I shriek. ‘What?! And… WHAT?!!!’
Five minutes later, we’re sitting in a cafe.
‘What can I get you?’
I look up at the waiter. ‘Could we have a couple of minutes please?’
Or, like, fifty?
‘You were saying?’
Just before Christmas, Perky’s onetime university crush and sometime tennis partner, asked her out. I’m vacillating, between dutifully excited, and wondering why I haven’t yet made a voodoo doll of Nice Guy.
The following week, I see her at a party. She’s not her usual perky self.
‘He wants to take a break.’
‘Oh I’m sorry. What did he say?’
‘That he wants to go off travelling. He brought it up at the Sexual Health Clinic of all places! Awkward!’
‘’Scuse me? What were you doing there?!’
I’m lost for words.
‘You actually do that?!’
‘Before doing anything?’
‘How did he react when you asked him?’
‘Well it was over text, luv. I didn’t ask him to his face!’
My face must be a picture. ‘Blimey. Well, good for you! You’re an inspiration!’
‘A friend asked a guy she was seeing to get tested before she slept with him. How would you react if a girl asked you to do that?’
The guy, who I reckon I know just about well enough to canvas his opinion on this point, appears lost for words.
I prompt, ‘I imagine you’d have to be really into her….’
He’s no closer to speech. I’m starting to think I’ve misjudged the degree of acquaintance between us.
‘… or do you find the girls offer up the goods quickly enough…?’
Eventually he says,
‘How would I react? I – I honestly don’t know. To be honest, it hasn’t happened, but then, I don’t have that much going on on the dating front!’
I laugh. ‘Join the club!’