Guinevere Pettigrew 40

‘It is cold,’ said Joe, and calmly put his arm round Miss Pettigrew and held her close.

Miss Pettigrew sat in a taxi with a strange man and he had the effrontery to put his arm round her, and Miss Pettigrew … Miss Pettigrew relaxed. She sank in her seat. She laid her head on his shoulder. She had never been so wicked in her life and she had never been so happy. She wasn’t going to pretend any more. She heard her own voice saying very loudly and very firmly,

‘I am forty,’ said Miss Pettigrew, ‘and no one, in all my life before, has flirted with me. You mayn’t be enjoying it, but I am. I’m very happy.’

She found his free hand and very firmly took hold of it. Joe’s returning clasp was warmly reassuring.

‘I am very comfortable myself,’ said Joe.