Life sometimes has that cruel habit of catching up on somebody, surprising them with its speed and agility. When Julia reached her 35th year, she faced this most modern of dilemmas: what have I done with my life? Harry could never be described as a bad husband, but nor was he a good one. Friday nights for him were when he could kick of his shoes and watch the TV, without removing himself from the floor until the following morning. He had married Julia three years earlier, even then fast on his way to becoming Fatty Arbuckle II. Now he was worse than ever, downing beers and devouring fried chicken every night of the week. With his increased workload, he had lost any sense of masculinity or adventure. He was content to live on the same street until he hit middle-age, by which time he had already picked out a retirement home next-door to his parents. Julia had always been aware, as had Harry, that she was the intelligent one of the two. She met him straight from Law School in a bar. What attracted her to him was what she hated now: his easygoing manner, desire for family, homeliness. In bed, he was nothing more than an amateur. Making love to him was like a wardrobe falling on you, with the key still in, as Julia's brash friend Tammy would have said. He was aware of his size, or lack of it, and trawled sites for enlargement pills and other schemes to satisfy her. She had never known anything beyond the four walls of their bedroom. Life was distilled to repeats of Oprah, new recipes from old Mrs Hillard and anniversaries were celebrated at the local, tepid Italian. The street they lived on dull and staid, just like the lives of its inhabitants. It was the last place one would expect to find a stranger fitting the description of Dexter Rider.