Friday, 3 September 2010

Encounters with the past - Antonia Minor

After my earlier entry today I found myself feeling so sad that I decided on the spur of the moment to go home and see my family. Wonderful decision and I am currently loving being at home and cooked for! It proved to be an even better idea after a littler encounter I had on the way...

I went into Waterstones on my way to the train station as I wanted to find out if they had any of Emile Zola's 20 novel magnum opus ' Les Rougon-Macquart' which I am desperate to get my hands on (I have since ordered the first two in the series from Amazon marketplace as Waterstones had none of them!). Who did I spot as soon as I had walked in the door but Germanicus' mother! (As I have called him Germanicus I shall call her Antonia Minor, Antonia for short as that was his mother in real life, I particularly like the idea as in 'I, Claudius' she was rather horrid. To be fair G's mother is not horrid but was not terribly good to me and jolly cold and we were not kindred spirits) I was horrified and my knees immediately began to shake (my body's typical reaction to my old public speaking and competition days so it was a bit of an odd reaction in the circumstances). She was facing a bookcase by the door and I was so taken aback and nervous that I made for another bookshelf nearby and tried to compose myself (and stop my hands shaking, for my knees seemed to be passing on tips to them) by flicking through Tony Blair's memoirs. I moved on to read the blurb of a recently published and very interesting sounding book about a Nazi dentist as written by his grandson or son. By this time I was in control and ready to face her and so I turned back to the shelve she had been browsing to find her gone. I thought she must just be in another section and so after arranging my skirt and smoothing my hair into position I slowly walked round the whole shop to find her absent.

We had been standing very close together. I could genuinely have not seen her due to the way the shop was laid out, but it is highly unlikely that she missed spotting me. I am convinced she saw me and to avoid an awkward hello, she left intentionally. 

I texted Germanicus and asked if it was possible that I had just missed Antonia in Waterstones (his parents life a long distance away and so are only around when they visit him). He said she was in town and so I might have done. I replied that she I had seen her and before I got the chance to say hello she had gone, and that I thought she might have been avoiding me on purpose. I was really hurt by her behaviour. I was her only child's love interest for over 3 years and she couldn't even bring herself to say hello and make a little small talk. He must have asked her for a while later I got a one line text telling me that Antonia had not seen me and that if she had she would have said hello. I don't believe her, though I am sure he does. While I love my parents I can see lots of their faults and along with loving them we have the odd disagreement and so on, as healthy relationships do. He has always thought his parents perfect in every way so if she told him she didn't see me he won't even question it or wonder if she was lying.

I am so sad about it because it acts as a reinforcement of the fact that the life G and I built together filled with the things we did together, our habits and routines formed over such a long time, the friends we met through each other and our two different families and so on, that it is all over. We have both gone back to having seperate lives. As Will spoke of in 'About a Boy', people are all islands, we are all alone, and only sometimes linked to other islands. I am finding it a big adjustment being my own island again but it is over 10 weeks now and things are without a doubt looking up. Roll on term time!

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