After the ball for the king’s official birthday Philip was even more subdued at work. David really worried about him, but as he had no idea of the happenings that day and evening, he could not even offer any advice.
The move to another country that had seemed so close fell away as the current incumbent had decided to stay on longer. So Philip seemed stuck in a country where he was always reminded of Anthea and what he had lost.
He joined a local athletics club, continued running and walking daily, and grew very fit. He participated in a half marathon, then a marathon and found he enjoyed them.
David tried to convince him to see other women, but Philip, after a few outings declined, saying he just couldn’t be with any other woman yet.
At the athletics club he met three men who he knew. They had worked together in the recovery team after the earthquake a few years previously. He remembered with a pang, that the collapsed empty building they had investigated then had belonged to Anthea’s family. The men persuaded him to join the local rescue organisation, and he spent some evenings learning climbing on the wall at the club so that he could eventually assist in mountain rescue efforts.
Eventually he felt he was missing the regular sex he had been so accustomed to and tried phoning Theresa. A man answered the phone and said Theresa was busy but he would tell her Philip called. She did not return his call. He visited her home city for the marathon, and when he took a quick detour on his way home to visit her, discovered someone else living in her apartment.
He began frequenting the bars, but found too much drinking interfered with his enjoyment of running, so he stopped going, and simply joined others at the athletics club for a drink after running in the evening.
David was relieved that Philip seemed to be getting over the whole sorry affair. He still could not understand what had happened, and felt that Anthea may have been a rather spoiled woman who simply played with a man’s affection.
Philip found the drawing Anthea had given him as a wedding present. He looked closely at Lisa in the picture and realised she had a calm beauty he had not really been consciously aware of. He hung the picture in his sitting room, and sometimes sat wondering why she looked so serene, all misshapen with pregnancy. She who had been so slender.
Now he had seen her as a mother with that man who was probably the father of the child, he realised she had definitely moved on.
Then one Thursday afternoon, the ambassador’s assistant came and asked him to come through. They were all listening to an open telephone conversation. There had been a devastating earthquake in the east of the country. The ambassador knew his military experience in the rescue arena and thought he should let Philip know.
Philip immediately phoned his friends and they arranged to go and collect the appropriate clothing and meet at the athletics club to drive together to the affected area.