All around the pavement cafe table humanity flows and swirls by in the baking summer sun: But my eyes are glued exclusively on the stunningly attractive 41 year old redhead sitting opposite me. She of the shamrock coloured eyes, and the strong Belfast accent. Cassie, my ex-lover.
“So how long has it been with the new toy boy now then?” I enquire.
She gives me her full on heart warming, heart wrenching, smile. “Seven months now.”
“And is he any good? Is he being faithful? I mean, at only 23 he's going to have a pretty powerful libido. And lots of pretty girls of his own age around.”
She smiles again. To her credit ... “Rest assured he's getting all the nookie he can possibly handle! And, in his very own words, is loving every minute of it!”
“What, you're talking five times a night stuff?”
“Ha! A girl should be so lucky! We're not living together or anything. We're just girlfriend and boyfriend. We spend most weekends together and see each other a couple of evenings mid-week.”
“And how long do you think he'll stay interested then? Eighteen years is a very big gap. Plus you tell me he's English.”
Like me. I'm English. Like most people in England are English.
She offers another, softer smile. “A good long time I'm thinking.”
“But he's just living out a young man's older woman fantasy! Can you really not see that?”
The first smile returns again. “Sure but a girl can dream on, can't she!”
“So what's his best number of times on the trot then?” Too late, the burning question is out now. I can still very well remember what ours was.
“None of your business!” Her smile all but fills her broad, handsome face. “But seeing as you ask I did, in an intimate moment, enquire of his own estimate a week or two back. He named a figure but then added: 'But that would be ordinarily. With you probably ...' and added on another two!”
I feel my stomach muscles starting to knot. “So what was his magic figure then?”
“Again, none of your business!” She looks up suddenly, as if some kind of sixth sense is at work within her. “And there he is now! And he has a taxi already and waiting too. There's true love for you now!”
Her pronunciation of 'now' – “nuy” – lingers in my mind as she gets up and makes her departure.
“It's been grand. We must meet up for coffee again some time!”
I watch her move out into the throng of pedestrians, her tall, substantial form quickly lost to view. 'Cassie, wait!' I want to cry out, but no sound comes. Absently I glance at my watch. I'm running late. My son is playing in a school cricket match this afternoon and is going to need picking up. With my thoughts still very much elsewhere I flip open my mobile to call my husband.
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