It's Never Too Late
by Tanya Allan
Miles was turning sixty and his wife of almost forty years - Ann - had given him an impossible ultimatum - "Either she goes or I do!"
"She" was not "another woman", but Miles' alter ego and Muse - Miranda Martin. Miranda had several excellent novels published under her name (as Miles would claim there wasn't a creative bone in HIS body).
The problem had arisen through success. Miranda wasn't exactly hitting the big time, but was selling books in such numbers that she received a hefty income and was far better known than Ann would have liked. Ann had been happy, no, not exactly happy, but 'suffered' Miranda in small doses and under severely restricted conditions. For a person convinced he'd spent the last sixty years in the wrong body, these conditions proved neither possible nor reasonable.
Ann didn't see it that way and walked out.
Miles was devastated. Oh, the children weren't children any more, as both were now married and were living their lives, both abroad as it happened, so practically and financially it wasn't a disaster. The devastation was emotional.
Then came the letter from the solicitor.
As a teenager, Miles, it seems, had bared his soul to his mother's Uncle Freddie. Freddie was the black sheep of the family by being gay. It just wasn't done in the 1930s and 40s. Young Miles had spoken to him about being 'different'. Freddie and Miles were not the same, but both felt that their differences were a burden in an unsympathetic society. Freddie subsequently died, leaving Miles with no one he could talk to.
When Freddie died, the family discovered he left a trust fund for any in his family who might need help becoming the person they ought to have been. Clearly, Freddie had Miles in mind, but worded it suitably vaguely so as to spare him embarrassment had he 'got better'!
Miles had two choices - slide down a slippery slope of self pity and deny her life, or realise Miranda in truth and light.
But it wasn't going to be easy.
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