Ken wasn’t in the habit of buying women’s magazines, but the headline caught his eye. Ditching him in five easy steps.  What’s good for the goose, he thought.

The steps were simple enough.

1. Deciding to Leave.

No problem. He skipped ahead.

2. Making time to Grieve.

Were they kidding.

3. Untangling the Knot.

This one was mumbo-jumbo about bank accounts and contracts. Ken couldn’t see the point. He and Sal bought lottery tickets together. That was it.

4. Imagining Yourself Single.

Now they were getting somewhere. You’ve made the decision. You’re prepared, emotionally and practically. Now try a little visualisation. Ken got a beer and settled back to read. His head filled with golf trips and poker nights.

He finished his beer and fetched another.

5. Enjoying the Moment.

Ken felt like a coach who’d found the opposition playbook. He planned a candlelit dinner and a sports-bag filled with the stuff she’d left lying around. Sal would be devastated of course. It served her right. He wasn’t sure why but that was the gist of the article. The element of surprise is essential. Remember this is not a negotiation.

He rang her. ‘Sal…Yeah…Yeah…Listen, how about dinner, Friday?’

‘No,’ said Sal. ‘Not Friday, Ken. Not ever. I’ve had enough. You don’t care. So I’m pulling the plug.’


2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)