By the time I reached the station the train had gone. I had been going out with Dolores for almost three years. In fact I was about to pop the question. I was planning how best to do it when she announced it was all over.
“It’s over,” she said. “I’m eloping with Patrick.”
I couldn’t believe it. I went outside and stood there looking at nothing. Eloping with Patrick? Eloping with Patrick?
I saw Dolores leave the house and head for the train station. Someone said she and Patrick were heading into the distant blue. I was at a complete loss. After half an hour or so I thought I’d race to the station and plead with her to give me another chance. But the train had gone.
Velma Clout was having a bad morning. It wasn’t twenty-four hours since her boyfriend of eighteen months had left her. And what a relief it was. But the morning saw her with a mighty headache and a massive hangover. She had celebrated the boyfriend’s rejection with a wee bottle of wine or two. Honestly, his leaving was what she herself had wanted to do for a good several months but she was too nice. But now it had happened and there was no going back. If only she had celebrated with more restraint and then she could enjoy his absence without feeling like death warmed up.
Her cell phone rang.
It was her boyfriend of eighteen months. Did she want to get back together? He was upset. He had made a mistake. He knew only too well that Velma wouldn’t have the heart to say “No!”
“Yes!” said Velma. “I’ll see you here for lunch.”
Oh why did she do that? Why why why? Why was she so stupid? So silly? So weak? Why why why? Why couldn’t she take a stand?
Suddenly, grabbing a bag of stuff and her purse, Velma got in her car and headed for a day’s outing at the beach. It was for her the first independent thing she had done in ages. She was now the one doing the breaking up; not him. Oh the freedom that went with that! Velma wound down the car window and sang her heart out fortissimo. It was 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover all the way to the seaside.