Love Triangle

When Sally got the word, she ran around the room, hugging herself in glee. “Now to ring Sam,” she thought, but then paused. How to play it? She couldn’t sound as triumphant as she felt, so she decided to play it cool. She dialled the number, the number she had known by heart for twenty-four years now.

He picked up, and his beloved voice said “Hello?”

“I suppose you’ve heard about Alice?” she said, as nonchalantly as she could.

His reaction nearly caused her to give up on him there and then. Other men, (normal men, her inner voice whispered) would have said “no, what about her?” They might have assumed that she had a cold, or had been bitten by a dog, or had dyed her hair blonde. Less normal men (but still more normal than him, persisted her inner voice) might have feared she’d been kidnapped for ransom, sold into slavery, or abducted by aliens. But she heard the phone hit the table, and knew that he had rushed to the window and looked outside, because the one thing he feared more than anything else, more than germs, dogs, hair dye, kidnappers, pirates or aliens, was that Alice might have found a boyfriend.

She heard his receding footsteps, heard his anguished wail, and knew that she had timed it perfectly. She knew that at that very moment the big limousine was pulling slowly into Alice’s drive.

She hung up. For the moment her job was done.

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Sam was devastated. For twenty-four years he’d been living next door to Alice, and had never had a chance to tell her how he felt, because how many opportunities come along get in a mere twenty-four years? Three or four hundred at least, you may be thinking, but you’ve got to remember that Sam (Smokie was his nickname at school) was a timid soul who still hadn’t left home by the age of twenty-four, and who always assumed the worst in any situation. He watched Alice leave her house. Just for a moment he caught her eye, but he forced himself to remain expressionless, not wanting to let her know his pain. He didn’t know why she was leaving, or where she was going to go. He guessed she had a reason, but didn’t want to know, because wallowing in self-pity was easier that way, and Sam liked to stick to stuff he was good at.

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Sally called back after what she considered was a decent amount of time, which, considering the big limousine hadn’t yet disappeared, was probably only about two or three minutes.

“Alice is gone but I’m still here,” she said.

The anguished sobbing at the other end of the line stopped. “Got him,” thought Sally. “Rebound sex,” thought Sam, and thus began a relationship which made Burton and Taylor look as settled as Ma and Pa Walton. They fought, they rowed, they left each other several times, but the fact that they were both obsessive loopers meant that they were made for each other, and they stayed together, so united that many years later someone mentioned Alice and Sam thought “Alice? Who the f**k is Alice?”

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And what about Alice? She and her workmates had hired a limo to go to a Kylie concert in style (a fact that Sally well knew, the conniving cow), and she came home four hours later to find that her childhood sweetheart had got off with her supposed best friend.

You’d think she’d be devastated, but she found herself quite relieved.

When she’d been young she’d been mad about Sam. They’d carved their initials deep in a tree-bark (her name was Alice Richards, his was Sam Edwards, it hadn’t looked as well as she’d hoped), she’d written about him in her pink diary with the little lock on the front, she’d practised writing “Alice Edwards” over and over again.

And then she’d grown up, and he hadn’t. Even as she left in the limo this evening he was staring expressionlessly out the window at her. Sometimes she shivered when she thought about him.

And worse still she’d had to listen to Sally going on about him, night after night when they should have been out enjoying themselves.

Now at last they were together, and she felt that she was free. She was young, her family was rich (a big limousine had pulled into her drive, to get a limo into my drive I’d have to move my house into my back garden) and she had her whole life ahead of her.

The following morning she was walking to the shop when she passed Bobby from a neighbouring song. He smiled at her, she smiled shyly back, and he asked her to go for coffee.

She became Bobby’s Girl.

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