Lacy looked much older than what she was. In fact, she felt much older than what she was. What had happened these eighteen years for everything to be so drastically different now.
When Robert had asked to marry me all those years ago, I was on cloud nine. There were great expectations of the life ahead with wonderful dreams. A house where Robert would come home to each evening. Two rosy cheeked kids - one girl and one boy of course - laughing and running to their Daddy who embraced them and showered them with kisses. The aroma of a fine dinner wafting through the air as Robert took me in his arms.
Well actually our lives did start off on a very good note and even now I truly love Robert but it has been an uphill battle with Robert's law firm and the twins.
Robert and I both studied law but Robert had a fire in him for the Law. He was driven and had purpose. That was what attracted me to him. Robert was one of the top students of that year and was soon snatched up by one of the largest law firms in the country to be shaped and molded into one of their shining stars.
Shine, he did. After a few years he was made partner and then later he became the youngest ever chairman of the firm. Robert was popular, loved the firm, loved his girls and in my heart I know he loves me too.
The girls arrived in the second year of our marriage and we were really pleased. I did not mind giving up my position in the law firm I was with because it was really hard work each day. there was no backup structure like Robert had at his firm but I enjoyed what I was doing. I gave it up in a heart beat though, to have our children.
At that time the dream was still there. We had a lovely home and the twins were beautiful. Life was good.
The years ambled by and real life set in. The twins were a handful and I had to see to their every need on my own. Be it the measles or a toothache. Be it the boogeyman under the bed. Be it being on time for school and sports practice. Now I'm not grumbling about it as Robert was very busy and I must admit we were never short of anything material, but I would have loved some of that cuddling we used to do and the secret smiles we had for each other. This life now was all business.
The twins reached their teenage years and the pressure was definitely turned up a notch. I think they should call it the "Be Anti" years of teenagers. This was the start of the boyfriend age and then of course there is the "Private Space" that belongs to them that you may not invade. You may not ask them personal questions, I think that is also invasion of their private "Space".
I grew up a bit old school and still felt I had to protect my twins. I wanted to know where they were and when they would be home but this kind of information is not available to me as I must understand that they know perfectly well what they are doing. That's the only kind of answer I'm going to get from them.
It is time for me to confront Robert. I have shielded him all these years from all the parenting and household problems. He was oblivious to the shenanigans of the twins. He was also oblivious of the leak in the roof or the geyser that had to be fixed. My fault entirely. I wanted him to think everything was perfect but we were living in two very different camps.
The twins would complain to Robert that I was way too strict and Robert of course would take their side then override any decisions I had made concerning them. This was both frustrating and demeaning to me but again I wanted peace in the home and everything to be perfect for Robert.
I needed to make a change and get my life back. I needed to feel like I did when we first set out on this partnership. I used to feel loved and vibrant and by the way, I used to feel beautiful.
I looked in the mirror and the image that stared back at me was scary. Had I become this mousy person. My hair need styling and I don't know when last I really sat down and did my make up. Usually I just made sure I had a lipstick in my pocket when I went out.
First things first. An appointment with a very good hairstylist and then off to the boutique for a few new outfits. I was feeling better about myself already.
It felt strange to lean back and feel someone else wash my hair and massage my scalp. I was going to enjoy every minute of it. As I was having my hair styled, my eye caught sight of a magazine with the heading "Coalition Government for South Africa?"
The law student in me was drawn to this article. The article rambled on about the different parties but at such time as going to press no one political party had the majority votes needed to rule the country. There was thought of a "Coalition Government" to be formed. In essence this would mean that opposing political parties would cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within the "Coalition.
This sounded like a solution to my marriage. We would form a coalition where the one party would not override the other but come to an amicable solution. I was starting to feel alive again.
Hair styled and a new outfit that looked amazing and made me feel very confident. Twins were spending the weekend with the grandparents at the coast. A table reserved at a very fancy restaurant. All was set for my great debate about this coalition that had to be formed.
Robert looked stunned as I opened the door. "I've put a change of clothes on the bed for you. We have a dinner reservation." He smiled. A naughty smile.
As we sat down at the restaurant I was all business mode. "I have to talk to you Robert. I really can't go on like this. We are a divided family. You on the one side and me on the other. I am sure we confuse the girls sometimes. I want to talk to you about forming a coalition. "
Robert looked stunned "A what?"
"A coalition" I said. "I even looked it up in the dictionary. It means a temporary alliance for combined action and we need combined action with the girls."
This time Robert smiled. "My beautiful Lacy is back. You have single handed raised two beautiful young girls who absolutely adore you. I adore you and would love to form a coalition with you. I have lost the plot a bit on our path together but you are my one and only. Lets do this together."