“So you see, I’m not the only one,” Kate said. Talking to Susan, though not about how her first day had gone or, how the week was shaping up to be a week from hell with Satan’s triplets. But about the ad she had found in the Herald Tribune. She sat in the quiet of her tiny Flat. Like that explained everything. It was a place deflated of air with no room to breath. Dressed in her pyjamas, curled up on the new couch, newspaper in one hand, glass of red wine in the other. The phone wedged in against her neck. She kicked at the lone cushion by her feet.
“There but for the grace of—” she was about to say God but she didn’t believe in deities.
“It does sound romantic,” Susan gauged her words, “but are you sure it’s written by a women?” The last garbled from eating something and talking at the same time.
“Definitely,” came the reply, “I think?” And then, to herself, Kate thought. Did it matter?
“Well I’m not sure. That reference to baseball makes me think the poster is a man, and—” Susan left her words in the air. Unconvinced and not sure where all this was leading, but, knowing her friend as she had for over 25 years, anywhere.
Kate had only been back from Canada a scant couple of months and already Susan felt she was planning to leave.
“It’s only an ad in the paper, and an old one at that.”
“Not so, it’s last week’s, and—” Kate countered, she wanted to say more but Susan continued.
“Honestly, Kate—” There was that tone, Susan was loosing her patience, “I don’t know why you read those things. I mean, who’s to say who posted the ad and what it means.”
Kate felt she knew exactly what it meant. “They sound genuine.” She added, as if convincing herself.
“Listen Sweetie, the ad wasn’t aimed at you, you know that don’t you? And anyway, it might be some sort of—”
Kate listened but couldn’t stop thinking about the ad, who had placed it and why. Other than the obvious that is. Was it a joke, or was someone really looking for that all-important person. And with an ad in a newspaper? The whole idea that someone had gone to such lengths grabbed her attention and now, wouldn’t let go.
“Are you there?” Susan’s voice demanded.
“Eh—yep.” Kate said round a massive yawn.
“Yeah, I know, I’m such a bore when I pontificate.” Susan teased.
They said their goodbyes. Susan reminding Kate she was up in the Lake District for the next couple of days and would be on the mobile if she wanted to call. Knowing full well her friend wouldn’t last a day or two without phoning.
Susan might have dismissed the ad but Kate went to bed still pondering who had placed it. And in the Tribune of all papers—one of her favourites.
TO BE CONTINUED …