46. Fish On The Sand

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I hold you in my heart
I know that you're a part of me
But it's a must to know that you love me too

Rules. I need rules. Everyone needs rules, don't they? All society functions on laws and regulations. Rules and laws keep us safe and secure and happy.

Growing up, we had so many rules. Especially when our father was at home. Minnie hated it, even before. She'd always be doing something she shouldn't. But, although I could never tell her, I didn't mind it so much.

The rules meant you always knew where you should be and when. What you should and shouldn't do. I didn't like breaking the rules, but Minnie lived for it. If we'd done something wrong, it made me feel awful. Sick with the anticipation of getting into trouble.

When we were older, we had to break the rules. I understand that. We couldn't live like that. But to replace those rules, we had our own set. Rules about the times we would have to be either in or out of the house. Rules about what to do or not do. I made sure the house ran smoothly - made sure there was food in the cupboards, washed and ironed clothes in the wardrobes, kept everything nice, clean and tidy - then life would be easier. There wouldn't be reasons for fights and arguments and shouting.

I had rules about George then too. When and where I could see him. I wouldn't let him meet me or walk with me too close to the house. He doesn't realise it, but the rules I want him to obey now, are an extension of the rules I had for him when we were in Liverpool.

There were subjects I wouldn't discuss with him, but I didn't say so explicitly then. I'd just change the subject or talk about him instead of me. I thought it would be easier if I just set out what I didn't want to talk about this time.

I wouldn't let him give me anything either. He didn't give me a lot, but occasionally he might give me a record from his collection that I'd mentioned I liked, or a book he'd read and thought I'd enjoy. Sometimes he gave me flowers that he'd pinched from the park. I couldn't risk keeping anything. It would break my heart to throw away the things he gave me, but I couldn't have them in the house, where they might be discovered. The only thing I ever kept were his letters to me when he went to Hamburg. So he's wrong when he said I always keep everything. I left those letters behind in Liverpool. I don't have a single thing George has ever given me.

George doesn't like the rules. He's made that clear, but they need to be there, to protect him as well as me. Currently, if we argue, it's usually about this. He doesn't understand and I don't know how to explain to him why it's important to me. His family, the household he grew up in, was very different from mine.

He came back for the third day. I didn't try to pull him into conversation as much, I think we'd both said enough the day before, but George seemed softer anyway. Less prickly and distant, more warm and funny, like I know he really is.

He couldn't stay for long again, but he sounded a little more sorry when he said so this time, and afterwards, he didn't leave right away. He stayed and we tried out the new kettle and teapot I bought. It didn't matter so much, I had to go early too for more run throughs at the club before the evening show. In a way, it's easier to part from George if I know when I will see him again.

I've tried to make Bobby's flat more hospitable. It's quite nice now, I think. I've got sheets and covers and pillows for the bed, cushions and throws for the sofa in the living room, a rug for the bedroom and a doormat for the hall. I've added things we need; cups and plates and towels and a clock, but a few luxury items too. Lamps for nicer lighting, a couple of pot plants and a hat stand I found at Portobello Market. It was a pain taking that on the bus and dragging it up the stairs here, but it looks good in the hall.

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