Toby sets our coffees down on the table.
‘I got the impression,’ I say, ‘from your text, that there was a reason you wanted to meet?’
‘Yes – basically – what the Hell’s going on with the blog?!’
‘Errr… doesn’t that question kind of answer itself?’
‘Well, I don’t know how much of it’s true, and how much is creative licence…’ He sounds slightly impatient. ‘But I was getting a bit concerned – I just wanted to be clear….’ Here we go. ‘I like you a lot – ’ And pause. Enjoy the moment. And play, ‘but just as friends.’ And rewind.
Were this a film, my character would at this point rise from her seat, majestic, composed, eyes glistening, and walk calmly towards the door. But this is real life.
I give what I hope is a careless laugh.
‘No, I know! I knew that!’ Still, the shock of hearing him say the words has knocked me for six. I stare blankly into the middle distance. Toby looks worried.
‘And what’s the deal with the beige t-shirt?!’ I’d known, as I wrote the scene, it would rankle. ‘That was the most disturbing part!’
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
‘I notice you’re not wearing it.’
‘I don’t own a beige t-shirt!’
‘Well, not a t-shirt then. Polo shirt. Like what you’re wearing.’
‘I have a sort of pale pink one.’
‘Maybe it was pale pink at one point, but it got in the wrong wash?’
Definitely real life.