I bumped into Jen at a coffee shop. ‘Liz, hi,’ she said, as if she wanted to talk.

‘Grab a seat.’ I put down my paperback. ‘Where’s Rebecca?’ They’d planned this trip together.

‘I don’t even want to talk about her,’ Jen said. ‘A day into our trip and she meets some guy at the pub. Next thing it’s as if I’m not even there. And then, all of a sudden, she just leaves. Texts me to say Jay’s folks have invited her to join them.’

‘Jay?’

‘Yeah. He’s not even nice. Half the time he just ignores her. But he’s got all the stuff. He’s got the fancy boat, the big beach house, the sports car. God I never knew she could be so selfish.’

‘It’s pretty poor. Hey, I’m just hanging around,’ I said. ‘Why don’t we team up.’

‘Oh, I’m alright.’

‘C’mon Jen, It’ll be fun.’ The pleasures of holidaying alone had been wearing thin. I was pretty much over quiet contemplation. Besides, I remembered it all from last season. The flash speedboat, the jet-skis, the cellar full of wine. The self-important smile. And being treated like an ornament.

Then one afternoon he redecorated, and I caught the bus home.

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