‘Did you do the right thing?’

‘I didn’t sleep with her if that’s what you mean.’

‘So nothing happened?’

‘Well, nothing much…’

‘First base?’

‘’bout that.  Bit of a snog in the car when I dropped her off after dinner.’

‘She didn’t invite you in for coffee?’

‘No, but I know she wanted to.  I played it cool and didn’t push it.’

‘Well, you know my theory.  We aren’t meant to be monogamous.’

‘I remember, Al’s theory of the biological imperative. I do have a bit of a conscience you know?’

‘Yeh, yeh.  So when are you going to see her again?’

‘Well, I’m not sure if…you know given the…’

‘Have we met?  Of course you are going to see her again.  It’s obvious from her email that she wants it as badly as you.’

‘You think?’

‘That line about feeling glad nothing happened because of Cathy.  The message is that she really wanted to and wishes she had, and now she’s trying to kid herself saying it would have been wrong ’cause she’s your wife’s friend.’

‘Is that really how you read it?’

‘Can’t be read any other way, mate.’

‘She did end on a very positive note, you know that bit about really hoping we can stay friends.’

‘That’s your come on right there.’

‘I do feel a bit bad about Cathy, I mean she even suspected before I went.  Kept asking me why it was necessary for me to stay overnight.’

‘Ain’t gonna stop you though is it?  Besides which didn’t she have a bit of a thing with her boss a couple of years ago?’

‘Er…I’m not exactly sure what happened… but anyway like you say, biological imperative.  Not my fault. If she leads me on what choice do I have?  Look, Al, that’s the other phone, I’d better go.  I’ll keep you updated.’

‘OK, I look forward to hearing the blow by blow details.’


‘Is that Mr Unfaithful?’

‘Oh God, is it that obvious?’

‘I’m your sister, I’ve known you all your life.  I know exactly what’s going on in your mind.  And from the fact that you’ve sent me her email, you’re obviously thinking about it.’

‘Am I a bad man?’

‘No, a bit naïve and stupid and self-serving maybe.’

‘Er, thanks.  So what does the message mean?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, I wonder if she is hinting that she wants something to happen.’

‘Which part was that?  The bit about how Cathy is such a special friend to her or the part where she sees you as the model husband?’

‘You know what I mean.  Why would she send such a long message if she meant get lost?’

‘Did you read the message?  It says she is glad nothing happened, that you are both friends, operative word both, that she doesn’t want to lose all that.’

‘What about her feeling sad after I left and how great she thinks I am and that she’ll always be there?  And I think the bit about her feeling awkward is a pretty strong clue that she wanted something to happen.’

‘You’re incredible you know.  I really like Cathy and you’ve nearly ended up divorced once already.  Have you thought about the consequences?’

‘Come on, sis, help me out a bit.’

‘Alright I can see you’re having such a terrible time of it.  Have I ever met Sally?  Oh, yes, I must have done…at your WEDDING!  Remind me, what’s she like?’

‘Oh, you know, small, cute, breathtakingly pretty.’

‘Oh, p...leeease! Excuse me a minute while I’m sick.  Takes your breath away?  It really does sound like you’re in trouble.  Are you going to tell me what happened then?’

‘Well, nothing much, just a goodnight kiss…’

‘Oh, my God! And how did that happen… no don’t answer that.  I don’t want to hear you say it just happened.  Listen, I know you won’t follow my advice but I’ll try.  You’ve been really happy with Cathy, that fling or whatever was ages ago and you must have forgiven her by now.  All you can do is avoid putting yourself in the situation.’

‘What about work?  I mean I still have to go over there, and I’m bound to bump into her.’

‘Bound?  So, your wife’s best friend from university happens to work for a company that you do business with so you spend the night there so that you can… what?  Talk about work?  You’re unbelievable.’

‘But what can I do if she wants to see me?’

‘Oh, you poor thing being chased around by this girl who is breathtakingly pretty, and you can’t fend her off even though you’re married to her best friend? And if she was at Uni with Cathy she must be quite a bit younger than you.  What is she 29, 30?’


‘I’m getting bored with you now.  Do you remember any of that stuff about right and wrong mum and dad taught us?’

‘You know my views on Catholicism.’

‘Oh, of course I forgot.  Christianity doesn’t float your boat so you can just sleep with your wife’s friends and it will be alright.’

‘You’re right of course.  I’ll just send her a reply and smooth things over.’

‘Why do you need to reply?  You’re just stoking the fire.  And don’t think what I know you’re thinking…’

‘It’s just the word stoke…’

‘Do try and behave yourself for once. I’m going now.’

‘No, wait.  Am I really not allowed to see her?  I mean, I think I might be in love with her…’

‘Goodbye, David.’

My Dear Sally

I felt very emotional when I received your email.  I’m relieved that we can remain friends and that we didn’t let ourselves get carried away the other night.  I really do treasure our time together and I will let you know when I’m next over there (prob. next month). I hope we will still be able to have dinner and talk about everything.  I’ll be thinking about you.’
Your “friend”

I don’t think that dinner is a very good idea given the way you obviously feel and the things you’ve said.  I have felt uncomfortable about spending time alone with you and I apologise if you have misinterpreted that as me reciprocating your feelings.  I was shocked when you made an advance in the car and I feel that it would be inappropriate for us to continue our friendship if you think about me in that way.
P.S. I am copying this email to Cathy.

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