I was going to say ‘Captain’s log supplemental’ and add a stardate, but the analogy might get lost because not everyone is a Star Trekker.
Needless to say, there’s always more to say about an event, especially when the mind is casting about for ideas to add or enhance a story.
It comes down to, does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? It’s an interesting question because, in this instance, art will be imitating, to a certain extent, life.
Perhaps what is lost in the telling is the inability of newly divorced people in working out where the boundaries are, whether or not they are entitled to know about the other person’s private life, and how that will make them feel.
I’m guessing when a marriage breaks down, there’s always a cause, and while the word amicable gets bandied around a lot, it’s said, but quite often not meant.
Does mummy have a boyfriend?
Does daddy have a girlfriend?
What generally happens is the children are the only ones who know what’s really happening to each of the parents, because they get transported between the two, as neither parent would want to be seen stopping the other from seeing them/
Of course, where the children are grown up and leading their own lives, the situation should be a lot easier.
But, where does this fit in with the story I hear you asking.
Marriages fall apart for many reasons. In the story, Bill acknowledges that it is largely his fault, and one suspects it’s probably an undiagnosed case of PTSD that back in the sixties and seventies was not really understood.
It led to both he and Ellen leading individual but separate lives whilst keeping up appearances for the sake of their children. There’s no doubting who brought them up, Ellen, and who had the greater influence over them, although, for the sake of this story, both couldn’t wait to leave home and live somewhere else.
They do, and together. They are not married and do not have children. They were not the cause of the breakup, and fortunately, neither of the girls blame one or the other parent.
But that doesn’t mean, over the years, that either parent hasn’t tried to use them to glean information about the other. It is how Bill discovered, some time ago, that Ellen had ‘a special friend’.
Yet, neither of the daughters have seen him, and not surprisingly, he had made sure that Bill has never seen him. It’s for a particular reason, one that will become obvious later in the story. It is, I think, a rather clever twist.
Also, Ellen is not a bad person and certainly wasn’t bad to Bill, perhaps more long-suffering. She did stay with him for a long time, mainly for the children, but also because she genuinely cared for Bill.
And Bill had not had another woman friend, not until he discovers his feelings towards Jennifer and even then, he keeps that to himself, even when he really doesn’t have to.
Time to return to my fictional world.