Wednesday 4 September 2019

Stories We Tell Ourselves

by Mari Phillips

whiskey sour

 September 1, 1988
Dearest Ben,
I hope you arrived safely. I hated saying goodbye. You said a clean break was best, but I really want to stay in touch. We were so good together. I realise your divorce was hard, as was mine, but it was fun getting over them and I know we could make things work.
All my love Di

My dear Di,
Great to hear from you. The flight was long, but I met a guy who has promised to give me some contacts in Washington. They could be helpful with the background research. He’s calling me later today. Then I’m off to meet my old mate Jez so we can get cracking on the story – there’s a lot to do so I may not be in touch for a while. Hope you’re keeping busy and meeting lots of new people.
Love Ben

September 20, 1988
Dearest Ben, it was such a relief to hear from you – I was getting worried. I hope your work is going well. Mine’s boring and I miss you loads – are you missing me? Did you think about what I said in my letter? I can’t help but remember all the great times we had. How about I take some leave and fly out – you can show me around and introduce your new colleagues. Maybe we could do a trip together. I’ve always wanted to see the White House and the Pentagon. Write soon!
All my love – Di
Dear Di, good to hear from you – life here is very hectic. We’ve done the groundwork and we’re preparing to pitch to a TV company to produce a documentary. No point in wasting all the material. It should be great. Sorry - no time for a holiday – I’m sure you understand. Have you found a new man yet?
Best wishes
October 23, 1988
Dearest Ben, of course I’ve not found a man – no one can replace you – I miss you soooo much. Can’t you take a tiny break?
All my love - Di
Diana, we’ve finished the documentary; just doing final editing and some promo work. Hope you have a happy Christmas and New Year. I’m staying with my mate Jez and we’re going to visit his folks for the festivities. I visited Ma and Pa recently, they were well and send you their love.
All the best Ben
December 20, 1988
Dear Ben, I can’t believe you came back to England and didn’t even call! I’m really upset. I hoped we could make a go of things. Christmas won’t be the same without you.
Work’s nearly done here now. I’m quite relieved as it been such a busy few months. Sorry I didn’t call - no time. I saw Ma and Pa at Jo’s christening. You remember my friends Ed and Jacqui – well they asked me to be godfather to Jo and I couldn’t refuse. I was also able to catch up with Nikki – we met just before I left for Washington – she’s a colleague and we’re planning do some stuff together on my return.  How’s your love-life?
April 1, 1989
Dear Mr and Mrs Carstairs
I was so sorry to hear about Diane’s sudden death. It came as a total shock. I didn’t realise that she had been ill. She was a lovely young woman, always warm and generous. She was such a help to me when I was going through my divorce and so understanding when my work took me to Washington. Please accept my condolences. Unfortunately, I can’t attend the funeral as my wife Nikki is expecting our first child and she’s unwell, so we are unable to travel.
Deepest regards

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