By Ken Milgate
Amy lived her life in twos. At school dances and in the clubs she soon frustrated her partners with her two left feet, leaving them with bruised shins and trodden-on shoes. Her eyesight was never perfect from the day she banged her head on the dance floor after a fall doing the Military Two-Step, leaving her with double vision.
She was not an only child. She had a twin sister and the two could not be more different. Two of a kind they were not. Angela was highly intelligent and an economist by profession, but to her sister her work was nothing more than double Dutch. Poor Amy had trouble putting what little brain she had to any use and could hardly put two and two together in any situation.
But for all her failings, Amy had a big heart and yearned for someone to love, unlike her sister who was too wrapped up in her work to share her life with someone.
Amy, however, was hardly a catch, what with her uncoordinated legs and visual problems. She was big everywhere, XXL in all departments. As large as she was in build, so was her appetite for love.
It was Tom, a sales rep for Twining’s, who responded to her Facebook post and suggested they meet. It was, quite naturally, on only their second date that he confessed there were no two ways about it, he just couldn’t live without her. He was not one to be put off by double chins and bulging biceps. They had to be as one at the double.
But while Tom was single-minded in his affections, Amy was having second thoughts but on reflection saw nothing duplicitous in his advances and duly agreed to pair up with him for ever.
For ever lasted barely two weeks before Amy tired of her husband’s late nights. He would frequently not get home until two in the morning, often in the company of one or two friends and regularly be too hungover to go to work.
For the time being she needed a roof over her head and, despite their very different natures, Angela was only too willing to provide shelter until things got sorted.
While Angela was out at work, Amy reflected on her short marriage and decided she had come across as too eager and too amorous, probably to the point of offending Tom’s masculinity. That said, he had made no attempt to contact her even though she had left him her sister’s address. Perhaps she was well rid of him.
It was not long before Angela took pity on her brooding sister and decided to get her back into life at a club or party. Angela knew how to party and mixed socially with a totally different set of people from those she worked with.
The first evening at Two’s Company was all too much for Amy and her introspection, but the return visit was to prove life changing: days of freedom and innocence would end in days of captivity.
Arthur liked his women big, and Amy just happened to be blessed with physical attributes much admired by the flamboyant toolmaker from Bicester. He courted her in a whirlwind romance that mirrored Tom’s approach, but Amy was too entranced to be wary of fate dealing her another disappointment. Blinded by her suitor, she lost track of time and day and was swept off her feet, without a care in the world and said yes a second time to a proposal of marriage.
As the clock struck two in the registry office and the newly-weds embraced, in walked Tom, accompanied by a police officer. It was Tom who alerted Amy to her crime, it was Arthur who threatened legal action and it was Amy who stood confused – full of love, caught between two men and wanted by neither.
Ken Milgate lives in County Durham. On retirement from teaching, he is giving his 70-year-old inner voice an outlet in creative writing.