How my novel’s protagonist ended my marriage

When Errant Hubby first read my latest novel, way back in the early spring, he was so taken with it that he confessed to feeling a sudden resurgence of love for me. But I wasn’t to be fooled. No doubt this was inspired by all the sexy bits which turned him on. After all, my vivacious Jewish protagonist of Naomi Liebermann is a VERY sexy lady, though I say so myself. Truth is that Hubby fell in love with her, and then got all confused, as men do, and thought it was me. And promptly told me, late one night while we were having a chat on the verandah, that my novel had made him fall in love with me all over again. That was in the spring, as I said. As recently ago as that. Long before he met the Villainess and lost his brain and dick over her.

Yippee! I thought to myself on that late March evening, when Hubby’s words made me glow all over with happiness and pride. He’s fallen in love with me all over again! But no, the sensible part of my brain told me, it’s HER he’s fallen in love with. Naomi Lieberman. Get it right! But still, it didn’t matter. I was just so proud that my novel had been convincing enough to impress someone as scarily intellectual and hyper-critical as Hubby, whose brain constitutes 95% academic power and 5% emotional intelligence. Yes! My protagonist was so real, he’d actually fallen for her!

Hey, Naomi, you clever, sexy thing! Well done on seducing my philosopher-husband! I’m sure he fancied you right from page 1, as soon as he realised that you work in a sex shop. And then, when he discovered that you keep a secret stash of vibrators under your bed – well, that must have REALLY got his groin all a-throbbing! And when he learned what an expert liar you are, sweetly pretending to your Orthodox Jewish Liverpudlian family and Orthodox Jewish London landlords that you work in an exclusive boutique and are a good, practising Jewess who will one day marry your good, practising Jewish childhood sweetheart, well – hey! Hubby got his first lesson in how to become an expert liar! And we all know how useful that came in, five months down the road. As in when he met the real-life Villainess and practised all Naomi’s art of lying tricks on his gullible, piano-playing, novel-writing wife, who was still worried that actually it might be a little emotionally complicated now, after all these years, for Hubby to start desiring her all over again, so would he please mind not feeling that way – or at the very least, giving her a little more warning please?

So he fell in love with Naomi, no doubt fantasising about her in the – well, wherever men do their fantasising. (I have a pretty good idea.) And I don’t blame him. If I were a man, I’m sure I’d fantasise about her! But anyway, there’s more to Naomi than sex. Oh, much more. She also happens to be a very caring young woman who genuinely wants to make a difference in the world. That’s why she volunteers at a refugee centre in Soho and promptly falls in love with its arrogant director, the drop-dead gorgeous John Paul Chambers from Rwanda, who is all screwed-up about love and sex due to his traumatic past, not that Naomi yet realises this unfortunate fact. And as for John Paul Chambers … is it allowed for the author to fall in love with her male lead? BY GOD is he irresistible! Tall, dark (obviously) and handsome doesn’t do him justice! I would quite happily change places with Naomi Lieberman tomorrow, if only I could be granted three wishes.

Here’s what my three wishes would be.

  • Swap places with Naomi Lieberman.
  • If the above is impossible to grant, then at least have my novel published and made into a film with Emilia Clarke as Naomi. Don’t know about John Paul yet. Maybe a slightly younger version of Idris Elba?
  • Make friends with ex-Hubby, once Wish No 2 is achieved and I have met and fallen in love with my future editor or film producer. Then allow Hubby to come round to the house and mow the lawn once a fortnight in the summer. We can sit out on our veranda and chat about old times, no hard feelings. Because by then the Villainess will have dumped him and he will be all alone and sorry for having left me, and I will forgive him, being the basically nice person that I am. Like Naomi.

So basically, it’s all Naomi’s fault. The curvaceous, green-eyed temptress abducted our lives and matrimonial bed. Okay, so I can now admit that I was jealous of her. Even began to regret having conjured her into existence. And poor, besotted Hubby just couldn’t see the error of his ways. There he was, proclaiming his renewed love and desire for me, and there I was, knowing it was really Naomi and not me, and feeling all jealous and uptight and unable to concentrate properly on this reactivated desire thingy, and then … well, it was Hubby’s turn to get all uptight and feel rejected, and that, in a nutshell, is what led him into the arms of another woman. Which in turn led to the beginning of the end of our marriage.

 

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