Tristan pushes out his lower lip. ‘You never come and see me anymore.’
Which is ironic.
I come and see his colleague across the way all the time for no reason at all. I neglect to check if our fridge is stocked with milk and instead get it from the other one, the route to which takes me within three desks of where he sits. I put my lunch in their kitchen first thing in the morning, heat it up in their microwave.
‘Oh, let me show you…’
He pulls out a well-thumbed copy of Country Life.
I laugh. ‘I love that you thought of me.’
He turns to the page depicting a young lady and, in this instance, her horse. (Sometimes it’s a hound.) I read the caption. ‘Well, I’m happy to say I don’t know her!’
One lunchtime, a few weeks after joining, I’d glanced over at the magazine open on Tristan’s knee.
‘I know her!’ I said. Feeling numerous Guardian-reading eyes upon me, I started back-peddling. ‘Well, not know, but I’ve met her.’ And, five minutes later, ‘I don’t really know her at all!’
Tristan points to a detail in the text. ‘I haven’t heard of it.’
I laugh. ‘You should write in to the editor: please only mention schools we’ve heard of.’
He looks slightly lost for words.
‘That’s essentially what you were saying! Does it sound worse coming from someone else?!’
He laughs. ‘Yes.’
Also laughing, I go back to my desk.