“What are you doing?” asks Emma, advancing across the study towards me.
I quickly try to return to the BBC website. “Oh, just noodling around. Looking for some stuff for Noel’s school project.” I’m surprised to find myself lying instinctively to my wife, I think for the first time.
Emma is soon at my shoulder. “What are you doing, David?” The addition of my forename should not be taken to imply an injection of familiarity or affection since her first enquiry. Indeed, rather the opposite. “Well?” she adds, for emphasis.
“I… Noel’s project. Geography.” The BBC website seems, inexplicably, to be compressed into a tiny corner of the screen. And so I have open and on full view, half a dozen web pages about fracking, along with various reports and blogs discussing Juliette’s recent activities. Well, at least it’s not porn.
“That doesn’t look like it’s got much to do with Noel’s school project.”
“No. Well, I mean, that’s where I started. With Noel. Geography. Resources and ecology. You know. And then I thought…”
“Yes? What did you think David? This should be interesting.”
“What do you mean Emma?
“It’s never the original crime. It’s always the cover-up that causes the problems. You know, Watergate.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“Should I be worried?”
“Worried? About what Emma?”
“Juliette? Oh come on, don’t be ridiculous. I was just surprised when it all happened. You think you know someone and then something like that…”
“Maybe you didn’t know her quite as well as you thought.” Emma composes herself. “Anyway, I’m going to bed David. Goodnight.”
Emma turns and walks away.
I look at the screen. There’s a photograph of Juliette at university.
I confess it – I have been spending too much time with thoughts of Juliette.
City Dad continues next Tuesday. For a full archive of City Dad log on to cityam.com.