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Two maids wonder at the difference between men and women.
The police arrived and shortly afterwards the factory inspectorate who individually interviewed us one by one. Nobody could be sure who'd stacked the faulty pallet, but then again I couldn't be sure that it wasn't me.
Hard to live with?
Makes you think, doesn't it?
It was a quiet and thoughtful Mike Thomas, that's me by the way, who drove home that evening. Drove home to my wife Gwen, who'd be waiting there for me.
After the afternoon I'd just had, food wasn't exactly top of my agenda, my mind more full of quite how fragile our existence on this earth is, and quite how easily it can end. Even so, the lack of the usual kitchen smells registered, as did the absence of Gwen where I'd usually expect to find her.
"Is that you Mike?" I heard from the hallway of all places, and that's where I found her. My carefully worked out explanation of what had happened earlier, dying in my throat as I spotted her there, dressed up in her best coat with two small suitcases by her feet.
"What's going on?" I demanded, taken by surprise.
"We need to talk, Mike," Gwen hit me with. Hit me with finality about her voice that sent a shiver through me.
"Talk about what?" I asked, my earlier trials pushed to the back of my mind, as I observed the determined look on her face.
"There's no easy way to say this Mike," she started. "I'm leaving you. I'm sorry but my mind's made up. I hate to hurt you, but I have to follow my heart. I've met someone else and I'm going to live with him."
"And that's it?" I spat back at her. "Fifteen bloody years and that's all you've got to say."
"There's a lot more to say Mike," Gwen replied, her voice softening. "It's not that I don't love you anymore honey. But the passion's gone and I simply don't feel that I'm actually in love with you anymore."
"Who the fuck is it?"
"Does that matter?" She pleaded.
"Of course it damn well matters," I cried out, trying to control my emotions. Damn it, the day had been bad enough already without this to add my problems. How could she do this to me? This day of all days.
"I don't think you know him Mike," my wife of fifteen years regally informed me. "I met him at last year's Christmas party."
"That smarmy git who you danced with half the bloody night," I burst out angrily, remembering that evening and the argument that had followed. "Gerry something or other."
"Gerald," Gwen corrected me. "Gerald Martin. I'm sorry Mike but I've been seeing him pretty regularly more or less ever since."
"Seeing him?" I snarled sarcastically.
"You know what I mean," was all she would offer.
A silence that seemed to drift on forever as the pair of us stood there, me glaring at her angrily, while she, my wife Gwen looked at me sadly, a single tear rolling slowly down her left cheek.
"I'm really sorry Mike," she whispered.
"Sure you are Gwen," I snapped back at her. "What are you waiting for? Why don't you fuck off to your bloody Gerry?"
"Gerald," she corrected me quietly. "I'll be going now. I'll come back for the rest of my stuff during the week sometime."
"Bugger off then."
"Mike, please don't be like that."
"Fuck off then. Is that better?"
I guess it wasn't, and Gwen burst into tears, grabbed her cases and ran from the house, throwing her luggage into the back seat as she jumped into the driving seat.
"Is that really it Mike?" She pleaded, sat there with the engine running, her foot on the clutch no doubt and the car in gear. I don't know how I knew but I did, we both did, that if I'd said the right thing at that moment then she'd call the whole stupid thing off.
But I didn't!
With a shake of my head, and without another word, I turned and walked slowly back into the house, my life as I'd known it broken and finished.
I didn't even hear her car pull away.
Well, how would you feel?
Even though I didn't really know the guy, to have a work colleague killed almost in front of you and then