Tracey still had some doubt in her own mind as she began speaking, of course she knew she owed Danny an apology and a reason for her departure. She knew that while he may not have welcomed her back with open arms he did welcome her back into the house and that alone meant he deserved something.
Should she have told him before it got to the stage of them having a verbal fight, she should have told him as soon as she returned, she knew that. It didn’t even matter that Danny had lied to her about the Sharkey thing, she knew two wrongs didn’t make a right and that had it not been for her running away from her problems Danny’s lie about Sharkey wouldn’t have been made.
With some trepidation she continued her story, hoping it wasn’t too late.
“The morning I left…it was the third day of your week long retreat with the boys from the team.”
Tracey didn’t refer to the retreat as the ‘week of booze, boys and boobs’ like she’d thought of it at the time. Just like Danny hadn’t referred to it at all when he spoke of Tracey’s departure, as far as Danny’s friends knew Tracey left three weeks before the retreat, just after the end of the racing season. It was an easy truth to hide given that Tracey had been spending so much time at home.
The week of booze, boys and boobs was a yearly ritual at the end of every season, it started out as retreat with the team after a long year but over the years as more of the boys became part of couples it became a week of drinking at an interstate casino with hookers and strippers. While Danny had remained faithful to Tracey throughout such retreats and Tracey knew it, that never stopped such things becoming a thorn between the two of them.
“I wanted to stay until you got home, but I’d spent three days stewing over that silly little spat we had before you left.”
“You wanted me to stay home!” Danny said quietly without emotion.
“No, I wanted to spend the week with you. I was happy to play it low with the boys, I was happy to give you your time but I also wanted to be there with you so we could have some fun together. But you flatly refused.”
“Yeah because it’s a week for the team, no one else takes their wife.” Danny responded trying to keep his cool.
“That’s because none of them have wives to take Danny.”
“Please Danny, I’m not trying to upset you but the facts speak for themselves, the only guys that go on those retreats are the single guys and the majority of them are single for a reason.” Danny tried to protest but Tracey was firm, now that she was finally speaking it was like she’d found a voice that didn’t want to be interrupted. “Dave hasn’t gone for years, Mick stopped going when he met Julie, Brad doesn’t take Kate, even Rick didn’t go this year now that him and Jackie are an item.”
“They aren’t an item!” Danny said under his breath but his response was half hearted because Rick had told him Jackie was the reason he didn’t go. Danny remembered telling him that not going because he was with someone was a weak excuse but he wouldn’t be budged.
“Okay, this isn’t about them anyway.” Tracey said wanting to move the conversation forward. “I was happy to take a back seat to your week away, but you refused and I was upset. I hated the fact that you left that morning without saying goodbye and I hated it more that you didn’t answer your phone.”
Danny considered offering up the excuse that he couldn’t answer his phone while he was driving but he knew that Tracey would see through such a story given that she was the one to set his mobile phone up with automatic pairing to the car’s sound system, and that he always used the phone in the car. He decided to remain silent.
“We’d had disagreements before, but never had you walked out on me like that. I spent two days barely eating, doing nothing and stewing over that little spat until the third morning something inside my head just snapped and I packed up a few bags and walked out.”
“Then you ignored my calls for three months.” Danny said.
“Yes I know, and I really hope you can believe me when I say that was never my intention when I left the house. Just like it was never my intention to stay away, to not return. I always knew I was returning.”
“Well you could have fooled me! I would have thought someone who wanted to return would have bloody done so in less than three months. Shit! All you had to do was get in your car and drive home, it’s not like you forgot the bloody way!” Danny wasn’t quite speaking without thinking but he also wasn’t thinking a great deal about the words that came out his mouth, he was however trying to remain calm.
“It wasn’t as simple as that Danny!” Tracey tried to defend herself and her actions.
“How much harder is it? You had a car. You didn’t forget how to drive it. You didn’t forget where the house was. All you needed to do was tell Anne you were leaving, get in your car, start the engine and drive to the house. Shit if it really was that difficult you even had a bloody GPS to guide you.”
Tracey wondered if she told Danny she had been staying at Anne’s place but guessed she must have. “It’s reactions like that which are the reasons I couldn’t just come home Danny.”
She could see the look on Danny’s face was one of annoyance, he might have known what he was saying was a poorly thought out statement but it was only because he couldn’t let himself think of other options.
“How do you want me to react to the fact that you disappeared for three months then when you returned the best you could come up with was that you couldn’t come home?”
Previous Racing story here.