Doomed Date Diaries by Bethany Quinn
'I'm just popping out to the shops,' Peter said, picking up his coat and keys on the way to the door.
'Okay,' I said, not really paying any attention.
'Do you want anything?'
'No thanks,' I called back absently.
'Love you,' he said.
'Love you too,' I said, just as the front door slammed shut. I doubt he heard me. It doesn't really matter. I didn't hear from him again for five years.
I was slumped in the corner of my favourite pub drinking a large glass of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It was eye-wateringly expensive but tonight I wasn't taking any chances. I needed something rich, warming and French. Nothing else would do. The ongoing saga of Jessie and Carl's couch was driving me insane.
It was only a saggy old piece of junk that they'd picked up at auction, but the battle for its possession was entering a third week.
Initially Carl claimed the couch had great sentimental value. It was, after all, the place the couple had made love for the first time. This very nearly had the desired effect. Jessie came close to giving their relationship another go- mostly because she didn't like the idea of Carl making love to anyone else on their 'special' couch. Unfortunately she was already too late. Twice.
Then Carl said he was willing to swap the couch, until he discovered that Jessie intended to have it reupholstered as it was beginning to show its age. I guess he didn't like the look of the new fabric. There was stalemate for a day or two. Jessie finally gave in, saying she'd just chuck a throw over it instead. At this, Carl flared up, saying the throw was symbolic- that Jessie was trying to hide the fact that they had ever been together and he would rather burn the couch and watch TV on the floor than let her have it.
And so it went on. Frankly I was sick to death of the whole stupid thing.
My phone was ringing. Strangely it wasn't Jessie or Carl. It was Peter.
'I'd like to pick up my stuff,' he said.
'What stuff?' I said.
'The stuff I left at your flat.'
'That was five years ago!' I said.
'I've been busy.'
'I don't live there anymore,' I said.
'Oh,' he said- and put the phone down.
I was glad we didn't have a couch.