Emma decided to get Sat Nav when the printed map began losing its pages. Plus, when she leaned over to consult it, it’d flop onto the floor like tits falling out of a saggy old bra. Then scrabbling under the seat for it, she’d nudged a BMW and lost her no-claim on insurance.
The Sat Nav had a woman’s voice, a prissy, prim voice she called Prudence. Prudence, straight out of a George Orwell novel, was endlessly patient and endlessly condescending.
“Prudence has no idea of a good time,” she told Tom. “She never fucks with anything except my head.”
“Get real,” said Tom. “It’s a computer, not a woman. And the way she gets us through the city is a whole lot quicker than your way.”
“What? You think I can’t wait a bit longer to see your parents?”
Emma complained that if their son used Sat Nav, he would never learn to navigate for himself. “If the satellites fall out of the sky, that kid won’t be going anywhere, " she said
Prudence became the other woman. Emma and Tom sniped endlessly. The fights were petty and mean. Emma remembered that they had fought when over the map, their fights had been passionate and grandiose.
“Christ, are you trying to kill me?” Tom had said as they swerved to avoid a truck. “You want me dead, don't you?”
Maybe she did. Those had been honest fights.
A year after Prudence came into their lives, they separated. Emma kept Prudence. Prudence didn’t want a good time and neither did Emma, not any more. It suited them both.