I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. Lina was right about us drinking too much. There is a lot of free wine in the art world and it’s easy to slip into semi-alcoholism. Not to mention the middle class vice of drinking wine because your boss stresses you out. “We should drink juice more often,” I said to Lina as she woke. She smiled. “I’m going to dump Paul,” she said, “wish me luck.”
I couldn’t help feeling that I might have forced her decision. I’d used my evil mind powers to break up their reltionship. What if he was the one. Just a bit slow to commit…
She reached for her phone. “Paul, where are you today, we should meet for lunch,”
I could only hear a mumble of what Paul was saying,
“LA, when did you go to LA?” asked Lina,
There was an awkward pause. I could see Lina getting angry.
“I don’t think this is working,” she said,
“No, I don’t want to talk when you get back, because I never know when that will be,”
I could hear him still shouting on the other end. She snapped the phone shut. Connie who had been woken by the row put her arms round Lina. “It’s for the best,” she said.
“I know,” said Lina, and began to cry. “I really miss him,” she said. Which was stupid because she’d only just dumped him. But then again, he had been absent for much of their relationship. I think she was lonelier than she had let on. “I feel sick,” she said, curling up in a foetal position on the bed.
We spent the morning at a female-only yoga class. I could see tears running down Lina’s cheeks as she moved. I was thinking about the Celtic hero Guleesh. Selflessly brave. His gruff exterior hiding a pure, warm heart. Born long before male-neurosis, long before the wheels of industry began to turn, long before The Man, The Man who turned everything, including love, into a commodity to be bought and sold, perhaps before war itself was even invented. Born in a primordial time. A template.
Often, girls have no voice. Guleesh’s beloved was a girl cursed mute by the fairies. After carrying her to safety, he tested on himself the dangerous Elixir of Speech, before giving it to her as a cure.
The next day Paul sent Lina flowers, for the first time ever.