I had the house to myself on Saturday and enthusiastically used the time to spring clean the kitchen. I defrosted the fridge and the freezer, descaled the kettle, emptied and thoroughly cleaned every draw and cupboard.
Solicitor was at a football match with his brother and cousin. I'm not one to come between a man and his sport. I was more than happy to stay at home and sing at the top of my lungs while cleaning.
Hours later I filled all of the tea cups and coffee mugs with boiling water and lemon to bleach them and I went for a well deserved bath. I was seriously tired and planned to spend the remainder of the day watching Disney's Pixar set with a nice cup of hot chocolate. When I finally emerged from the bathroom I had a shock of my life.
There was somebody else in the house with me. I heard shuffling around downstairs. It couldn't be Solicitor. His mother would never have used her spare key. She has it for emergencies only.
"Hello?" I called.
I almost fell down the stairs when Aimee emerged from the kitchen with a big smile on her face.
"What are you doing?"
"I knocked, but you didn't answer." She explained shrugging.
"How did you get in?" I slowly descended the stairs.
"Key." She held up her keyring.
"We changed the locks."
"Yeah I know. You didn't change the back door ones though."
I felt a shiver run through my body. What the hell was she doing sneaking into the house through the back door?
"Wow I haven't been here in so long." She said looking around with interest. "You've changed a lot."
"Why are you here?" I tried again.
"You didn't answer my calls." She smiled. "I called so many times. You changed your landline. I guess both of you blocked me from your mobiles."
Yeah for a fucking good reason! I wanted to scream.
"You look awful." She frowned. "Are you ill?"
"Aimee, you can't just walk into this house."
"Yes I can. It belongs to my ex husband. He bought it before he met you."
Aimee has always been a messed up druggy. I've never known her to be bitchy. I was seriously taken back by her comment, and for once, I didn't know what to say. What she said hurt. It was my home. Aimee had never lived in it.
I gripped the banister and suppressed my urge to cry.
"You have to leave." I told her firmly.
She looked at me with bright hurt eyes. "I need your help." She said quietly. "I wouldn't have come otherwise. I need some money."
What? She owns a bloody place opposite Battersea Park for crying out loud! Her address says "Mansions" in it.
I told her, as politely as I could, to leave. She didn't. She insisted that she would wait for Solicitor. She strolled back into the living room as if she owned the house. She looked around with interest.
"Why have you got a pair of booties on the mantelpiece?" She asked.
I didn't answer.
"Oh I see."
She picked them up and traced the lace on the with her fingertips. I wanted to grab them from her. She had no right to touch them.
"Has he proposed yet?" She asked searching my hand with her eyes. "He proposed to me as soon as he found out I was pregnant."
My head spun wildly and I slowly sank into the sofa. She's just trying to make you feel jealous, I told myself.
"Funny. Has he even mentioned marriage?" She laughed. "I guess not. Wow you must feel like you're second best."
This isn't like her. She's normally a nice person. Why is she saying those things?
Suppressing tears is hard when you're pregnant. It take a lot of energy.
"Leave." I told her again. "Leave or I'll call the police."
She looked at me for a while. "I guess you need to be alone." She nodded sympathetically. "I'll come back later."
"Give me your key."
"No. It's my key. I thought you were a nice person Elise, I really did. We could have been really good friends. But friends don't cut each other off. Friends don't try and take people away from each other. Do you have any idea how many times I tried to call? He used to answer. He used to be there for me. When he stopped you acted like you cared. But you only did it so you could slowly pull away didn't you?"
I started crying. I did care about her. I went every time she called me and told me that she'd taken something and that she thought she was going to die. I cleaned up her puke. I flushed all of her drugs. How could she say I didn't care.
"You're so bloody selfish! Both of you."
Yes. We were selfish. We wanted a normal life. Where Aimee didn't exist.
I looked at the thin beautiful woman in front of me and realised that she felt betrayed. That she snuck into the house through desperation. That she was too desperate to leave us alone. And that even if she left now she would come back.
She did leave. After a long outburst and an accusing speech, she left me alone. I curled up on the sofa and cried myself to sleep.
Solicitor woke me up later. It was dark outside. I must have been asleep for a good six hours. He looked concerned. He told me that I felt hot and that I needed to wake up and drink some water.
The memory of Aimee came flooding back. I stayed where I was, too upset to move, and told him about her letting herself into the house. Solicitor was furious. He called a locksmith straight away and then called Aimee. He stalked about as he told her never to pull a stupid stunt like that again. I didn't quiet register the converstaion. It began to sound blurry after a while.
I felt a mild cramp in my stomach while he was on the phone followed by an intense dizzy spell. I sat incredibly still and prayed that it would go away. It didn't. I felt a sharp stab and screwed my hands into tight fists, feeling absolutely terrified.
"I don't feel good." I said when he finally hung up. Solicitor froze when he saw my face. He looked as scared as I felt. I stood up slowly. The last thing I remembered was feeling my legs crumple beneath me.
I was dehydrated and over stressed. I was lucky. I don't care how upset I am, in future I will make sure that I look after myself. I should have drunk some water. In fact I don't actually remember drinking anything besides a glass of orange juice that morning. I would never have forgiven myself if anything happened to the baby through my own stupidity.