Barbara was dismissed from Allenbrooks hospital that Friday after her suicide attempt. She invited me to come over on Saturday afternoon to formally meet her family. I was relieved that this was going to happen. Finally we could start a normal relation without all this secret meetings.

When I got there that Saturday afternoon Barbara and I were very nervous. Barbara took the initiative and made sure I didn't say or do the wrong things. Her mother and uncle invited me into the living room where we had some tea. I felt very uncomfortable. Barbara mother made no effort to make me feel welcome. I can't remember what we talked about, just a polite formal conversation. Barbara did the translations . After that Barbara showed me around the house and we played with the dogs and cats in the yard.

Then I was told that I had to go because it was time that the fish and chip shop was going to be opened. I was very surprised that Barbara had to help, just one day after she left the hospital. When I asked her about it she said that it was oke. Saturday was the busiest day of the week, she had no choice, her uncle and their English employee couldn't manage that on their own.

As I wanted to make a good impression I offered to help out. They accepted. Then I realized how efficient they were organized. Barbara worked at the counter and her uncle fried the fish and chips, Barbara's mother did the Chinese take away at the back of the shop. I didn't have any experience in this type of work and there was no time to introduce me in into it. At first they put me at work frying the chips. But I was to slow and to clumsy. Therefore they send me to the back where I could answer the phone for the take away orders. This didn't work either. I could take the orders, but I couldn't communicate them with Barbara's mother. After an hour Barbara send me home saying "at least you tried".

When I saw Barbara again, she told me that her family was very negative about me. It would be better if I didn't meet them again. She wanted to avoid discussions about me (which normally ended in violent quarrels ) for this reason she also didn't want to talk about me or have to tell them when she was seeing me. I was very disappointed, we had to go back to the secret meetings again.









(translated by elbc2006)




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