That was thirty eight years ago. Two weeks later, Petey lost control on the ice and slid off the ring road into a tree. I cried for a week but life moves on, doesn't it? I met Tony at a disco at my art college and thought we'd be together forever. Three months later he finished with me - he mumbled something about the "weird shit" in my house and walked out, complaining of doors banging at all hours and the dog barking at nothing in front of the TV. Robert, a guy I met at the gallery, said the same thing and left after six months. Took me three more attempts at a relationship until I finally saw Petey too, outlined in starlight on the landing when I went to the loo one Tuesday night. I'd promised forever, hadn't I?
Now I'm a couple of years shy of 60, and Petey's still here. He spooks the little trick or treaters at Halloween, and he even scared off a couple of lads who tried to break in. Pity I can't tell the insurance people and get a reduction on my premium. He potters about when I'm out, and we sit and watch TV when I'm in. I don't always see him these days, he's faded as time's gone on, but I know he's there. I can smell the cheap leather from that old Datsun, or I hear his laugh in the kitchen when the dinner goes wrong again.
Folk just see a woman on her own, no kids or husband, and they ask if I'm lonely, but how can I be? I've got my Petey, haven't I? He keeps me company when no one else will come round, and if this cough is anything to go by, I'll be seeing him soon enough. I don't mind, not really. After all, we promised "Forever".