Vodka and Alison

She found her way back to her car, stumbling along, holding back her tears.  She was determined not to cry over him, not this time.  She sat in the driver's seat, the engine running and the heater on full to chase away the chill of the night, staring through the windscreen.  What the hell had just happened back there?  How could he say something like that to her.  After everything she'd put up with from him, after everything they'd been through together -- and hadn't she tried to hold things together?  When he'd had that accident and been off work for six weeks, she'd managed to juggle her job and her friends around to make time to see him every evening, make sure he was ok, cook something for him so he wouldn't be struggling to do it himself the next day.  She'd put up with his job sending him abroad for weeks a time for the whole of the last year, and hadn't complained.  Even when she felt lonely, sat in her little flat by herself with only the television for company.  And he'd only called twice a week, claiming it was too expensive from Dubai.  And when he'd--

Her mobile rang, breaking into her reverie.  She pulled in from her handbag, dumped on the passenger seat when she sat down, and checked the caller.  Was it him?  Was he going to apologise for a joke in profoundly bad taste?

It was Alison, her best friend.  She pressed the answer key, and then the phone to her ear.

"Al, where are you?  Are you back yet?"

"Wow, and hello to you too!  Yes, I got back about four hours ago, I've been struggling with the wretched baggage reclaim ever since.  I swear that they make luggage that only men can handle, because I've had nothing with trouble with that suitcase ever since I bought it.  And its Louis Vuitton, so it's not like..."

She let Alison finish describing her trouble getting out of Heathrow, back from another purchasing trip to Athens, glad to have something else to think about.

"... so what's the matter, honey?  You sounded upset when you answered just then?"

"I'll come over, make sure the vodka's cold.  Oh, and I'm not going to work tomorrow, so make sure there's a lot of it."

"Ohhhh," Alison's voice softened.  "What's he done this time?"

She wasn't going to tell her, was going to wait until she was sat on the floral couch in Alison's living room that didn't go with any of the rest of the furniture, but that her landlord wouldn't let her replace, but something inside her just seemed to snap.

"He said he's leaving me for someone else," she said, amazed at how steady her voice sounded.  "He said it's someone at work.  A man."

The End

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