Sam had been single for five years when he met Deborah. She was an easy conversationalist with a passionate heart and a friendly manner. They dated for six months. It was never awkward the way he’d feared dating might be for someone his age.

When Deborah moved in he realised how much the place had missed a woman’s touch. She organised everything so you could find what you needed. The fridge was always stocked, the meals she prepared always fresh-cooked and delicious.

And she did it with so little fuss. With Jan there’d always been a mad scramble at the end to get a job done, washing piling up in the laundry and dinner parties that finished in tears. With Deb everything went smoothly. She really put the place in order. The guy who’d divorced her must have been off his rocker.

Jan had designed a room-sized wardrobe that you walked through to get to the bathroom. One morning Sam emerged from his shower and though the hanging space was now carefully arranged and tidy he couldn’t find his suit.

‘Honey, have you seen…?’

‘It’s at the cleaners,’ came Deb’s voice. ‘I’ve laid out the summer one for you, with the cream shirt and red and blue tie. But we’ll have to do something about your shoes…’

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