Q. My boyfriend’s visa is about to run out and he has to go home. I can stay longer, but don’t feel ready to end the relationship. What should I do?

Ruby says: You should get married. Shotgun weddings have a bad name, but they can be good practice for your later ones. Few people get it right the first time; it took me until the sixth crack to get the pink-and-grey decor up to scratch.

Some will say you’re being impulsive and irresponsible but they’ve probably never known the giddy highs of forbidden, star-crossed love.

When I was 17, I fell head-over-heels in love with the dance instructor who worked at the resort where my family holidayed. He was a bit older than me and too working-class, too rough around the edges for my father to approve of. We were only together that one summer, but we loved a lifetime’s worth and I would have had his spawn in a heartbeat.

If you love him, pull the trigger and get hitched.


Dear Reuben

Reuben says: When I worked for the California Border Patrol, I spent my nights chasing Mexican line-jumpers through the ravines; we’d pack them off home and they’d come right back again.

There was a bar in Tijuana, where I’d drink alongside the people we’d sent back the day before. She said her name was Louisa; her hair was black as coal and her eyes reminded me of what I’d lost. We danced and I held her in my arms, and I knew just what I would do.

One night, I picked her up in the glow of my Bronco’s searchlights – she climbed in and we kissed. We were just about on the highway when another patrol car came up on my right. I pulled over and off through the arroyo she ran.

For months, I searched the local bars and the migrant towns, looking for my Louisa, with her black hair falling down. Forget your man, else certain heartache awaits.

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