I’ve just bitten into a macaroon, and as such, am thinking of nothing but almond, sugar and egg white. Moreover, that I should have been thinking of something else comes as a surprise. I swallow, seeking inspiration for my answer in first the ceiling, then the walls, then the macaroon. Finally I look at the man standing opposite me with whom I shared a brief, and briefly happy romance.
‘I – it’s very kind of you……’ His face wears an expression of polite curiosity. I’m not going to get off that lightly.
Another bite buys me thinking time, but precious few thoughts, besides the realisation that the filling is probably Nutella. This is an ambush for which I am ill-prepared.
He smiles sadly. ‘Not to worry. Good night.’
As he walks away, my eye is drawn to the group standing near the door. One of the guys is a good friend, our relationship based on a reciprocal love of taking the mickey. Just this afternoon, I’d decided I would say something, tell him how I felt. Now, standing here, I think of the expression of hope turning to painful resignation, the sad smile; and my resolve crumbles.