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Around The Sun: Leaving Jacquie

A knife was brandished when Steve Harrison finally got around to telling his girlfriend Jacquie that he was going to leave her.

I’ve been shooting in the dark too long, when something’s not right it’s wrong, your gonna make me lonesome when your gone – Bob Dylan

It’s hard when a relationship comes to an end, but Jacquie and I had reached the stage of parting company. We had a rented apartment in a very expensive Sydney suburb, Mosman. I was working for McCann Erickson. Lots of good things were happening, but I had decided I was not going to marry Jacquie. I figured I needed to leave her.

I had struggled to reach the decision for 12 months. It was time for me to move on, but I didn't have the guts to tell her so.

A combination of circumstance and Dutch courage brought the situation to a head. We were sitting in the kitchen when I broke the news to her. She had obviously suspected for some time that something was wrong with our relationship. Jacqie picked up a knife and started to peel the skin from an apple.

Never break bad news to anyone who is holding a sharp knife.

"I am going to leave you,'' I said.

“If you leave me I will kill myself.''

She held the knife to one of her wrists.

"If you do that, do you want your body to be shipped back to the UK for burial?''

"You bastard!'' she screamed. "I should kill you. After all I've done for you!''

She lunged at me with the knife. We doged around the kitchen table as she tried to get me. There was murder in her eyes. I ran out of the kitchen, down the hall, into the road. She came after me, screaming threats of murder, brandishing the knife.

I ran down the road and she came after me. Bit by bit I managed to outpace her. She was falling further and further behind. Then silence. She had given up the chase.

I sat on a garden wall, regaining my breath. At last I had done it. I had finally summoned up the courage to break away.

Then around the corner came my car, a Mini Minor. It was on the kerb, coming straight at me. Jacquie was the driver. She still brandished the knife, driving with only one hand on the wheel.

I ran again, down a little side lane too narrow for the car. This girl was serious. She really did want to kill me. I ran to the main road and caught a bus, going to a friend's house.

After days had elapsed I went back to the flat to collect my stuff. By that time Jacquie had forgiven me. Eventually she got married and I presume lived happily ever after.

Down the years we have met from time to time. We go out for a meal and a couple of beers, reminiscing about the olden days. Then we go our separate ways.

Jacquie is a great girl. Should would have made a great wife for me.

But I never could forget that blonde girl with the sports car that I had seen on the night we met.

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