Chapter 2

(i) Sophie – Ties cut

It was several days before I actually plucked up the courage to dump Rob. I’m not sure why then particularly.  It was a the spur of the moment decision.   Funnily enough that was after a meal out as well.  I was driving and I just came out with it as we neared his flat.

“Listen,” I said, “I’m sorry but it isn’t working for me.”

“What isn’t?”

“Us, you know, me and you.”

“Why, what’s wrong? I thought we’d been getting on really well I know I’m not the greatest lover but I’m going for treatment and I’ve been told it’s only a matter of time.”

Well that was a gift, an easy way out. Thank you Rob, I thought.

“Well Rob that is only part of what’s wrong, but I’m sorry it is an important issue. Actually I think the reason you’re having problems is because deep down in your psyche you know we’re not right for each other. If you really fancied me – well we’d be at it all the time.”

We were back in Congleton by then and I was high on adrenalin.  When we’d reached our destination I kept the engine running as I didn’t want to give Rob the chance to drag this out. In spite of my obvious, I hoped, impatience he did put his hand on my knee and made a vain attempt to try to kiss me which I shrugged off as gently as I could although I could feel my levels of irritation rising.

“Well,” he said in a weepy voice, “I’m shocked. I thought you loved me. I was thinking of proposing this summer when I’d saved up enough money for a deposit on the kind of ring you deserve.”

“I’m sorry Rob, marriage to you was never on my agenda. I’m sorry if I’ve given you the wrong impression or led you on at all.”

“You got off with that bloke you met on holiday, didn’t you? I bet he gave you what you want.”

I ignored that and he went into a sulk.  Fancy remembering that, I thought, I’d forgotten all about it.

All this time the engine was running and I just wanted Rob to go so I went on the offensive.

“I don’t think you really know me, or are that interested. You just like what I represent – money, wealth, glamour. You see yourself hanging on my coat tails, swanning around, boasting to your friends and so on.”

“That’s not true. I love you for you.”

At this point he started to cry which just made me angry. Snivelling, feeling sorry for himself.

“Anyway I’m sorry but it’s off. Thanks for a lovely meal.”

“You can’t just do this to me. I love you. I’ve done everything for you but that’s not enough.  I’m not good enough am I?  I’ll kill myself if you leave me.”

“You won’t and I’m not impressed that you even said that. I’m sorry it had to end like this. I was hoping you’d have a bit more dignity.  Can you leave now. I’ve work tomorrow.”

He didn’t move so I got out of the car, walked round, opened the passenger door, grabbed his arm and pulled him out. He was still blabbing like a baby. I couldn’t believe it. What a prat! I suppose I should have felt remorse, felt sorry for him, but I just felt revulsion.  He stumbled towards his front gate as I drove off.

I was still angry when I got home but once I’d got ready for bed my mood changed and without any warning I burst into tears.  What for I didn’t know.  I knew I’d been brutal at the end but what choice did I have?  Was there a less cruel way of ending a relationship?  Fortunately I fell asleep easily.

(ii) Sophie – Night club

Next day on the way to work I was all keyed up wondering whether Tim would be there, imagining all kinds of scenarios either with him purposefully turning his back to avoid me or with him asking me out on a date. When I arrived though there was a huge order to deal with so there was no chance of looking around for him. I was free briefly at lunchtime and I sneaked up to the office to check on his whereabouts and found out that it was his day off. Although I was disappointed,  fortunately I was just as busy in the afternoon, and the time passed quickly without me fretting about it.  However as soon as I left work I started agonising over him again and I was worried what I was going to do with myself when I got home.  Fortunately Tracey was there, on her own and in a chatty frame of mind, and offered to make me a cup of tea.  I’d already changed my opinion of her, got over my initial dislike and so was pleased to have the opportunity to get to know her better.  She and Dad had been on holiday to Florida for a fortnight and I was curious to find out how they’d got on.  Dad apparently had spent most days playing golf with a friend he’d met on the golf course, Fred, leaving Tracey to her own devices.  I wondered if he’d been seeing that woman I’d heard him on the phone to with golf the excuse.  I hoped not and Dad did love his golf.  Fortunately for Tracey Fred’s partner, Joan, was also at a loose end and the two golfing widows got on famously, spending the days shopping, having long drunken lunches or sunbathing by the pool.  The men joined them in the evenings and the four of them went out for dinner most nights.

