“God knows how any­one has an af­fair with a hu­man; the ly­ing is bad enough when it’s only a bike”

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ing the stairs two at a time.

“It fin­ished early,” he says.

“I just went down to Cen­tra to get milk,” I shout down the stairs, be­fore putting my wind­burnt cheeks un­der the bath­room tap.

“But we’ve got milk,” he shouts up. “I’ve just made tea with half a car­ton and there’s a whole other litre in the fridge.”

“And I wanted a Kit Kat,” I call, check­ing my face in the mir­ror for tell-tale signs of guilty glow.

“Oh,” he says, as I en­ter the kitchen. “Did you get me one?”

“No,” I say slowly which, I’m learn­ing, is how you must pro­ceed when you’re hav­ing an af­fair and in­no­cent ques­tions feel like care­fully laid snares. “I didn’t know you were go­ing to be here.”

“You knew I was go­ing to be here,” my daugh­ter says. “Where’s mine?”

“I for­got,” I say.

“Where’s your Kit Kat then?” he says, hand­ing me a cup. “We can have it with our tea.”

“I ate it,” I say.

“You’ve been gone ages,” my daugh­ter says. tis­ing.”

“Trau­ma­tis­ing?” I say.

“You try cy­cling past the boys’ school at 16 with a big red face,” she says. “With boys all shout­ing, ‘HA, HA, HERE COMES MOLLY ON HER PUR­PLE LAND ROVER’.”

“Shame you never re­ally got into cy­cling,” my hus­band says to my daugh­ter.

“I couldn’t af­ford to show any sign of in­ter­est,” my daugh­ter says to my hus­band. “Or you’d have had me cy­cling to school ev­ery day on a 10k round-trip. I knew bet­ter than that.”

I do too. Es­pe­cially with Malin to Mizen be­ing 612km. In cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, it is wise to pad­lock your mouth.


My hus­band catches me cy­cling up from Paul’s in kit­ten heels.

I think I can pass off this episode as a flir­ta­tion. Fri­day.

I am cy­cling over the cause­way in my daugh­ter’s run­ners; my in­stant-fix af­ter­noon quickie. My hus­band passes me in his car: I think my num­ber’s up.

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