George came home early on Thursdays, but this time Martha had forgotten. She didn’t hear the sound of the mortise key as scraped inside the lock, as she lay basking in the warmth of the bed. Roger was by her side. Her mind was on other things as George arrived back at the house, and she lay in blissful denial of her husband as the sound of his boots scraped the polished boards of the stairs and landing.

“Martha love – I’m home.”

The rabbit clicked next to her, and Martha, who was in love, looked back affectionately. Just as the door to the bedroom was about to open she realised that her husband was home, and thrust her plastic partner under the bedclothes. She had not flicked the switch, and it continued to chunter as George sat next to her on the white cotton bedspread and put his hand over to her head to stroke her hair.

“Are you okay – you look exhausted. Here, I’ll get you a cup of tea.”

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