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I cleaned up and flushed the toilet. I was delighted that the carnage was gone after one flush, a small private victory in an otherwise difficult situation. Returning to the bedroom I noticed Nikki had turned over and now had her back to me. Slipping under the quilt I kissed her gently on the back and went to sleep.

Breakfast was a relatively silent affair and Nikki did her best to remain polite and even friendly as we sipped tea and ate our toast. To outsiders we would have looked like a perfect couple from a party political statement from the Conservatives, lazily enjoying breakfast, comfortable with silence and looking forward to a day of household chores and blissful togetherness. But we both knew. There is a code in these situations that is adhered to by all parties.

At the front door I said what needed to be said. “I will call in the week Nikki and we can arrange to get together again”. “Sure Dave, drive carefully” she replied. Once in the car I started the engine and as I was about to pull off I looked across at the front door. She had gone indoors.

I never spoke to or saw her again.