Rush hour at Euston station: not my usual habitat. I’d attended a dance class the night before in Angel and, distracted by the attentions of my favourite partner, had left without my favourite cardigan. So I was on a mission to reclaim it.
He comes through the same entrance that I did. Seeing me he does an odd little pivot, diverting his course in my direction.
‘That was very… something,’ I say, laughing.
He smiles. We exchange greetings.
‘You’ve been getting around a lot lately!’ I say, immediately regretting my turn of phrase.
He’d messaged me in January, saying he owed me dinner and asking when I was around. I’d learnt he’d recently spent time in India, Scotland and the north of England. And when I’d seen him in the autumn, he’d been on the brink of leaving for Japan.
‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I’ve been to Wigan today.’
I laugh. ‘That’s not quite what I meant!’
He doesn’t say anything, only smiles.
‘But OK, how was Wigan?’
The train comes; as we board, he tells me about Wigan. I listen, half-smiling, to his wry, intelligent words.
After letting him know I was around in February – and resisting the urge to specify the 14th – I’d heard nothing further from the man.
The train pulls into the platform at Angel.
‘See you soon,’ I say, as the doors open.
‘See you soon.’
We both know what that means.