Vivienne Love (yes that genuinely is her real name) has waited three years, eight months and sixteen days for Gerald Farley to leave his wife. Muffled twilight promises disappear into the morning and jealousy is starting to stain her face. Vivienne lives simply to be in his company: for those snatched few hours; travelling all the way across town for secretive, candle lit dinners for two and falling into bed, or on to the sofa, the dining table or the floor. Some days she feels drunk in her love for him. She exists, but she only comes to life when she’s with Gerald.
Gerald is 42, a lawyer and the classic description of tall, dark and handsome. He has a loud, infectious laugh that makes his rich brown eyes twinkle a little. He is one snappy dresser, expensive suits and polished Italian shoes. He knows about wine, politics and the solar system and laughs at Vivienne, affectionately of course, for not knowing a thing about any of these subjects.
It sickens her every time he has to leave, the walls of their beautiful love fall down when she pictures him sleeping next to another woman, albeit his wife. She knows they go for family picnics by the river with their grown-up sons while Vivienne bites her nails, cries and watches Bette Davies movies with Gin & bitter lemon.
She yearns, oh how she yearns, to be the one, the one that boils his morning egg, the one with the tissues and tenderness when he’s ill. To be the last person he sees at night and the first face he sees upon waking. To be able to go out, anywhere, hand in honest hand, to have their own picnics by the river. She’d make his favourite sandwiches: egg and cress.
Vivienne thinks of their house, she knows where they live. Occasionally (is once a week occasionally?) she drives right by the driveway and once even got out and looked through the large bay window. She should be there; it should be hers, although those ghastly Laura Ashley drapes would have to go. And she’d put good money on her having twee floral bedspreads. Vivienne wishes she could frolic in that bed, stain the clean sheets and have an orgasm that she didn’t feel were almost stolen.
Mrs. Farley, her name is Diana, it made Vivienne think of the dead princess. Goodbye
’s Rose. It’s no good. She has to go. Gerald will never be hers at this rate: “My career, the children, it would break her heart ....” No more. She picks up the black Gucci bag Gerald bought her for her birthday. The silver glint of the kitchen knife on the sideboard catches her eye, winking, double daring her. She pops it in her bag and locks the door behind her. England