13 Ways: The Wonder Wall
Posted on December 22nd, 2011
“Didn’t my wife tell you this part when she rang you?”
“Yes, she did – her version of things. Would you like me to tell you what she said?” Dr. Jellicoe replied.
“No, actually. I already know Gayla’s version of things. It’s all I’ve been hearing lately, when she talks to me at all.”
“Your wife no longer talks to you?” Dr. Jellicoe cocked her left brow at Tom, tilted her head slightly toward her right shoulder, and adjusted her glasses.
Tom noticed that her glasses were an elegant, expensive design, and he noticed, too, that she had a lovely jaw, high cheekbones, and a near perfect nose. He watched as a lock of her hair, which was dark brown, drifted gently over the left lens of her glasses, half covering his view of one bright, sea-blue eye. Tom realised then that she was pretty, in an intellectual, even artistic sort of way, like a woman one might see staring out from a fine painting in a gallery – a mystery to be solved by the viewer. But this recognition did not stir him as it might have in the past.
“I wouldn’t say that she intends not to talk to me, it’s just that … Well, look. I guess things weren’t great between us before this happened, and since it happened, it’s worse, I suppose. Probably that’s my fault.” Tom took a deep breath and then sighed, letting it go. He sat back in his chair, unfolded his arms, and relaxed his posture, taking a sip of the water Dr. Jellicoe had offered him before continuing.
“We took that weekend trip to the country – where this all happened – to try to reconnect. Our three kids are off at university or working now – our youngest, Jack, moved out a few months ago. I guess, like a lot of couples, Gayla and I realised when he left us that the house felt enormous and empty – as if we each lived alone, even though we were still together.
“Once upon a time, it was romantic and thrilling for it to be just the two of us, you know? We used to be so passionate about each other. But somehow, when we weren’t paying attention, I guess that all changed. We lost touch, literally and figuratively. We’ve been married for twenty four years. There’s little affection expressed between us, and we have nothing at all to say to each other anymore, it seems.
“Or, at least that was true until the Wonder Wall. Now, she has plenty to say to me, but I don’t want to hear it, to tell you the truth.” He flinched saying that, feeling it like a wound being pricked open.
“Is Gayla concerned about you? Is that why she’s talking about that event at the Wonder Wall?” Dr. Jellicoe asked.