There's a man I know about, and to be perfectly honest, he is evil.
He isn't, if I'm correct in thinking this way, your normal idea of someone who has been tagged with this description; he hasn't raped or murdered anyone; he hasn't stolen an old lady's life savings; he hasn't, to my knowledge, supplied drugs to schoolchildren, and he hasn't shown extreme cruelty to any animals. Why, then, should I be so cutting in my criticism of this man?
I'll tell you.
The man in question decided, one fine morning, that he no longer wanted to be a husband. He had tired of his marriage, and told his wife he wanted a divorce. Nothing particularly evil about that, you might think. A lot of people get divorced. Run of the mill, almost.
I beg to differ.
The man's wife - my friend - had stood by this individual for 22 years, only to be dumped by the monster, who, incidentally, had already found a ready-made replacement for his devoted other half. I don't want to be accused of generalising, stereotyping or, God forbid, being sexist here, but I'm moved to say at this point in the story that he is a 'typical man'.
He had told the new lady that his marriage was over bar the shouting, and she took him at his word. It's not clear whether or not there was any cajoling.
Meanwhile, his too-trusting wife, along with their two children - a son and a daughter aged 15 and 8 respectively - fell apart at the seams, shocked and stunned at his betrayal after half her lifetime of 'loyal service'. She fought tooth-and-nail for a long time to keep her 'man', and to try to keep her family together, all to no avail. Her weight plummeted, her face drew in, and she assumed an all-round harrowed complexion which made a mockery of her prior beautiful features and figure. She became a shell, inside and out. Her behaviour changed, she became angry easily, tearful even more easily, and she snapped at the children, often without good reason. She was destroyed.
By this 'man'.
At the same time, her ex-beast and his new girlfriend were indulging each other in anatomical activities that, had his long-suffering wonderful wife known of them, she would probably have had heart failure. Apparently, there was little or no consideration shown by him for what his wife was going through, trying, as she was, to manage an impossible situation, financially lacking, with rent to pay and two mouths to feed - and all this without the attentions of the man she thought she could rely upon for security. Some hope.
She was a shadow of a shadow of her former self.
When they eventually divorced, this 'man' even had the audacity to tell his now ex-wife - outside the divorce office, no less! - that he still loved her, although he was not 'in love' with her, then jettisoned 22 years of his wife's love into the dustbins were spent marriages are slung. It was over.
Three months on, and he doesn't even try to contact his ex-wife or the children, although he excuses this by complaining about her 'unreasonable behaviour'.
There is, however, something masquerading as a silver lining to this cloudy tale.
I've heard, on 'the grapevine', that this 'man' is experiencing serious pangs of guilt over his actions, which he now regards as having been 'rash', and he has even contemplated the unthinkable: a reconciliation.
His poor ex-wife would be a fool, of course, to entertain this idea. Once a cheat, as they say.
He has been heard weeping in the evening, and has frequently been poignantly poring over old photographs of his now-dissolved family. The walls of his room are adorned with pictures drawn by his children when they were young, and with school photographs showing them with their primary school classmates.
All very touching, I'm sure, but how about a thought for his ex-wife - my friend - who is no longer the lovely person I once knew. What about her?
I won't mention this man's name, because, the internet being what it is, you may know him, and then I would bring trouble to myself, but suffice to say, it's just another typical tale of a man relinquishing his responsibilities and disappearing off the radar in favour of some quick-and-easy 'love fix'.
God help him when he gets to where he's going.
I can feel the flames now...