I drove to the hairdresser’s that day in carefree mood.  After all I’d be meeting Greg later to go out for a meal.  Perhaps this was to be the day he’d finally ask me to marry him, or at least for us to move in together.  After going out with each other for over two years we should be ready for a bigger commitment than the one we had now.

            When he made the date he’d hinted that he had something important to tell me, so what else could it possibly be?  We were good together weren’t we?  I know Karen thought so because she never stopped telling me.

            Karen, my best friend was forever saying how lucky I was to have a man like Greg and adding that I should snap him up before someone else came along.

            “Anyone would think you fancied him,” I’d remarked once during one of these conversations and she’d smiled and said,

            “Of course I fancy him, who wouldn’t, but he’s not available is he?  He only has eyes for one woman and it’s definitely not me.”

            It was when I drove past the market I saw them together, talking animatedly about something.  Could it be me, perhaps he was asking her about my favourite flowers, she did after all, sell them and it’s not unheard of for a man to buy flowers for his girl on special occasions.

            You’d think he’d know by now, old fashioned girl that I am, I love roses, yellow ones, though not the traditional red for love variety, so maybe I’m not as old-fashioned as I thought.

            I imagined myself being presented with a bunch of them and it lightened my mood even more, so I sat contentedly in my chair and chatted light-heartedly while my hairdresser did what she could about taming my mousy curls and afterwards I went home and watched mindless programmes on TV while I painted my nails and waited for the time to pass before getting ready and waiting again for Greg to come and collect me and take me to the restaurant.

            When he arrived I was disappointed to find that his arms were bare of flowers and consoled myself with the thought he’d probably arranged for them to be delivered to our table instead.

            As we drove into town and parked up, I did notice he was quieter than usual and that he seemed a bit on edge, which added to my suspicions that he was psyching himself up to ask me something that would change my life. 

            Excitement from the thought of it gave me nervous flutterings which made it difficult to eat, so I ordered the lightest food I could find and picked at it while drinking copious amounts of wine from the large glass in front of me.

            Not until we’d ordered coffee after the dessert did I finally prompt him to speak.

            “For someone who had something important to tell me, you’ve been very quiet, you’ve hardly said a word all night.”

            “That’s because I don’t know how to say what I’ve got to tell you.”

            For the first time that night my nervous excitement turned into acidy sickness, this didn’t sound like the hearts and flowers conversation I’d been expecting, but had the makings of being something much more ominous.

            “These past few months have been great,” he said, “we’ve had some good times together.”  There was a long pause before the inevitable but came and of course it did.  “the truth is I’ve met someone else.”

            Suddenly the animated conversation I’d seen him having early that afternoon took on a whole new meaning.

            “Karen,” I said.

            He gave me a quizzical look, “Yes, but how did you know?”

            “I saw you together this afternoon.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  You know I actually thought you were buying me flowers, how daft was that?”  I don’t know who I was more annoyed with, him or her and at that moment I didn’t care, for it appeared I’d lost my boyfriend and my best friend at the same time.

            “How long have you been seeing each other behind my back?” I asked, remembering nights I spent alone while he said he was working late and Karen made excuses about having other things she needed to do, saying she’d text me.  She did too, probably while she was with him doing all the things I should have been doing.

            “Does it matter how long?”

            “Of course it matters, a few days, a few weeks, longer?”

            “I don’t know exactly, I never meant for it to happen, nor did she, it just did.   I’m sorry.”

            “So am I.”  I wanted to ask him so many questions, but I didn’t know where to begin, so I stood up and taking my purse from my bag, grabbed some notes and threw them on the table in front of him.

            “My share of the bill,” I said, “It wouldn’t be appropriate for you to pay under the circumstances.”

            “Don’t be stupid, I don’t want your money and I don’t like the idea of you going home alone at least let me drive you?”

            “I’ll call a cab,” I said, suddenly anxious to get  away from him, “I’ll wait in the bar till it comes, the company will be better out there.”

            As I walked away I heard him mutter, “Suit yourself.”

            Sitting in the back of the cab on the way home I had time to think about the whole sorry mess and realised that I’d been given my life back.  After all, for the past couple of years I’d been stuck in a relationship that was obviously going nowhere and spending the rest of my time with a friend who was so deceitful she could hardly be called a friend at all.

            As soon as I got home I pulled out my phone and unfriended them on every social media site I was registered with then I phoned Karen and told her exactly what I thought of her just to make sure she’d got the message.

            As for Greg, I decided I’d just never speak to him again.

            By the time I went to bed I felt happier, realising I was free from both of them at last.