In Summary
  • “Oh…” Jo said. That was the first time I had ever seen her flustered. “I didn’t know what else to do…”
  • “You know how all of that hurt me. Steve cheated on me with her. And you are my friend and you stood by her instead of me?” Fatma continued her rant.

“What?” Mariam yelled as she approached me. “How dare you say that?”

“I said what I said,” I shrugged, trying to look nonchalant although I remember feeling very afraid that things would turn physical – and no one hates a fight more than me.

“You know Liz, sometimes you are just mean,” she hissed.

“Now, now ladies, no need to get like this,” Jo interjected, standing up to stand between us. “We came here to have a good time, so can we please do that?”

“But I am tired of the way Liz gets sometimes – like if it’s not about her then it doesn’t matter.”

HURTFUL THING

“You really did say a hurtful thing, Liz,” Fatma, who had been quiet up until then, had pointed out. I remember throwing my hands up in the air.

“No one understands that I am not having it easy either!” I exploded. It felt like all the strife I had been holding in – from the office, from Chris – had coalesced into this one, big ball of flaming anger and it was about to burn everything down. “I’m here, having to fight men at work and women over the weekend… and I’ve just been dumped and I don’t know how to cope with anything!” I shouted.

“What?” Fatma gawped, standing up. “Chris has left?”

“Yep,” Jo nodded.

“Hmph,” Mariam growled. Then she walked off to continue making her phone calls while I sat back down in my chair and took an angry sip of my drink. Suddenly what should have been a happy trip didn’t feel so good.

“Ok, look, ladies, we need to get our act together,” Jo had said. “But first we need Mariam to come back and join us. Liz, promise you’ll apologise when I bring her back?” I nodded grumpily while Jo walked off to have a chat with Mariam.

“I’m so sorry Liz,” Fatma said, sliding into the chair next to mine, that had just been vacated by Jo. “What happened with Chris again?” I said nothing, simply handed her my phone with the screen turned on to his curt email message. “My goodness. I am so sorry. He didn’t even have the guts to tell you face to face? Just an email?”

I remember shrugging; I had nothing else to do. “I think we’ll need to open another bottle of wine,” I said, holding up the one that was on the table with its dregs. “This is not going to be enough for us.”

Fatma dutifully reached out for another bottle just as Mariam and Jo returned. “Ok ladies, let’s all be nice to each other, ok?” I nodded grudgingly while Mariam sulkily took her seat. But surprise, surprise – no one saw Fatma coming.

“I can’t honestly say I am comfortable with all of this,” she had said. “You, Jo, you’re here telling us to be friendly and you’ve never taken the time to understand how you hurt my feelings when you took that woman’s side over mine.”

“What?” Jo’s eyes had opened wide. “What are you talking about?”

“Louise,” I pointed out, taking another large swig from my cup. “She’s talking about how you went and found Louise a therapist and a nanny to help her take care of Steve’s child.”

“Oh…” Jo said. That was the first time I had ever seen her flustered. “I didn’t know what else to do…”

“You know how all of that hurt me. Steve cheated on me with her. And you are my friend and you stood by her instead of me?” Fatma continued her rant.

“Hold up,” I said, turning to Fatma. “You know Louise. You’ve worked with her. You know what her character is like. She would have never stolen your man if she knew he was your man.”

“Look, Liz, I know you’re going to defend her because she’s your PA-,”

“No, I am just pointing out some key facts so that when you continue this argument, you at least do it with your facts straight.” I was starting to feel quite belligerent with each sip of wine.

Fatma rolled her eyes. “This is a disaster. I’m going to bed,” she had said.

“No, no, let’s work it out. There are things that obviously need to be said,” Jo said to Fatma. And I sat back, waiting for the next dramatic installment of this camping trip to unfold.