The Hard Way

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“Come on, Peter, come on!

“Sorry, sorry, I’m trying my best.  I j-just can’t.”

“For heavens sake!  God, what kind of man are you?  How can you leave me up in the air like this?”

“I can use the gadget if you like?  You know, that vibrating thing—”

“Don’t bother. I’ve gone off the boil anyway now.”

Of course I should have realised that one of the drawbacks of having a lover who is forty years older than you are is that he can’t always keep up with your demands.  I’m a thirty-year-old woman, with natural needs and desires and Sir Peter Fitzbairn-Scrope was the millionaire chairman of the large multi-national charity, where I’d got a job recently.  Sir Peter also had a wife, and many children and grandchildren, none of whom knew I existed.

(This story was told to me by a much inebriated and very depressed young woman called Laura, whom I ran into one evening at the Dog and Duck.)

Not long afterwards I spoke to some mates, and was offered some stuff called Priagra. It’s a drug that’s said to be ten time more powerful than Viagra, with none of the side effects, and it’s not yet available to the general public.  I persuaded Peter to try it and nothing happened.  He doubled the dose and got a little bit of lead in his pencil.  Then he tripled the dose and that certainly did the trick.

Apart from our now solved physical problem, the chemistry between us was great, for there was an immediate and earth-shattering attraction between us.  He adored my body.  I adored his money.  A match made in heaven!

But after six months of our hole-in-corner affair, I spoke to my mate Tracey about my difficult situation.

“You’ll learn the hard way, Laura,”  Tracey warned me as we began to drink our way through a gallon of vodka.  “You’ll spend years and years seeing him secretly, he’ll treat you like shit, and I’m telling you now, he’ll never leave his wife – they never do.  Then he’ll snuff it and you won’t get so much as a fart at the funeral.”

“But what can I do?”  I wailed.

“Give him an ultimatum.  Make him abandon his family and move in with you.  It’s hard and it’s risky. But it’s the only way if you don’t want to end up being a mug.”

I realised that Tracey was right.  So I told Peter that I was determined to have him all to myself or we’d have to end things for good: his choice.  In the end he agreed with me, indeed he was quite keen on leaving his wife and family. However there was a big snag.

“If I divorce her, she’ll take more than half of everything I’ve got. We’ll have to live pretty frugally.”

“I thought of that,”  I told him.  “I work in accounts, remember?  Think of all those huge donations we get.  Why don’t you divert a little bit of cash into a secret Swiss account of your own?  That way you’ll build up a lovely big nest egg that no one else knows about.”

“Hmmm, well…”

He agreed in the end.  And in a few weeks he’d got six million quid sorted away.  It was enough for him to retire and for us to live in luxury on a tropical island in the South Seas: Bagga Bagga to be exact, which is supposed to be an earthly paradise, where all you need to do all day is swim, play golf and tennis, drink, lie on the beach and relax in the wonderful hotels.

We fixed a date: the first of November.  Everything was arranged, but I told him that he had to be deadly serious, that he’d get no second chances.  He had to leave her on that night and come away with me.  He said he’d meet me at Gatwick airport at midnight, and we’d fly away to our new life together in Bagga Bagga.  And I was so excited, because I believed him.

But I was also worried.  It all seemed somehow too good to be true. I wondered if I really was doing the right thing in pushing him to make such a drastic decision.  But I knew that if I showed the slightest bit of weakness, he’d never leave his comfortable life.  He had to be prepared to leave his family and everything else behind, and fly away with me on the first of November, come what may.  If he didn’t turn up at the airport, I told him, then I’d assume that he’d changed his mind, and I’d go away on my own and leave him for ever.

And guess what?

That’s exactly what happened.

I was waiting two  hours.  Calls to his mobile always went to voicemail, his landline the same, and texts went unanswered.  And I had no choice but to face it. He must have changed his mind, and didn’t even have the courage to tell me to my face.

So I went to Bagga Bagga on my own, deciding that since he’d already booked the hotel there I might as well take advantage of it, and spend the five thousand quid he’d given me as a present a week ago.

Once I got there I was so furious at his betrayal that I decided to pay him back in a very special way.  I had already made a note of every transaction and every payment he made into the illegal Swiss account, of every penny that he’d embezzled from the charity.  Anonymously, I sent all the facts to the newsdesks of all the major newspapers, certain that they’d pass on the information and he’d probably go to jail.  I was determined to get my own back on the bastard for treating me like that!   If he was going to ruin my life, I was going to ruin his!

In the end I stayed in Bagga Bagga for six months.  Ralph Biggun, the owner of the hotel, was a handsome bachelor of forty, and he took a shine to me, and I didn’t have to pay a bill all the time I was there, and he wined and dined me very night, and I had a wonderful time in the sun.  I never looked at a newspaper or watched world news on the TV, I just cut loose from everything and chilled out.

But all good things have to come to an end.  Ralph Biggun met someone else and I ran out of money. So I decided to come back to London and try and find a job and a place to live.

I ran into Jane, a girl I used to know from the charity where we’d worked together.  Not having read a newspaper or watched TV for months, I had no idea what had happened to Peter, but Jane lost no time in telling me.

“It was terrible,” she said, conspiratorially.  “At about the same time that you suddenly went away on holiday, they found him dead in his car in his garage at home.  He had suitcases packed, and there was a note to his wife, telling her he was leaving her.  The garage door was open, his hand was on the ignition key when he had the heart attack.  It was terrible for his wife, doubly humiliating for her when they found the note telling her he was leaving her for a younger woman.  A few days later there were reports in the newspaper about him fiddling money from our charity, some kind of secret bank account.”  She frowned miserably.  “Sir Peter posthumously lost his knighthood. And the charity was in terrible trouble for allowing it to happen, there was a huge enquiry. It eventually closed down and we all lost our jobs.”

“He died of a heart attack?”  I asked, stunned.  “He really had  been planning to leave his wife?”

“Yes.  And do you know what? Apparently the doctors discovered from the post mortem that the old fool was taking massively high doses of some new fangled impotence tablet called Priagra that’s so dangerous it hasn’t been authorised for use. They reckon that’s what killed him.  What a pillock, eh?  He had a lovely wife and family, all that money, then he nicks cash he doesn’t even need, and kills himself with Priagra. All in order to satisfy some money-grabbing young slut. What a bitch – I’d give anything to get my hands on her. By the way, I remember now, you used to work in accounts, didn’t you?  The police are going to want to talk to you.”

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