Everybody Else (is fucking perfect)
By Karen Jeynes

Cathy, 29, is married to Gavin, who is ten years older than her, and was married once before. Cathy's sister, Traci, comes to stay with the couple and meets Jared, a bartender. Jared tells Traci that he recognizes Gavin from the bar - where Gavin brings dates. Male dates. Traci is unsure about what to do about Gavin's sexuality and his affairs. Then Cathy becomes pregnant. Traci convinces Gavin to confess to Cathy. Gavin tells Cathy, and Cathy tells him that it doesn't matter, and changes the subject. Here, Cathy is talking to Jared.


He was kind, and he treated me like a lady, and he called me every morning to find out if I was ok and he kept waking me up, and so I said wouldn't it be easier if I was just sleeping next to you, that way you could check if I was ok without waking me up. But he said his parents were very religious, they'd die if their son was living in sin. And then he asked me to marry him.

The thing is, the thing is - I knew. I knew he was gay when I married him. I've always known. The first time I saw him he was with another man. He doesn't know, obviously he doesn't know... I just wanted a husband, and I knew Gavin needed a wife, for appearances, for his family, for his work. Gavin will never have the courage to come out, so he will look after me, and the kids... This way I can stay home while my husband goes to work, the kids can have everything they need: a perfect happy family, you know, two parents, two kids. Everything perfect - except that he's gay. But that doesn't worry me, I mean, I know he'll be safe, and I don't really care if he goes out and has boyfriends, and... I'm happy this way. All the other men I've dated, they're just after sex, and when I wouldn't...

If you and that bloody interfering mothering smothering holier than thou sister of mine hadn't interfered, then everything would have been just perfect! She has to spoil everything, you know, she always has to be cleverer than me and better than me. Gavin will be the perfect father! And he's the perfect husband, he works hard, he looks after me, and he doesn't bother me to do stuff with him all the time. He even enjoys shopping! It's perfect, you know. But now you've gone and given Gavin a conscience. Why the fuck did you two have to go and ruin everything?

Everybody Else (is fucking perfect) is available from Clarke's Bookshop. Direct enquiries and orders to: Henrietta Dax or Isabel Essery, Clarke's Bookshop, 211 Long Street, Cape Town 8001, South Africa, call 021 423 5739, fax 021 423 6441, or email books@clarkesbooks.co.za

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