Sunday 22nd July 2012
Louise reveals more of herself
“WEAR this one, with some red lipstick and blusher, and nobody in London will recognise you. And Brendan should have everything shaved off. I haven’t got time now. You’ll have to do it.”
“I must shave his hair?”
“Yes! All the hair on his head and that untidy stubble on his chin. The whole lot!”
Ooo! What will he say? I have shaved hair before, when preparing to stitch a gash in the head of a patient, but this is different, more personal, more intimate. And I am reluctant to deprive him of those attractive curls, those autographs of his playfulness.
“Try it with the coat. Then have a go at pinning it on yourself. Must grab a shower.”
There is a bathroom adjoining the bedroom. Louise removes her clothes, dropping them on to the bed, while I don the black, woollen coat she has found in one of her many wardrobes.
“Perfect!” she pronounces, even though it is a little long in the sleeve.
“Tell me, Ulla, are women the same on Rheta?”
“The same? Do you mean, do they have the same bodies as women here? Or do the same things? Or all look the same?”
“Oh, no! They couldn’t possibly all look the same! That would be awful! No, what I really meant was, do they behave the same as we do? You know… are they constantly talking about, worrying about… you know, their size, their shape?”
“Not always all the time,” I smile. “But often.”
“I’m lucky. I’ve always been thin. Never really put on weight, even though I eat a lot. At school some other girls called me Anna Wreck-Sick. But now I’d do anything to have a bulge… not fat, but, you know, for the right reasons. The thing is… well… Dan and I have actually been trying for a baby for almost two years now. That’s what this holiday’s all about, really…”
She puts her hand, briefly, on my shoulder.
“Anyway, I’d best get in the shower. If the taxi comes and I’m not ready, Dan’ll be livid. Which wouldn’t be a very good way to start our second honeymoon, would it? Right. Practise with the wig. I won’t be long.”