Rohan, on the other hand, is the guy with everything, money, looks, and a promising future. However, his life is complicated. He also needs his ego dealt with by a woman who doesn’t have difficulty in saying ‘no’ to him. Ally needs a strong man but one who can handle gender equality.
However, in real life we don’t always meet the right person first.
For business reasons, a month or two after I had my first daughter, my husband had to dash off overseas. Needing more than dirty nappies and toothless grins in my life, I invited my younger sister over for a meal. She brought a date, a new guy she had recently met, a handsome blue-eyed blonde. All her boyfriends were good looking so that wasn’t a shock.
He seemed very nice. I didn’t know he was a divorcee but when I got to know him better, I heard that he owned a house, which was very impressive given that my husband and I had only just bought ours, and we had a few years on him.
By applying for two mortgages, he and his new wife had managed to finance their home but they had no money to spare. Fortunately he came from a large family and they’d been given a good range of wedding presents. One morning his wife rang him (before the days of mobile phones) and asked him to meet her for a surprise lunch a good walk away from his work. She sounded mysterious and he was intrigued. When she didn’t turn up after he’d eaten both the bread rolls on the table and drunk all the water in the jug, he hurried back to work and tried calling her. Her office said she had compassionate leave that day and his phone at home rang out. Shades of ‘An Affair to Remember.’
He was really worried and so he took the rest of the day off and raced home, via a two kilometre walk, a detained bus, and another long walk. When he arrived, hot, sweaty, and worried, the place had been ransacked. The only bed had been stolen, and the lounge suite. The kitchen table had gone but two of the four chairs remained. Half his flatware had gone, three out of set of six. He had three out of six plates, cups, saucers, and mugs. Normally, he is not a suspicious man, but he sat on his tableless chair with his head in his hands and thunk. That’s the past tense of think. Likely, he hadn’t been pranked. The numbers of the missing items were too deliberate. Likely his lovely young wife had skedaddled with what she had decided was her half of their wordly goods.
He would have made a reviving cup of tea but the kettle had gone, the fridge had disappeared, and the milk had been left to sour. Upon opening the cupboards, he found them almost bare. He had half the food and no vegemite, which was okay because he wasn’t Aus born and could survive without this staple. Fortunately, the washing machine hadn’t been stolen - they’d never bought one, a lucky save along with the TV they’d also never purchased.
He told this tale with a guileless smile and a deprecating laugh, which is really cruel to the listener who by this stage, is in paroxysms of laughter after hearing how his wife had left with far more than her share of their worldly possessions, having lured him into wasting not only his time but also his only spare cash on two rolls and a jug of water.
He was truly heartbroken, just as much about the loss of her, but at least he had his savings. His savings! The phone. Yes, his had been unplugged and removed. He dashed into the neighbour’s house and used their phone to call the bank. Wiped out. Every last cent gone. Although he had scraps in the cupboards to eat, he wouldn’t be able to pay a single bill. His water and power would be cut off and the mortgage would be foreclosed. Woe was he.
I didn’t know this last part until yesterday when we had lunch. I had dined out on his story for years and inspired one of the ladies-who-lunch to leave her second husband this way, although she mainly took her own things.
By this time he was suicidal. Desperate. He went to the bathroom cupboard to take an overdose of something because his life as he knew it was clearly over. Yes, she had stolen everything there too, down to the last Panadol. Lucky for him, because he thunk some more and ended up laughing, though with a large touch of rue I suspect. His wife had certainly given him a huge surprise that day.
I’m glad my sister married him. A man who can go through that and still maintain his sense of humour is a keeper. He and she found the ‘one’ when they met each other and without the first wife clearing out, he would never have met my sister. Fate? Or does a right happen to wipe out a wrong?
That’s kind of the theory behind romance novels, wiping out the wrong and finding people like Ally in Dr No Commitment for Rohan. Even rich guys with stupendous egos deserve a break, and a nice woman who can whip up a pavlova in a trice – can be my best friend any day.