Divorce diaries: Bolt from the blue

When those three words are the last ones you want to hear.
Running away.

I’m sitting in a low-slung sportscar, my cocktail dress hiked up mid-thigh, surrounded by photographers. This is slightly alarming – but it’s not the most alarming thing. The car costs more than my inner-city Berlin apartment. Also alarming – but still not the most alarming thing.

We’ve been treated to a high-pitched, a cappella rendition of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida performed by 30 sequinned men with moustaches. We’ve watched a troupe of Chinese child acrobats face death by fire, water and extreme heights. Drunk: at least eight champagne cocktails. Eaten: 80-odd macaroons. All very alarming.

But you know what the most alarming thing is? Sunk in my black leather driver’s seat, with one hand on the ostrich-hide steering wheel and the other on the thrusty gearstick, I’ve transformed. My veins are flooded with lust and adrenaline. I want to roar off the stage and out of the showroom, and conquer Europe – hell, the world! – with my huge horsepower.

I’ve become a man. I’m in love with a car.

Peering around the silver-embossed door, I see Ad Man taking pics on his smartphone. His face is aglow at the sight of two favourite things in one frame: his current lay, his future car. What could be sexier?

Reluctantly, I relinquish my seat to the car company’s CEO. “Careful!” I say almost aggressively. “Don’t fingerprint the dash!” I stride across the stage, slightly hampered by my dress. Damn it, I don’t want to mince like a geisha. I’m King of the World!

I run Ad Man to ground amidst the suited crowds. He kisses me extremely passionately for a slightly conservative, slightly-homophobic-while-trying-not-to-be man. Doesn’t he realise I’ve undergone a gender change behind the wheel? Apparently not. His hands swoosh like racing cars towards my arse.

Two hours later, we’re reclining in his black sheets, satiated. Ad Man may not have a Beckham body – but he sure knows what to do with what he’s got. He’s retained the sexual stamina of a 20-year-old, has the confidence of a 50-year-old and the invest-ment portfolio of a wealthy octogenerian.

Nonetheless, I feel uneasy. Next second I know why. Ad Man rears up on one elbow, looks at me and says the three words I’ve loved hearing ever since I was 16, that I’ve loved through my 20s and 30s, loved before my marriage, loved during my marriage – and that, since my divorce, have been banished from my vocabulary.

After he’s spoken, the silence is resounding. What should I say? “I feel… ” I’ve forgotten the word in German but this is no time to consult my online dictionary. I bolt to the bathroom and throw up. “He wasn’t speaking English,” I reassure myself. “Maybe you misheard?”

I text Jenna. “What rhymes with liebe?” Within seconds, she texts back. “Justin-Bieber?” Ten seconds later: “OMG. Did A.M. say he loves u?”

I stumble back to the bedroom. Looking at his kind, creased face and his familiar barrel chest, I feel wretched. What’s wrong with me? “Nothing,” says my inner voice. “You’re a man now, remember? The words ‘I Love You’ are about as welcome as the alarm of your new sportscar going off at 3am.”

I give Ad Man a weak kiss and lie across the barrel chest. He falls into blissful post-coital oblivion, I lie with my eyes open staring at the painting of a voluptuous nude on the wall. “Seven minutes,” I promise myself.

I count to 420 and then slip gingerly off Ad Man’s body. I can’t wait to get home, even if Home is worth less than a car. Then I hear another word that freezes me in my tracks.


“Erm, what…?” I say vaguely.

“Why don’t you stay? You never stay!”

‘Stay’ is another word I used to love. Now it simply bestows superhero powers on me. I become the Speed-of-Light-Lover – or should that be ‘Leaver’? I yank on my dress and run my hands through my mussed hair.

“Later!” I say, almost sprinting from the room. ‘Just like a man!’ says my inner voice admiringly.

Words by: Sarah Quigley

Photo: Getty Images

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