You're not quite sure whether she likes you or not and you're well aware that she'd be perfectly within her rights to hate you, the way Gary behaves around you. Oh, he's not as bad as Dermot, but you know that he likes you. That much is obvious, from the pathetic attempts to comfort you now that Mike's no longer in the picture. But you don't need that sort of comfort. You need to talk to a rational human being, and when Dorothy lets you in with her set of keys when yours are somewhere at the bottom of your handbag and it's raining and you want to get inside as soon as possible, and then asks you how you're doing, it seems reasonable to invite her up for a drink later, if she wants to escape the football on the telly for a while. One drink in, you remember Gary telling you that he and Dorothy have an open relationship at the moment. Two drinks in, you ask her whether she hates you and ask her to confirm that "No, of course not!" several times. Three drinks in, you forget to remind her that Gary's waiting for her downstairs.

You still love Gary. Of course you do. You're not quite sure why you do, but you know that you can't just stop loving him. But if he wants to have an open relationship, then you're perfectly okay with it. Not that he actually expects you to avail of the opportunities this presents, but that's the problem, isn't it? He never thinks of anyone but himself. He hasn't even noticed that you've been gone for – how long have you been up here, anyway? You don't particularly feel like leaving, though. It's comfortable sprawled out here, and Deborah really is quite nice – well, you suppose it's not her fault that those two brain-dead idiots are gaga about her, is it? She can't help being blonde and gorgeous. And sometimes you just need female companionship. And, well, if she needs comforting after Mike – now known as That Bastard – has been shagging half of Singapore, then it's the least you can do, really. Who says you need men to enjoy yourselves, anyway? And at least she has a clue about the female body and what works. She doesn't need you to draw a map for her. Yes, this is exactly what you need.

fin