‘Yeah… I have to go.’
I start putting stuff into my handbag. Phone (no messages), lip gloss, anti-bacterial hand gel – essential dating kit in case I end up in a situation where I have to eat but haven’t had a chance to wash my hands I don’t know why I do this to myself.
I look round. Ryan is still at his desk.
‘Do you want to come?’
He laughs. ‘Yeah.’
I’m not totally against the idea. At least with Ryan in tow I’d be guaranteed some laughs. Plus the guy I’m meeting is bisexual. He might like Ryan best of the party.
‘Text me,’ Ryan says, as he passes my desk.
Earlier that afternoon….
‘I’m not sure I am looking forward to this evening. Christ, a new low.’
‘You have an early start for hiking tomorrow,’ Ryan sends back. ‘Don’t forget.’
‘Do I look like I hike???’
I’m usually averse to sending friends updates while a date is still ongoing. The bisexual (I’m sorry – what else can I call him?) has gone to the loo. I fire off a text.
‘Hiking, right? Arghh.’
‘Hiking. Don’t commit to a second drink for the sake of it.’
I don’t see Ryan’s reply until sometime later. I haven’t committed to a second drink. Instead we’re sitting there, nursing empty glasses. Twice I’ve declined my date’s offer of another G&T. Once I’ve indicated I’ll have to make a move soon. A total of zero times has he taken the hint.
‘So… are you an only child?’ he says.
It’s only later, when I’ve extricated myself from the situation and am heading for the tube, that I remember something Ryan once said.
‘If you’re asking each other if you have any brothers or sisters, that’s when you know it’s doomed.’