This has been going on for about three days when I decide to do the one thing which I know will stop it in its tracks. I ask Flatmate. Not ask so much as, tell him the situation and assure him that I know what he is about to say, but go on, spoil a girl.
‘Don’t read anything into it.’
‘No,’ I say.
‘He might get drunk and try it on. He might want a one night thing…’
A girl can dream.
‘… but don’t hope.’
But – but – where there’s life, there’s hope. Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Hope is what gets me out of bed in the morning. That and breakfast.
‘But…’ I begin.
How to phrase my next question without sounding hopeful?
‘Do – do you think… do you think there’s such a thing as wrong timing? As in, can you like someone but it’s just not the right time?’
He looks thoughtful. ‘I personally think, no, but…’
This is new.
‘… I know some people say there is. I’ve heard girls say, ‘it’s not the right time’ or–.’
‘Have you ever heard a guy say that?’
‘Then, I’m not convinced. If you say that, it means it’s not the right person or you don’t want to go out with them badly enough.’
‘I would agree,’ he says slowly, ‘but conceivably it could be that it’s not the right time, for whatever reason. It might be you’re not ready for a relationship blah blah blah….’
This is worrying: the man’s starting to sound like me. I tune back in for the reassuringly familiar conclusion.
‘… but yeah, don’t hope.’