After the most recent bombshell, I made sure that I was awake to talk to the OH on Skype when he next called. He was sceptical about the news. "After all, Max was pretty public about his infidelity."
For those who might have forgotten, he picked the marquee at the village Royal Wedding feast for his display of inappropriate affection, just a year ago. "And didn't you say that Verity had a few flings of her own while she was away over the summer?" Also true, though 'few' may be an understatement. Verity did rather gloss over her activities in the south of France. "You'll probably find they've simply had a meeting to finalise details of selling the house or some other financial thing to do with the divorce."
I couldn't help but agree with him on this rather disheartening interpretation, but I made a point of checking the various estate agents' windows when I was next in town and couldn't see any sign of Verity's house having gone on the market. And there was no For Sale board outside the house. Eventually, I took the bull by the horns and left a phone message: "Verity, call me, we need to talk."
Somewhat to my surprise, she did, the following day. And they are back together, as a trial.
"Though it's going quite well so far," she admitted. "I don't want to count my chickens or anything, but..."
"But after what he did..." I was astonished that she could ignore his behaviour.
"Don't worry, I made a point of telling him everything that I did last summer. And I mean, everything." She gave me one of those knowing looks that suggested Max had heard more than I had, and let's face it, I'd heard quite a bit. "So it's not as if I haven't taken my revenge. Quite a lot of it, truth be told." She smirked at the thought of all her revenge and her eyes started to go slightly misty. Who knows who she was thinking about?!
I wanted to change the subject before I found out any more snippets concerning how vengeful she had been but I think Verity realised I was rapidly approaching the boundary of my comfort zone.
"Anyway, I'd consulted a lawyer and the settlement wasn't going to give me as much as I wanted. This recession is hitting Max where it hurts and the alimony would have just been pathetic."
"But why didn't you tell me any of this before? And why have you been avoiding me?"
She didn't deny it. "But you've been so wrapped up in your own things, what with Japan and everything. It's clearly all too much for you - I mean, look at yourself. You've really let yourself go. You've stopped exercising with that lovely looking girl who made you go running last year, you've let your hair go back to that boring mousy colour, judging by your blog you hardly ever go out to yoga or anything anymore, and Joe said.." She stopped abruptly, as though she had said too much.
"What did Joe say?" I had seen very little of Joe since the OH had lost his previous job and consequently hadn't thought about him much, so I was curious that he had evidently been thinking about me.
"Just that he hadn't seen you lately," she said airily. Or should that be evasively? "Right, got to go now. We've got an appointment with a marriage counsellor. According to her, I'm still too angry with Max though I always thought he liked that sort of thing. Perhaps some of my new toys are - "
"Off you go, then, don't want to make you late," I said hurriedly, interrupting her and practically pushing her out through the door before she told me anything else I didn't want to hear, though realistically I think it was too late.
I shall have to drop in on Joe, though.