Terry is turning 43, but he doesn’t feel very much like a grown up. Most of the time even when he’s at work, even when he’s in a suit and tie, for heaven’s sake, he feels a bit like a gormless teenager. Naive and awkward. Goofy even. Terry’s wife Anna wears a suit to work too, but she is spookily efficient and seriously mature. Terry imagines what it would be like if they weren’t married. What it would be like working with her. He imagines her saving her secure files to come out of her office for his birthday cake and ten dutiful minutes of workplace bonding with the team. She’d have a thin slice and a cup of tea and she’d wish him many happy returns while assessing Terry’s haircut and shoes and thinking up clever questions for his performance review. Thank God we are just married he thinks, but the doubt has begun. Terry longs for Casual Friday and his oxblood red sneakers and doesn’t realise that the rot’s setting in, the way it does, the way it will.

Cannylass

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