I was dazed with the sadness of lost things. I sat alone at the kitchen table in ordered silence. Cheese, biscuits and Pinot Grigio looking like debris that had fallen off the ceiling, and I tried to imagine what my father might have done at a time like this. I had largely ignored his advice, but he knew what to do in a crisis. And he knew what to drink.
I found a bottle of Le Manoir Sancerre. It had been his cellar after all. I placed it in the fridge and hurried round to her house. I shouted her name and rang the bell. But she spoke to me through the stained glass and I was glad I could not see her face when she told me it was all over between us.
I shivered like a man with stage-fright and watched the world come slowly to a standstill and felt my heart sinking as though into quicksand. I thrust my hands into my pockets and walked sullenly back down the drive; my love for her was like so much loose change left over from a pound and I could hear his words of wisdom: “Leaves, they come and go, leaving transparent signs of their departure. First, you see sides of them you never knew. Next, they become a disturbance, lifeless on the ground. Then they’re gone. Girlfriends are like leaves.”
So, I resolved to go home, put on my best suit, throw out the cheese and open the Sancerre.
As I passed her house once more, I found my voice; “You know what?” No response. “Never open that door.”
I kicked out in feeble frustration at the autumn foliage on the pavement. Dad always did talk rubbish, but he knew his wine and drank plenty of it.