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Baking rusks

He has become a lot quieter over the past months, clutching my hand as soon as he feels insecure. It used to be the other way around, with me grabbing his hand the minute I felt anxious or insecure. So many things have changed…

Bill was my rock, he was always in control, calmly reassuring me (and sometimes putting me zrmly in my place). He was the one sorting out the maintenance issues, the garden, tax, znances, standing like a rock with the children when it was needed. Being the playful father, taking them zshing, teaching them golf and chess.

At work he was top of his game, respected mediator, trusted partner in the zrm. Intelligent, funny, at times irreverent. Loved by everyone. Bill was a poster boy for a husband, family man, corporate animal, all done with heart and integrity. My rock.

It was the sticky notes that caught my attention. Being a super organised man, I saw more and more sticky notes appearing all over his study. The pincode for his phone, a secret code for the safe in his wallet, his bank pincode hidden between notes. Reminders for appointments. Then the alarm on his cellphone as a reminder for lunches and other appointments.

The sticky notes started migrating to the rest of the house – on the tv remote, the air conditioner control panel, the alarm system and the irrigation system. I thought Bill was just super organised. I did notice that he was more edgy, sometimes almost anxious when a big event was coming up. I ascribed it to my own ditsy nature and tried to be more supportive. Wrote it off as us both getting old…

I was baking rusks one day, minding my own business in the kitchen listening to music on the radio. Bill had been edgy about the Christmas holidays and expected visitors. The rusk dough was about ready for the pans when he stormed into the kitchen. He looked distressed, red in the face, fuming. The next moment he took the batch of dough from the bowl and dumped it on my head. The sticky dough {opped over my hair, sticking to my earrings, covered my glasses and dropped in big blobs over my shoulders and boobs, falling to the kitchen floor.

My world stopped. I was completely paralysed with shock. Bill has never done anything rash or violent in his life. He was a gentle man, introvert, peacemaker, and caring Soul. I could not move, the dough slowly making its way like burning lava over the curves of my body towards the floor. At that moment, my life changed forever.

To be continued…

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