Trevor rings me. She speaks in a low tone. I think she is either going to tell me about a terrible act she is about to commit, or she’s committed the act, gotten caught, and is ringing me from the courtroom where the jury has taken 16 minutes to decide she’s guilty.
‘I have to tell you something,’ she breathes down the line.
‘Of course?’ I gasp, in upspeak, as if to say, tell me if you want, but don’t expect me to like it. She keeps doing terrible things to her husband when he’s drunk such as standing behind him when he sits down to watch tv – she puts her hair over her face and stays still for the 45 minutes it takes for him to see a hairy creature in the mirror behind him. She also blows up balloons and ties them to the inside door handle so when he falls in he has to contend with what he believes are ghosts grabbing at him. Then she jumps out at him. She has been known to lie in wait for two hours to do this, and I fear he has finally had the heart attack we all know is coming. She’s killed him. With hundreds of balloons.
‘So this is what it is.’
‘Okay. Go for it.’
‘You looked very svelte the other night when I saw you.’
‘Right. Did I?’
‘Yes. I didn’t want to say it in front of the others because I know you’d kill me. But you’re looking well. Sorry. I know you hate compliments.’
I hang up, but not before I scream at her that it’s a good thing we’re both in counselling because my giving out for receiving compliments and her apologising for handing them out is messed up.