This diversion helped to settle my nerves  and I went upstairs for a bath.  However, I didn’t fancy a night in on my own, so I decided to phone Sarah and see what she was up to.  Luckily she had nothing arranged. She suggested we go for a night out on the town saying she really wanted to go to the Superstar Club in Manchester as she’d heard good reports from a friend.  She sounded really pleased when I agreed to go but as soon as I put the phone down I regretted my decision, night clubs were not my scene any longer.  I can be like that at times – desperate to do something until it’s arranged then get cold feet.  Anyway I‘d agreed so I decided to make the most of it.  I’ve always liked dressing up so immersed myself in dolling up, putting on bright red lipstick, heavy eye make-up, long silver ear-rings and I chose a mini-dress with a low neckline so my cleavage and my legs (one of my best features) were there to entice whoever. 

I offered to drive there as that would take away the temptation for me to drink. I agreed to pick Sarah up so I had some influence over how the evening would pan out. When I hooted Sarah appeared from her front door in a coat so I couldn’t really see what she was wearing apart from the high heels and bare legs.  On the way there I put my favourite Human League tape on at high volume in the car to get us in the mood.  The club in Manchester was three-quarters of an hour’s drive away and we arrived in high spirits at about 10, early enough to avoid the queue at the door. The bouncers leered at us as we went in but we ignored them and handed our coats over. I noticed that Sarah was dressed equally as flirtatiously as I was. She looked stunning.

“Wow,” she exclaimed looking me up and down, “what a cool outfit.  We shouldn’t have any trouble tonight.”

“Yes, that’s what worries me.” I replied, “We won’t get any peace.”

“I’m not here to get peace. I want action.”

At the bar I ordered an orange juice and Sarah a pint of Stella. We found an unoccupied table and sat down.  It was a while since I’d been in a nightclub and I was deafened by the music. It was so loud it was virtually impossible to carry on a conversation. As anticipated several lots of creeps, all tattoos and body piercings, came over and offered to buy us drinks.  We sent them on their way. Then two smartly dressed older men came and sat down on either side of us without saying anything. I looked at Sarah and gave her a wink, which she returned. I got up and indicated to her I wanted to dance. She complied and we had a great session before retiring back to our table. She was a good dancer and I felt exhilarated dancing with her.  I’d forgotten about the two men but they were still there in deep conversation as if they weren’t interested in us.  However I noticed we had new drinks waiting for us, a pint for Sarah and an orange juice for me. Before we sat down again I asked one of the men to take a picture of us standing up so we could show off our outfits and our figures. As they were now sitting in the centre of the semicircular table we were forced to sit with them between us. I tried to have a conversation with the man nearest me who was called Bob and was an investment banker, so he said. Sarah seemed to be getting on with the other man and soon they were on the dance floor together.  Bob and I watched and continued to exchange pleasantries through the music. Sarah looked like she was having fun, really letting go. I was pleased for her although I felt a bit flat. This happening just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Bob pulled me to my feet and onto the dance floor. I squeezed through the other dancers until we were next to Sarah and her partner so we could dance as a foursome.  Bob was a good dancer and I let my hair down and enjoyed myself.

After a while we’d exhausted ourselves and the foursome returned to our table, which still had the remains of our drinks on. Bob got another round of drinks in, Sarah having her third pint. She and I went off to the ladies together. It was a little quieter in there. After we’d had our pees we stood in front of the mirror touching up our faces. I didn’t say anything as I wanted to know what Sarah was thinking.

“Rick’s lovely.” she said, “How’s your fella?”

“He’s OK.” I said.

“I’m going to go back with him.” she said.

“Is that wise?” I asked. “You’re drunk and in no state to defend yourself.”

“Exactly.” she said.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a nightmare for me. Bob got frisky and wouldn’t keep his hands to himself. Sarah got even drunker and I thought she really let herself down. I stayed with it though as I was still hoping to take her back home in one piece. This was not to be as she went off with Nick and I was left with Bob. I walked out on him, drove home alone, in a foul mood.  I had no boyfriend and I was sure my dreams of a relationship with Tim were just a dream.