherwise.
“Sascia, why are you home from school?”
“School is finished. I walked home.”
With some difficulty she sat up, leaning against the backrest of the couch. Her surprise at seeing both her children staring at her with big eyes made her alarmed. Her head was spinning, and if it were not from the nausea and the feeling that her aching body had been flattened by a steamroller, she would have got up.
“Mommy fell asleep. What time is it?”
“Lunch time,” Jeroen said.
“When did you get home Jeroen?” His class came out at twelve while Sascia’s finished at two O’clock.
“Jeroen was playing outside with the dog from next door when I came home.” I first rang the bell but the front door was not locked.” Sascia replied sounding all grown up.
Gosh why did she have a feeling that she had been away; away from her life, away from whom she was? Were the visions she clearly recalled dreaming about for real?
“Mommy are you sick?”
That must be it. All of a sudden she felt very cold, but the ringing had stopped and so had the nausea.
“I feel…cold. Come let’s have something to eat.” When she stood up from the couch her feet felt numb and were tingling, but after a few steps the numbness went away.
If it was not for her children, she would have gone to bed, but somehow she knew that she needed to eat. In the kitchen the clock on the stove told her that she had slept for at least five hours! Had she been dreaming and then fell into a deep sleep?
“Mommy can we have a dog?” Jeroen asked all of a sudden. Sascia wanted a cat and a bird. Not a very good combination.
“Oh I’m not sure. Ask Daddy when he gets home.”
“When is Daddy coming home?”
She knew that Jan was not keen to have a dog again like they had in Australia. Their sadness at having to leave their cat and dog at the kennels when they emigrated back to Holland was still too vivid.
“No idea Moppie.” Vaguely she recalled that he had left early this morning, before normal office hours, so there must be an ore ship in. Jan was only handling the ore ships and they did not come in every day.
Had she been Hallucinating?
After lunch she was still rooted at the kitchen table in a daze while the kids had gone to their room to get changed out of their school uniforms. What had happened to her? Cigarettes! She now recalled it clearly. She had been told to stop smoking, but by whom? She went outside to have a look in the outside barbeque. Yes there it was. All the cigarettes she had cut up were still lying there.
The kids were arguing inside about who had the largest space on their dining room table to do their homework. Everything looked normal, but she felt far from it. The voice had been so clear, as if someone had been in the room with her. If only she could tell somebody, but who would believe her?
“Hey you two, Jeroen move to the other side of the table.”
“But Sascia has more space that’s not fair.”
She had to snap out of her confusion. All she could do now was ask Pat at the second hand bookshop if she had books about people who could hear voices from those who were not in the body. Gosh that sounded so silly, had she been hallucinating?
“Come Jeroen show me what homework you have. Let’s do it together.”
Her little boy was not like Sascia who love schoolwork. He was more like her, but not as dyslexic as she had been at his age. Although his writing was not like Sascia’s and he made more mistakes than her, she would not have been doing the same kind of homework, which was a relief. She never got over her inability to be able to write without making huge mistakes. She just never spotted them. Her dad had tried to teach her when they were on the ship sailing with him. He made her write down each letter in the alphabet. To her they were just shapes that had color. Numbers were somehow easier but she sometimes wrote them upside down or reversed like she did with the P and the d. Her parents could never understand why she could not see this for herself.
Somehow she didn’t do that anymore, but there was no way she could ever write a note to the teacher. She would be far too embarrassed to be seen as being stupid.
“Mummy can you check my reading?” Sascia asked. Jeroen was happily clearing away his homework. He didn’t like school and was a quite shy child, very different to Sascia, who was popular and had many friends.
The huge removal van next door announced that they would soon have new neighbors. The house had been on the market for a few months. She hoped that they would turn out to be nice people, but for now she would keep a low profile, being careful not to repeat her mistake of bringing a welcome cake to the previous owner who later behaved like a prostitute with Jan.
“Mommy there are new people next door and they have a boy our age.”
That was good news. Hopefully somebody for Jeroen. The previous two boys were equally rude like their mother had been. She now wondered if she would better not greet them. They might be very nice.
“Mommy will visit them later when the furniture truck has gone. “
“Oh they also have a dog, Jeroen said in a rather envied tone as he watched through their front lounge window.
That did it. She would take them to the pet shop and get them a budgie. Why not? Jan could hardly complain about a bird in a cage.
“Come you two, let’s visit the pet shop shall we.”
Two new family members
It was four O’clock. She hoped there were budgies for sale, and they had to also buy a cage for it. Her plan was to leave the kids in the pet shop while she quickly went to see Pat at her second hand book shop around the corner.
When she walked in, instead of Pat she saw her husband. He was a small short skinny man who suddenly recognized her. “You are Jan’s wife not so?” He asked
“My husband’s name is Jan, but how do you know?”
“I know him from the Harbour. I was introduced to him a while back.”
“Really, but I thought you owned a book shop in town?”
“Yes I did, but we closed it down. I got my old job back. Pat will be running this bookshop when I’m at work. Say hello to your hubby from me.”
She was disappointed that Pat was not there, but when she went back to the pet shop she found Sascia holding a kitten and pointed at the cute budgie all alone in a small cage.
“There are no puppies” Jeroen remarked in a very disappointed voice.
The owner of the pet shop was very helpful and supplied them with a budgie cage and food for both animals.
“Jeroen you hold onto the cage with the budgie. Mommy has to go into the hardware shop to buy a bracket so we can hang it up in the lounge.”
They were both mesmerized by the black kitten with white socks. She hoped there would be no problems having a bird and a kitty in the same home, but coming home without the kitten was clearly impossible.
When they arrived home Jan’s car was parked in the driveway.
Have you had similar experiences, hearing voices or seeing letters in color?
The Barbeque evidence
Jan was in the back garden and both kids were all over him talking all at once. The budgie cage with the budgie was sitting on their kitchen table for now. She hoped he would not be annoyed having to hang up the bracket.
“Well well, two new animals.” Jan remarked as he walked in.
“When they saw that the new neighbors had a dog, I decided on the spot to take them to the Pet shop. Kids need to grow up with animals.”
“OK its fine with me, so long as I do not have to look after them. And oh yes, I was about to start to prepare the barbeque, because I invited our new neighbors for a braai, when I saw a whole heap of cut up cigarettes.”
Jan waited for her explanation but the kids both wanted him to hang up the budgie cage. Poor birdie, if was shivering from fear at all the noise the humans were making.