Neil Bamford was supremely talented in his own way. He could have been successful, famous, rich and happy. He was though his own worst enemy. He was an impossible man to employ, to work for, to commission, to live with, to love.
As an animator and artist, he was sought after by most of the major studios, lauded by many of the big names in the field of animated film … until they met him, employed him, worked for him. Neil was that well known, probably overworked, creation: his own worst enemy. He wore his superiority like a banner above his head. He treated the world as though it should kneel down and worship him. So, in short, though he was brilliant at what he did, he never once took into account that his talent was a gift. He was lucky enough to have been born with it. He had not had to hone it or earn it or pay for it. It was God-given and totally natural – indeed he was very ordinary without real excellence in any other skill: passable at school, under the radar entirely in sport or music; not bad to look at – but ‘ordinary’ … so in every other way, Neil was non-descript. Which would have mattered not a bit if he had not been so very pleased with himself – arrogant, rude, dismissive and … in his eyes everybody’s superior.
At 35, he had gone through, under and over, several passing girlfriends, three live-in lovers, and who knows how many one-night stands who only found themselves able to put up with his arrogance for one night! Then he had met, and to give him some credit, had genuinely – at least as far as he was capable – fallen for Georgia. She was easy going, she was undemanding, she was good to look at, she was not likely to cast a shadow over his brilliance – indeed she was more likely to be simply happy to bask in its radiance.
Then she had – in an almost cosmically engineered way – found herself as the half of the couple with the ‘fans’, receiving the accolades, earning the money. That was not the way that the story was supposed to go! Neil had a limited number of choices: put up with the change in status quo; walk away; try to mitigate the damage; or …. Something more drastic.