Monday, 11 May 2009


I unpack my basket of shopping at the checkout and just as I finish, a man queues behind me with a lemon, a bottle of white wine and a bag from the fish counter. Looking at his three items, I ask him if he would like to go in front of me. He accepts, surprised and pleased at my thoughtfulness. Looking at him square in the face, I realise we've met before, but I can't place him. As he completes his transaction, I know we've met, and I have a bad feeling it wasn't pleasant - an argument of some sort, I think. He pays, then turns to me and thanks me again, leaving the supermarket with a bounce in his step, but I'm discombobulated. Over the next few hours, I puzzle away and eventually it dawns on me; it's him.


I am on my best behaviour, grateful to him for rescuing me, mindful that we are meeting on Sunday - at my request - to discuss ending things for good. We climb into bed and lie stiffly beside one another. He turns to me, pulls me towards him and asks me to kiss him. I have my reservations but I still say 'yes' and the past and the horror melt away at the first touch of his lips. As his kisses deepen, he pulls me closer, holds me tighter, drags me back to the certain knowledge I have tried so hard to talk myself out of; he loves me. And I love him right back, for all the good it does either of us.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


As the afternoon advances, the laughter from the garden next door grows louder. My neighbour's grandchildren and their parents are visiting; the voices of generations criss-crossing the light breeze. I strain to hear the radio and eventually rise to close the window. More than the interruption, the stark realisation of the kind of life I have built for myself disturbs me. It is hard not to cry.