Marianne...faithful? I.P. (New Beginnings)
Marianne…faithful? I.P. (New Beginnings) 1557 words
John looked across the table at Marianne and wondered, not for the first time, how he had the luck to have a wife like her. She was not just beautiful she was stunning! Wherever she went heads turned and when she smiled she lit up the room. Right now she was looking at him with a quizzical smile playing about her lips as if she was trying to guess what he was thinking. He knew she would never guess because she seemed to have no idea of the effect she had on people. It was one of the things that most attracted him when they first met.
The waiter brought coffee when they had finished their meal and then John paid the bill before helping Marianne into her coat. Although it was nearing the end of March it was still very cold outside but despite the inclement weather, swathes of yellow daffodils defied the elements to bring colour to the world after the bleak and grey days of winter as they brightened every scarce bit of city grass that had space to accommodate them.
John took Marianne by the hand and they strolled along the Embankment towards their flat in Dorchester Place. They had only recently moved there when John had got this latest promotion. He was an Investment Banker who had done very well for himself by first making his presence felt as a Fund Manager for Gold and Glendenning Bank, a worldwide arm of City and Capital Investment Bank based in Switzerland. In fact he was due to fly out there on Monday and would be working there for several months. That was the reason he had suggested that it would be a nice treat for Marianne if he took her to her favourite restaurant by way of a sweetener. He knew she hated it when he had to work away from home and this was going to be the longest separation in their six year marriage so he wanted to make this weekend special.
When they let themselves into the flat their phone was ringing insistently and John rushed to pick it up.
‘John, I’m glad I’ve caught you. All hell’s broken out in Switzerland. We need you out there ASAP. You’re booked on a flight leaving Heathrow at eleven fifteen.’
‘What’s the hurry, Marcus? I can’t just drop everything…there’s Marian…’
‘Look John, I don’t think you realise the seriousness of the situation. Your head could be on the block.’
‘What…I don’t understand!’
‘That last deal you negotiated with the Japanese…it was all kosher?’
‘Yes, of course. Why?’
‘Where did you get your information?’
‘From a reliable source. One I’ve used before.’
‘For your sake I hope so. Insider trading is illegal and I can’t protect you. I’ve got to watch my back too.’
‘Calm down, Marcus, it isn’t going to come to that.’
‘I’ll calm down when I know you’re in Switzerland sorting this mess out.’
‘Okay, you win. I’ll be on that plane just don’t do anything until you hear from me.’
‘John, if you doubt the seriousness of what I’m saying just cast your mind back…Barings…remember Barings!’
‘Good night, Marcus. Stop panicking, this is not another Barings.’
The phone clattered from John’s hand to the chrome and glass topped designer coffee table. A smiling Marianne was just coming from the kitchen carrying two glasses of Irish coffee which they both liked but seeing John’s anxious face she set them down quickly and came over and put her arms around her husband.
‘What’s wrong, John, you’re as white...’
‘Marianne, I’m sorry but I have to fly out to Switzerland tonight. I’m catching the eleven fifteen from Heathrow to Geneva.
‘B.b,but John, that’s not enough time. You’ll never make it.’
‘I’ve got to make it. Now be a good girl and get my emergency bag from the bedroom while I sort through some papers.’
‘Don’t argue, Marianne just do as I say. Unless you want to lose all of this,’ he said, waving his arms about.
With that Marianne disappeared into the bedroom to get John’s emergency bag which only had enough clothes and essentials to last for a couple of days. She came back into the Drawing room.
‘John, what’s in here will only see you through for a short time.’
‘Then I’ll have to go shopping. Now be a good girl and don’t worry me with trivia, Marianne.’
‘Oh, trivia is it? Beg pardon, John, I was forgetting you’re the high flying Grande Fromage for Gold and Glendenning Bank.’
‘I can’t stop to argue with you so give me the bag and I’ll be on my way.’
With that he went to kiss her cheek but at the last minute she turned away. He shrugged his shoulders and hurried towards the front door and was gone.
John guessed that Marianne would be deeply shocked by his treatment of her and that she would realise something was badly wrong for him to treat her in this way. He was always so attentive and he had never before left without first kissing her goodbye.
Once outside John hailed a taxi and just managed to arrive at Check-in in time to catch his flight. Once on the plane he promised himself that he would ring Marianne just as soon as he was settled in his usual hotel. The Grande Metropole was a very plush art deco building that was not only a hotel but was also home to an art gallery and that is what first attracted him to the place as he had a deep and long standing interest in modern art.
True to the promise he made to himself, once he had been shown to his room, he telephoned Marianne to see if she was still angry with him but the phone just kept ringing out. Strange, he thought surely she’s not gone out at this time of night. He tried again later but still no reply.
The next morning he tried again but without success. But now, all thoughts of Marianne had to be pushed to the back of his mind as he tried desperately to think of a way to salvage his career. He hadn’t told Marcus the truth when he said his source was reliable. In fact, it was he who financed a habit that made his source totally unreliable. It might be necessary for him to be disposed of if the situation really looked like it was going fruit shaped. He tried Marianne again…still no joy! A frown momentarily creased his brow before pushing thoughts of his wife to the back recesses of his mind. He needed to have all his faculties concentrated on the job in hand now that he knew he was at risk of losing everything he had worked so hard for.
All that week and most of a second week were spent either on the phone or visiting various banking establishments. However, by Monday of the following week it looked as if he had managed to cover his tracks sufficiently for him to telephone Marcus.
‘Hello,’ came the familiar voice of his boss.
‘Marcus, it’s me, John. Just to let you know you can stop worrying everything’s been done that needed to be done. We’re both in the clear.’
‘I’m very glad to hear it, John. I admit I was scared shitless by how quickly things started to go wrong. You’re sure everything’s tidy? What about your source?’
‘Good! John there’s something I think I ought to mention. I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news but it’s Marianne.’
‘Marianne! What! What! Tell me!’
‘She’s been seen all over the place arm in arm with another man and that’s not all he’s also been seen going in and out of your flat.’
‘Marcus, I’m catching the next available flight. Everything’s tidied up here so there’s no reason for me to stay.’
‘Okay, John. You’ve done a good job and I’ll see you are suitably rewarded.’
John put the phone down and after contacting Reception to book him on the next available flight John started frantically to throw clothes in the suitcase he had bought when he first arrived.
Two hours later he was on the plane heading home to God knows what.
On arrival at his flat he quietly let himself in and was disturbed to find no Marianne. Then he heard a noise coming from the bedroom before Marianne herself entered the room and stopped dead at the sight of him.
‘Marianne...Marianne, why have you not answered my calls?’
‘I’ve been away,’ was all she offered by way of explanation.
‘That’s not true. You’ve been seen all over London with a man who has also been seen coming in and out of this flat.’
‘Yes, all of that is true but before you add everything up and make five, just for the record, it should only be four…the man I’ve been seen with is my cousin.’
‘There’s something not quite right about all of this. It seems to me there’s something wrong with this story.’ John said.
The writer, agreed. She didn’t like how the story began and it wasn’t long before she knew that what was needed to fit with the conclusion she had in mind was…a new beginning!