I, Freddie Fisher, 40 year old widower from Kensington, have always wanted to live in a little fishing village in the highlands of Scotland. For as long as I can remember my dream has been to wake up to the smell of peat from my thatched roof; to stoke a hearth of fresh cut logs before the sun greeted the horizon outside my kitchen window. I’ve wanted to live the life of an honest man, master of my meagre croft, not sullied with button-holed blazers from Saville Row; liveried footmen bowing and scraping at my feet.
I, Freddie Fisher, was married for 20 years to a woman, I should say a lady, who wanted no part of my humble dream. She was content to waste her days teetering on designer heels through Mayfair with an idle friend whose only claim to friendship was their mutual love of shopping.
I married young, was marched down the aisle in a frog coat to Handel’s jubilant assent while my father sternly nodded his approbation. My mother cried. I think she cared somewhat more for my happiness than this illustrious union of old money. Lucinda, my whimsical bride, looked pretty in her satin dress. I could almost have fallen in love with her if I had not already known her. When I really did get to know her I hated her, wanted to rip her out of my life like a cancerous growth. Perhaps I never really did know her, only saw my own reflection in her eyes. Anyway, we married in June of that fateful year, as the thunder clapped the breathless air around us.
Lucinda gave birth to two boys, both still born. I never wanted them anyway, but it was required of me. I did my duty, was rewarded with a strangely consoling grief, and my wife grew more and more distant in her quest for material escape. We would have grown old together if leukaemia had not freed me from her, for tenacity was part of my heritage. Countless before me had lived unhappily ever after in loveless marriages. I had not the conceit to think I should be any different.
I sat by her bed and held her hand as she slipped into the final coma, as was required of me. Then I wiped all trace of her from my skin.
Two weeks on and I have sold the house. I’m sitting on a train heading for Tobermory. I’m going to buy a cottage; paint the walls a reliable shade of white.
I, Freddie Fisher, am going home.