A Perfect Husband 8 (Chapters 35 – 38)



Things are getting strained between Lily and her sister Helen. The latter doesn’t mince words, and when she loses her rag after one of her favourite cardigans get ruined in the wash, she tells her sister all she thinks. Her main criticism is that Lily is not proactive enough, and she has always had someone to look after her, first, her parents, and then both of her husbands. Lily is taken aback by her sister’s harsh words, but she realises that in a way she is right and she needs to find her own place, which scares her to death.

As for Freddy, he first thinks that sex with Shirley was a one-off. Yet, it happens several times after that, and even though Freddy doesn’t feel anything for Shirley, he lets her seduce him. Then his father turns up, telling him that he has emphysema and is dying, and the conversation doesn’t go well. His father is not remorseful about the hell he forced Freddy and his mother to go through, so upset and hurt, Freddy takes refuge in Shirley’s flat. At that point he realises that she has real feelings for him, so the following day he tells her that he needs to go back to England to sort out some matters but he will return, fully aware that he is dying. I think that Freddy hasn’t treated Shirley well. The woman has been all kindness and has supported him when he had nothing to fall back on, and then he leaves her under false pretence.

Back in England he takes a room in a hotel in Gatwick. At this point Freddy feels drained of all energy and miserable, so he spends several days in the room. The manager of the hotel even has to talk to him because he doesn’t even allow the chamber maid to tidy the room. Freddy pretends that he has been fighting off the flu. Then his friend and partner Max calls and tells him that he wants to see him. After Max’s call he feels more optimistic and even thinks that he might open a small studio in a small town, and he dreams of having Lily with him. I wonder how this will end. Freddy hasn’t behaved well at all, and Lily needs to be very understanding to forgive him, and supporting him will mean to go against her sister, children and best friend. I wonder what she will decide in the end.


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