it is surprising how long Douglas and Elsie’s relationship lasted really. Early on it became apparent that she simply wasn’t built for children, a scan of the womb showed significant damage to the ovaries and holes in the outline of the womb. Perhaps due to all Abels sins, perhaps not. This hurt her, but something inside had known it all along. Instead she filled her life with projects, art projects, exhibitions and performances, and to start with Douglas joined in the projects. So the relationship seemed to run quite smoothly, after all she had never fancied him and this was an advantage, because such attraction often starts to fade after 6 months to a year, instead she had the excitement of working with one of the best known well connected people in the art world.
Of course it didn’t last, two years in and he isn’t interested in working with her anymore, she sees less and less of him. She is alone in his large house. She thinks about having an affair with the gardener who she gets on with well, but it turns out he is gay and has a boyfriend. She hangs around Douglas’ large town house, she doesn’t do admin work anymore, she feels too good for that. Projects on her own never get finished, she doesn’t seem to have the trust or confidence in herself to carry them out. Her hallucination attacks are a lot better, she feels safe here, there is nothing to be stressed about, but also she is cut off from her friends somewhat, she could see them, but somehow Douglas makes her friends seem stupid, lower, not worth spending time with. She is bored, moody and fading into the wallpaper.
Valentines that year she receives a small bunch of flowers via Interflora, no note, he is on the other side of the world. She thinks about how they had once been friends, enjoyed doing things together, and how having a long term relationship seemed to have destroyed the friendship. She wondered why the flowers made her cry, balling her eyes out over someone she had never fancied and had at the start found disgusting. She ordered the flowers into a nice arrangement in a large expensive pot the morning they arrived. “I suppose art is just about money”, she thought to herself vaguely ” money and markets and who says what to who, and power”, then she returns to the bedroom to sink into the green wallpaper and over stuffed duvet.