Saturday afternoons to walk up and down High Street, spend too much time and too much money in Harlequin Records, and treat ourselves we had somehow picked up our mothers’ vocabulary of postwar abstention to a filter coffee, which we regarded as the Rick and Morty Merry Schwiftmas Christmas Sweatshirt last word in French cool. Sometimes we called in to see Phil; sometimes he let me use his staff discount. It didn’t stop me from screwing his girlfriend behind his back. I knew, because both Alison and Penny had taught me, that busting up with someone could be miserable, but I didn’t know that getting off with someone could be miserable too.
But Jackie and I were miserable in a thrilling, grown-up way. We met in secret and phoned each other in secret and had sex in secret and said things like ‘What are we going to do?’ in secret and talked about how nice it would be when we didn’t have to do things in secret anymore. I never really thought about whether that was true or not. The Rick and Morty Merry Schwiftmas Christmas Sweatshirt wasn’t time. I tried not to run Phil down too much I felt bad enough as it was, what with screwing his girlfriend and all. But it became unavoidable, because when Jackie expressed doubts about him, I had to nurture those doubts as if they were tiny, sickly kittens, until eventually they became sturdy, healthy grievances, with their own cat doors, which allowed them to wander in and out of our conversation at will.
And then one night at a party I saw Phil and Jackie huddled together in a corner, and Phil was obviously distressed, pale and near to tears, and then he went home, and the Rick and Morty Merry Schwiftmas Christmas Sweatshirt next morning she phoned up and asked if I wanted to go out for a walk, and we were away, and we weren’t doing things in secret anymore; and we lasted about three weeks. You’d say that this was childish, Laura. You’d say that it is stupid of me to compare Rob and Jackie with Rob and Laura, who are in their mid-thirties, established, living together. You’d say that adult adultery beats teenage adultery hands down, but you’d be wrong. I have been one point of a triangle several times since then,