[Grace and Olivia meet on the tube ]
Grace: how are you this morning?
Olivia: I’ve seen better days
Grace: don’t be so dramatic – the sun is shining, the temperature is in double figures – what more is there to say
Olivia: haven’t you watched the news in the past few hours?
Grace: yes, terrible
Olivia: makes me put things ins perspective
Grace: well, yes, maybe but that shouldn’t stop you making sensible, rationale decisions
Olivia: well things could be so much worse couldn’t they?
Grace: that’s not the point Olivia, things are already upside-down for you in your own little world. So you either sort it out and help yourself. Or you pull yourself together, stop whinging and help somebody else.
Olivia: that’s a bit harsh
Grace: sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. You are my friend and it upsets me to see you floundering like this. Sometimes I wonder if you are lacking in self-esteem and confidence. From the way you talk you act like you do not have the power to change anything. You act as though everything is out of your control
Olivia: well sometimes it feels that way
Grace: I think you are afraid. I think you are overly fearful. I think that leads you to make decisions that are not necessarily in your best interests…in the long term.
Olivia: what should I do?
Grace: that’s the point…you have to decide that for yourself. You have to walk in your shoes and sleep in your bed. Nobody else can decide that.
Grace: say it, spit it out! It won’t hurt you and it might even do you some good!
Olivia: well I am afraid of being alone
[Grace starts laughing ]
Grace: that’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. We are alone in this place. Don’t be deceived. Your arrive alone and leave alone.
Olivia: well, that’s not strictly true
Grace: believe what you like…
Olivia:I cannot stand spending evenings and weekends on my own
Grace: don’t you have any friends? Huh – I am one of them, I’ve got time for you
Olivia: it’s not the same… You have your husband and your children, your parents. Your’re busy
Grace: It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. But stop feeling sorry for yourself. You have sisters, brothers, parents and friends that you could contact and make plans with. There is so much voluntary and charity work out there to do. You should never be lonely. And you shouldn’t be unhappy in a relationship – in the end it will only make you both miserable. Leave it you want to leave. Stay if you want to grow-up, fix what you are not happy with and move on. Don’t sit there like a rabbit in the head lights.
Olivia: easier said than done
Grace: no – that’s what mature adults do. You are behaving like a child. Is there something else you are not telling me…?
[Olivia looks away and out of the window]
Olivia: well, I need to go, this is my stop
Grace: I’ ll get you in the end. I always do. Have a nice day at work and I’ll call you later. Talk to him