When Adam met Charlie...In today's pick of the Ambridge Observer archive, award-winning romantic novelist Lavinia Catwater tugs at our heartstrings with her saga of a troubled love story... (is there any other kind? Ed)
Ian woke and turned to Adam. ‘Morning mate! How’s your silly mid off?’ he giggled. ‘Didn’t we have a great time at Edgbaston?’
Adam frowned and threw the giant inflatable kangaroo that lay between them across the room. Shocked, Ian asked: ‘What’s up? Did I embarrass you in front of Charlie? I’m such a duffer about cricket.’
‘No, Ian, you were fine.’ Adam smiled that irresistible smile. ‘Everyone loved your practical joke with the Panama hat and the pavlova. No, it’s this thing with Brian.’
Ian seized his moment. ‘Well, that’s simple,’ he said. ‘Take Debbie’s offer of a job in Hungary. I’d easily find a kitchen, and you’d have more money, more security, and no Brian breathing down your neck.’ (Or Charlie Thomas, he thought to himself).
Adam bounded out of bed and headed for the shower. ‘This is our chance, Adam!’ Ian called after him, hope flaring like heartburn in his chest.
Later that evening the scene was set: the flat smelt deliciously of goulash and a bottle of Tokay was chilling in the fridge. ‘Hi Ian, I’m home!’ Adam came in and flung his cricket bag down. ‘We won by eight wickets. And guess what?’
Ian handed him a glass. Had he called Debbie? Was their new life assured? ‘I’ve been to see Brian. I’m accepting his share-farming offer.’ Ian’s world went dark, but he managed a smile. ‘Well, you certainly know how to surprise a fella!’
‘I know, but Charlie says, seize the day. Charlie says I’ll regret it if I go. Charlie says… Ian, where are you going?’
‘Just turning down the goulash!’ Ian rushed to the kitchenette, where he stuffed a tea towel in his mouth to stifle his bitter sobs…
To be continued…