He should have never answered the phone to her, but he did. And that was that. They met, the chatted. She told him about her problems, her worries, her angst. While he sat there and listened. Listened to the fact that she had been hard done, life was difficult. The struggles that she went through yesterday. And he sat, listening, thinking, 'who give a shit?'
But he smiled, throughout that meeting. Nodding his head, empathising. Understanding. And watching the clock. Itching to get out of there. It was quite clear that there was no hope of rekindling this relationship. They had split up, for whatever reason, but it was clear that it was a final split. He wanted to see her again, the longing, the passion, the memories of what had been was still alive in his mind. But on meeting her, he did not see that vivacious young thing. He knew this beforehand, before the meeting, but the matters of the heart, the mind cannot dictate.
And it was the same today. His heart had ruled his mind. But three o'clock came, and he made his excuses to leave. It was over.
They parted, a gentle kiss on the cheeks, and that was that. He left the shop, erased her number from his phone and hopped onto the bus. Swiping his oyster card, he was about to go onto the top deck, but his ears caught a lively debate on the lower deck. So he decided to sit down as he saw an old Greybeard and a feisty young Church Goer arguing over love.
'I married twice and divorced once. They were virgins, both times! Yes, I had two virgins!'
The Church Goer's mouth dropped. She had just come from mass, as she was still in her Sunday best.
'I cannot believe you are telling me this, in front of my mother?'
'This is life! It cannot be helped, you must know this now! A man can never satisfy a woman!'
The Greybeard's long suffering wife was quietly sitting next to him, while the Greybeard, a little worse for the drink, continued.
'Anyway, I must find myself a new wife. I need to have another wife!'
'What, you are telling me that you cannot satisfy one woman, and yet you want another. And what about this woman sitting next to you? Are you telling me that she is happy with this?'
'She will do as I say!'
'She is not a happy woman. Look at her! She is not happy with this!'
'She will understand. She must!'
'Take it from me, no woman wants to share her husband!'
He looked out of the window, momentarily distracted by two junkies at the traffic lights. She had just kicked him in the nuts. He was keeled over on the pavement. She then rubbed his forehead and kissed him. Before kicking him, again.
'Have you asked your wife?'
The Church Goer's demand brought him back to the reality of what was happening on the bus.
The Greybeard looked lovingly at his wife.
'How could I marry someone else? She is my everything!'
'I hope you were only joking! Because your wife would be very unhappy if you got a second wife!'
The Greybeard chuckled and took another swig of whiskey.
It was time for him to go. He rang the bell and the bus dropped him at the next stop. No matter where you're from, or what you do, people, always need love. And that included him. The matters of the heart, cannot be dictated by the mind...