I thought I would always remember this, but over time it has become blurred. He says now he left me but I always thought I left him. The children were so young it's hard to recall exactly. Their toys bundled up in boxes. Crying, lots of crying. There were so many tears. Yet what I can remember most is the softness of the powder pink sheets at the grand hotel. It was where I went, It was our sanctuary, no-one knew. Certainly not my husband. Jim. He always thought I'd gone to work. Certainly I'd always come back with money! Lesley was good like that, never wanting me to go without. She knew I was suffering even though I never spoke of it. They all had blonde hair, the three of them. The three children all had blonde hair and blue-green eyes. Did I really leave them? I must have. It's hard to remember now if I was made to go or if I just went. It's hard to be sure.
Those pink sheets, always pink. The coffee in the mornings, bitter, dark, rich. Always with cream! So decadent. Flaky croissants filled with strawberry jam, juicy tongues tracing the stickiness from our lips. Sun streaming through the window.
Who knows why I stopped going. They were the happiest days of my life. Why did I stop doing it? Three pillows each, feather. Quilts not blankets. She loved me, she loved me. Fingers drawing letters on my stomach, guessing messages she sent through my skin. Unaware of the world outside the door. Door so solid with proper keys, not those plastic card things you get in most hotels. Proper solid brass key with a satisfying click as the lock slid into place. After weeks of small children pawing my body, grabbing wanting, feeding off me. This sanctuary was the closest I'd ever been to heaven. Even now. The closest I've ever been to heaven was then. I wish I could tell her now. Too late. Too late.