The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – book2 Ch 12
Jeroen is hit by a Van
"Where is the boy that you saw being hit?" she asked several people who apparently had seen the accident.
"Oh he got up and ran away. Surely he must have been hurt?" a shop assistant from the chemist on the corner replied.
"Shame I feel sorry for the driver." Another woman added.
She was at a loss what to do. Where was Jeroen? That is if it was him. She went inside to carry on working on the display window of what was to become the Prickly Pear, her cactus, plant and flower shop where she could also do her leather work at the little workplace at the back of the shop which Jan was building for her after he had finished work for the day.
"Are you related to the boy I just hit with my van? A rough looking man asked her upon entering the front door of the shop. She saw that he was holding a car door which he had managed to get off his van.
"I surely hope not. Where is the boy that you hit?"
"Look at my car door, it's all dented and I see that some fluff from his woolen jersey is stuck in there." She saw it and knew that it looked like it could have come from the jersey that Jeroen was wearing that day.
"But...did you see if he was OK?"
"Oh he must have been. If it was your son who just runs across the road without looking, you are lucky that it is just my work van."
"Was he on the pedestrian crossing?”She knew the man would be in more trouble if Jeroenhad run across the road there.
The man then walked out. Her inner turmoil at the possibility made her nauseous and she was still shaking from utter shock. About Ten minutes later Jeroen casually walked in with a paint roller as if nothing had happened.
"Jeroen! Are you okay? Were you just hit by a van? Tell me."
"Yes,it was my fault. I was not looking so I was scared and ran away."
She practically smothered him touching his shoulder and arms to see if he had been hurt.
"But...I saw the dent...and now I see ...your arm, are you sure OK?"
"Yes mom.Stop worrying. When is Dad coming so we can finish painting?"
Teaching leather work from her shop
She had to get used to being stuck in a shop the whole day, but at least she could carry on with teaching her leather work skills. Jan had made a raised workplace so she could look into the shop if any customers came in.
She had three students for two hours in the morning. They had enrolled in her college evening class, but the shop was a lot closer to their home, so they asked if she would give morning classes.
"If I have customers I have to see to them, so please carry on June." June was a pensioner from the UK and had a great sense of humor.
Sascia would often take the bus after school. She loved helping out and together they would drive home. Her kids were more and more independent. High school did that to them.
Her parents came from Holland for a visit and her mom realised that she was unhappy when she told her that she and Jan were trying to sell their home in order to buy a plant nursery. They gave up after having several show houses. Her dad had been great having around, but her mom as usual had needed a lot of attention.
By the timeher parents left they were both aware that her marriage was in trouble and the fact that she was so interested in alternative spiritual topics was not helping. Her mom had tried to talk about her relationship by comparing it to her own. She always did that, measuring everything against her own situation. She resented that.
Jan and her mom were both of the same opinion; that she should rather stop reading books on Buddhism, physic phenomena, literature on UFO's and that Earth might have civilizations living inside it.
She had to admit that she had some doubt herself on that possibility, but lately she had started to remember lots more detail about her dreams. Ever since she started her dream journal she would recall snippets the moment she woke up.
"What are you writing about? It's just past seven in the morning." Jan would usually get up before her when he had to go to work, but today was Sunday.
“Gosh I had such a funny dream. I was sitting in the back garden of that Dutch family who live a few streets higher up in the avenues.You know then from Art in the park, remember?"
"But we have never been to their house, or at least I haven't."
"I was busy pulling plastic away from my silver necklace. I was holding my five Gulden coin over a flame to melt the plastic away from it."
"Oh you and your silly dreams. Why not wake me up to have sex? That would be a lot more fun than writing in bed." He said in a snide remark when putting on his gardening clothes.
Jan was clearly annoyed, like he often was lately. She sensed that he was also not happy, but blamed it on her. He didn't like her being so interested in things that he found repellent to even contemplate. She wished they could at least have conversations that were not just about home renovations, work related or how the children were doing at school. Jan would never join her for PTA evenings; he made sure he had to go to work, but he did want to know all about it afterwards.
They clearly had nothing in common anymore and now that the children were growing up, even less so. Her evening classes at the college, or her lifeline duties did not interest him in the least. She always asked about his work, but he never wanted to share anything with her.
Reading Last week her dream journal was enlightening. Last week she had woken up recalling a view over the ocean while in the distance two mountains ended up in the sea. Sometimes she awoke from a dream with a feeling of abandonment, being left to get sick and die on the surface of the Earth when the rest of her family were taken to safety in tunnels below. She had no idea what that meant. Reading her recalled dream again made her question if her mind was not reacting to the book she had just finished about people living inside the Earth.
Going over her notes from a month ago, about emotions of grief from losing a child which were truly nightmarish made her feel sad. She had better get dressed and call Jan in from the garden to join them for a full English breakfast. That always lightened his mood.
Her parents were planning to come for a visit again the following year. They knew that she would be in The Prickly Pear shop the whole day, apart from two afternoons in the week when Sonja from her yoga morning would take over. Jan would come in now and then to replace plants with fresh plants from home.
Life being a shop owner
Being cooped up the whole day reminded her of the milk bar in Australia. Why was her life going the way it was? To admit that she was terribly unhappy was truly silly. Deep down she had hoped that having her own shop would somehow be more fulfilling. Jan kept complaining that the takings were too low and soon she would be bankrupt. Why was it that whatever project she started he had something negative to say about it?
"Hi mom how was your morning?"
It was always great to see her seventeen year old daughter walking into the shop. Jeroen liked to stay at home after school.
"It was quiet, but I got one good sale of a bonsai arrangement."
"Oh goody, so we can go past the shops to get something nice for tonight?"
"It's Friday, so a cake will be full price, not like on Saturday at noon just before the shop closes, but okay let's see what they have. Tell your dad that we had a good day money wise, otherwise he will be asking."
"Mom, why does daddy not like what you do? I mean he likes looking after the plants you take home when they have been too long into the shop."
"Daddy is not really an entrepreneur.He prefers to get a monthly salary so he knows what he can afford."
"Daddy often says that you should also look for a job instead of working for yourself. I do not understand why he wants you to do something you hate, like working in an office. "
"No he doesn't, so that isn't going to happen. I was hoping that the shop would bring in more than it does, but then it might take a lot longer to establish an income from it. I have to use the money to pay Sonja for the two afternoons, replace stock and the rent. I'm learning fast how expensive it is to keep a shop going."
"Come let's close up and get something nice to nibble on while watching a movie on the TV tonight."
Jan was working late so they were a threesome. Defrosting homemade soup and egg on toast would do, knowing that Jan would not be satisfied with it.