Where to start.
We went out for a drink after work with a few of the girls, and Jo, and she still didn’t look right but she was kind of hyper and talking fast and then giggling at all kinds of things, and then I saw some pills in her bag. (Not illegal ones.) That seemed really bad.
I managed to get her alone later when nearly everyone else had gone and it got suddenly intense. To cut it all short: her partner of the past seven years just broke up with her suddenly, has moved out and she hasn’t seen him since. It seemed kind of crap, and I’d never have expected Jo to swear so much. And then she’d say something like, “I mean, why?” and it was like she was trying to stop herself from bursting into tears and she’d go bright red and then laugh. It was all a bit worrying, and over time everyone else left and I stayed with her.
Obviously I know nothing about her relationship but I tried all the usual things about mid-life crisis, men are so immature, it’s not you it’s him, anyone would be lucky to have you (which is true). But I know it wasn’t really doing anything, but I think it helped that she was talking about it.
Then when we went to leave she almost fell over, because we had drunk a lot. Although I’d had the same, but perhaps her pills made it worse. (Anti-depressants maybe? I don’t know.) So I called her a cab but there was no way she could get into it, or out of it, without help, but at least she could remember her address.
I helped her up the pathway and found her keys in her bag and let her in and she was stumbling all over the place, so I took her upstairs and laid her down on her bed and took her shoes off and threw a couple of blankets over her and put a glass of water on a bedside table. Luckily she has a spare room so that’s where I slept, with my clothes all piled up on a chair.
She was up when I went down in the morning, in a dressing gown while I was wearing the skirt and blouse I’d worn to the office the day before. (But at least I wasn’t wearing dirty underwear, since I didn’t have any.) Jo asked if I wanted to borrow something clean and I said I was okay. She made us coffee and breakfast and she said thanks for getting her home and looking after but her head was pounding. Mine wasn’t great either so we had a couple of painkillers, and Jo had one of her mystery pills. She saw me looking and said something about “I know you don’t approve” but knocked it back anyway. I don’t know how I couldn’t approve of something when I don’t know what it is, but she’s actually right: I just don’t like people taking pills to fix things, even if they do work.
We talked some more over breakfast, and then Jo cried again. I put my hands on hers and she seemed okay with that, but I still felt a bit silly seeing someone I work for in tears and not being able to do anything about it. I don’t think she could remember half of last night because she said a lot of it again, and I said the same things back. Eventually she said she’d taken up too much of my time anyway and although I could have stayed there quite happily she booked me a cab (prepaid, of course), and insisted on giving me money for the one the night before (which had cost about forty quid so I only made a token effort at declining that), and now I’m back home again.
I know almost nothing about her old partner but I really hate him now. I hope she finds someone who deserves her.