A Clever Diet

Digital illustration of a cascade of fresh fruit, cherries, citrus, coconut, apples. pears, healthy diet

There’s more than one way to lead a horse to water – and make him drink!

Geoff hadn’t suspected a thing, thought Sally as his van pulled into the drive. Was cheating on him really so wrong?

“Had a good day?” he asked, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek as soon as he was through the door. “You’re looking well. How’s the diet going?”

Tweaking the salad before checking the chicken fillets, she turned, returning the kiss without looking him in the eye.


“I swear you’re half the size you were,” said Geoff admiringly, pulling out a chair.

Sally laughed. Darker clothes really could be incredibly slimming.

It seemed that all that advice in her magazines was working, creating the perfect illusion.

“You think so?” she said, giving a little twirl and crossing her fingers. “I’m trying really hard.”

She stole a quick glance in the mirror just to make sure her nose wasn’t growing like Pinocchio’s.

“Not easy,” said Geoff.

She set the meal on the table. “No.”

“I have to admit though,” said Geoff, “I wasn’t starving today, even if all the men were tucking in to pies and sausage rolls…”

“And you?” said Sally

“Stayed with the tuna salad you made me, Sal – quite tasty, actually.”

He stroked her hand. “I said I’d support you and I will.

“I know how much you girls want to look your best for these big occasions and our Nicky’s wedding’s as big as they get.

“I have to be honest though, Sal. When all this first started all I could think of was how glad I’d be when you reached your ideal weight so we could get back to normal, but I’m feeling so much better these days – not half as tired as I used to be.”

“You are?” said Sally, toying with her food.

“C’mon, Sal,” he said. “Don’t take things too far. You have to eat, you know.

“You’re gorgeous to me whatever your size. I don’t want you wasting away on this diet.”

She began to clear her plate.

“Nice evening for a walk,” said Geoff once they’d done the dishes. “Just up the hill and back to use up a few more calories.”


“Just a quick stroll,” said Geoff.

“You know,” he said, once they were heading up the path. “I’m really enjoying these walks, takes away the stress of the day, and catching the occasional sunset with your hand in mine takes me back.

“Remember the walks we used to have when we were courting? We may not have had much money to spend, with us both saving so hard to buy our own home but we made the most of every moment.”

“We did,” said Sally.

Suddenly he stopped walking and turned toward her.

“I do love you, Sal,” he whispered. “Just as much as I ever did – more, maybe, if that’s possible.”

“Why, Geoff!” Sally could hardly think of what to say. Geoff was a man’s man, not usually one to wax lyrical.

“You feeling OK?” she asked.

“OK?” he said with a smile. “I’m more than OK.

“Sometimes lately I feel half my age. As fit as a fiddle.

“I’ve even been thinking that once we’ve packed our Nicky off on her honeymoon we could think of having another of our own…”

“What?” Sally said, startled. Surely it was a bit late in the day for another baby?

As if reading her mind, Geoff laughed.

“Second honeymoon,” he said with a grin. “Somewhere we’ve always wanted to go.”

“Oh, Geoff,” said Sally.

“You don’t think it’s a good idea?”

“Good idea?” she said folding into his embrace. “I think it’s a wonderful idea.”

It was. Even better than her idea of getting Geoff believing she needed support to diet for Nicky, their granddaughter’s, wedding.

She hadn’t needed to diet at all.

It was Geoff the doctor had been concerned about at their last check-up.

Cheating on him to take more care of himself had worked a treat. A second honeymoon! What a result – perfect, in fact!

Look out for a new series of lovely short stories from our archives, every Monday and Thursday in June