Caitlin studied the menu, holding it in front of her face as Paul was shown past her table with his dinner companion. Why did he have to go and choose this evening to come to their restaurant? She had picked the one where they had dined together most often before she caught him banging the new girl. She had hoped that shame would have kept him out of here; clearly the soft-shell crab was far too enticing.

It was bad enough trying to look comfortable with eating alone in a restaurant. She had male friends who simply did not understand her discomfort at doing this – for them dining alone was a pleasure. They loved to be waited on without having to discuss car-pooling or office politics or any number of other quotidien concerns, and never had such luck when dining with their wives. To dine alone for a woman was almost to say ‘I am alone and I cannot cook’.

Once they were seated she peeked over the menu. He was holding her spindly cuckoo hand, looking into her eyes and laughing. Caitlin just wanted to cry.

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