Frances stared at her daughter. 'Are you setting out – deliberately – to make yourself unhappy? Do you want to be one of those women who spend their lives hankering after some man they can't have because he's gone off with somebody else or never looked at them in the first place? Is that what you want?'
'No. I don't want that. I want James.'
Frances sighed. 'Are you going to see him?'
'Yes. We're going to meet up next week. We're going to have dinner.'
'And the approach came from him?'
Caroline hesitated. Her mother was watching her. 'Not exactly . . .'
Her mother smiled. 'I thought not.'
Caroline ignored the provocation. 'I phoned him. I said that we hadn't seen one another for a while and did he want to have dinner.'
'And he said he'd like that very much. He's coming to Corduroy Mansions next week. He's going to cook.'
'What's he going to cook?'
'Risotto. He makes lovely risotto.'
Do we deliberately make ourselves unhappy? Is it some pathological desire to hurt ourselves that causes us to pursue people who don't care or imagine situations which are never to be?