“What if Spring gets on the shelf?” I suggest. We are in the water next to our rented boat that we can no longer get on. I forgot to throw the rope ladder over the railing when I went swimming and now we can’t go back. We are already past the stage of scolding and blaming each other. Now we are trying to come up with a solution while hanging on the supplank.

    In vain attempts

    For example, Spring stands on the plank and tries to climb onto the boat from there. “Spring is too small.” replies Bass. “We can try one more time to see if Storm succeeds. Maybe at the back of the boat. It is slightly lower.” We swim to the back of the boat. Storm climbs back on the shelf: Spring, Bas and I try to hold him in place. It goes well for a while. Then the plank slips again and Storm falls into the water. We gasp in disappointment. All four hanging on the shelf.

    “I think we can swim to the coast,” Storm suggests hopefully. But Bas shakes his head gloomily: „That is really much further than it seems. And I don’t want to leave the boat alone. If we just wait here, someone will come.” “Who then?” asks Storm. “The rental company, for example,” replies Bas: “If we are not in the port on time, they will look for us.” I moan inwardly: that will take hours. “We will stay here and use the plank as a support. We can lie on one at a time while the others lean on it.”

    clothespin story

    Spring is the first. We tread water slightly next to the plank while hanging our elbows on the plank. Spring looks like she’s posing for her Instagram. I catch Bas’s gaze from the other side of the shelf. He still looks at her like she’s the princess. I smile at him. Spring sees me looking: “What’s the story of the clothespin?” she asks. Despite our approached position, I laugh, “You mean the 30seconds clothespin?” She nods.

    “We just lived together. I did everything in the house and Dad did almost nothing. So to subtly make that clear, I had laid a peg trail from the laundry basket to the washing machine, but when I got home, Daddy had moved the trail to the bedroom and—” “Never mind!” the twins shout in unison: “The nice thing about divorced parents is that they don’t have sex with each other,” adds Lente.

    No more divorce

    “Aren’t you going to get a divorce anymore?” asks Storm suddenly. I look at Bas: “We don’t know that,” he says soberly. “I really enjoy being around your mother right now. I think vacations like this are fantastic. You two and your mother… life doesn’t get any better. I see that now too. I’m sorry I caused so much pain and I hope you guys will give it another chance.”

    “And you?” Spring asks me. I swallow. The last few weeks have flashed past me in fragments: the Brussels weekend, our conversations, the woman at the bar peppered with the pain of his cheating, our kiss. “You just have to go for it. Or leave completely”, I hear the woman at the bar say. “I like this too. Of course not this.” I say pointing to the shelf. “But if I have to be in a precarious position, then I’d like to be with you three. And you?”

    “Good.” Storm replies, “What do you mean?” I want to ask, but then Spring starts to roar: „David!!!!! David!! yo-hoo. aquic.” She waves enthusiastically at a watercraft in the distance. He will be with us in a few minutes. Why do we hang all four on the shelf? „Somebody forgot something” explains Spring: “Can you help us?” David nods. He gets his parents who are nearby. From their boat we clamber back onto our boat. Exuberantly we fall into each other’s arms.

    Are you sure the kids are his?

    I hang in my bathrobe on my bed for a while. The kids are out. I’ve just had a bath and I’m about to go to the room. Bas is sitting there and then we will talk. Talk for a long time. I’m enjoying the wonderful moment when you know that something nice is going to happen, but you don’t know how it’s going to be yet.

    The photos we took after our rescue turned out nice. I open my Facebook and post them with the text: “Wonderful holiday with our kids.” I am happy to scroll on. Within a few minutes I already have responses. Obviously Bas’s mother who wishes us a wonderful holiday. And one Aras. I posted it publicly again. How stupid. I click on the comment and read: „Our children? Are you sure they are his?”

    More WOMAN

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