A Mother’s Love

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CC Image courtesy of dbeck03 on Flickr

I stop dead. ‘He’s not coming. The colleague – the one in the posts…’

My mother looks aghast. ‘Not Tobias?’

I can’t help smiling. One day I’ll accidentally call a colleague by their blog name.

‘No, the other one.’ I say his real name.

‘Aww.’

Fuck.

 

My brother is laying the table. ‘Are you going to eat with us?’

‘Don’t worry,’ I say, ‘I’ll eat later. I’m going to go… spaz out somewhere.’

 

My mother finds me in the sitting room, staring at the floor.

‘Do you want this candle?’ she says.

‘Oh… err it’s a new one. There’s not much point opening a new one for tonight. None of it matters anymore. I don’t mean that. I mean… it’s just – probably not worth it.’

‘OK.’

She’s about to go.

‘This isn’t about Tristan, by the way,’ I say quickly. ‘It wouldn’t matter who it was. It’s about numbers.’

‘I realise that.’

CC Image courtesy of MinniekBunnik on Flickr

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The Sound of Silence

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CC Image courtesy of H.J.Righolt on Flickr‘How was your wedding? Not your wedding…’

I laugh. ‘No. Yeah it was fine.’

I try to think of something funny or interesting that happened, besides slicing my legs open with a men’s razor in my haste to get ready, calling for a very attractive patchwork of plasters.

‘How was the party?’ I wind up.

 

I’d missed Tristan‘s house party for the wedding – a couple I knew from university. For the first two years of our degree he had a long-term girlfriend and she we pined. For the third year, they dated and, on graduating, moved in together. She looked radiant with happiness standing opposite him at the altar.

 

‘It was good,’ Tristan says. I get the feeling he’s also struggling for material.

There’s a pause as we apply ourselves to our lunch.

‘So did you meet anyone?’ he says.

I frown. ‘You mean…?’

‘Did you meet the love of your life?’

I laugh. ‘Well I only had about four men to choose from! There was one guy – he had his own mobile home – but he wasn’t the most interesting company. Actually the bride messaged me today saying ‘I hear there was some excitement’ and offering to help, which was very sweet given she’s on honeymoon. But anyway, she misread the situation…’

So much for confining myself to the funny or interesting.

What the bride had actually said was ‘I hear there might be something for the blog’, but Tristan doesn’t need to know this. He’s not listening anyway; at ‘mobile home’ he’d started to laugh.

‘Was he wearing a wife-beater?’ he says. ‘And did he have long sideburns?’

‘No,’ I say, also laughing. ‘He was quite good-looking, but that’s pretty much all he had going for him.’

I could go on, tell him how the groom had come over to us and said with a meaningful look in Mobile Home’s direction, ‘I don’t think Anna needs to worry about accommodation tonight.’

How, faced with the story of my taxi crisis, Mobile Home had offered me a cup of tea in his van (he preferred to call it ‘The Van’).

How I declined in favour of a good night’s sleep, went home to my own mobile home and cried for I don’t know what.

There’s another pause.

‘Tell me more about the party,’ I say.

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Breaking All The Rules

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‘How’s your day looking?’CC Image of ike_84 on Flickr

I think for a moment – several moments – before replying:

‘Hitting a museum…’

Exposure therapy.

‘…but otherwise fairly relaxed.’

I.e. I have absolutely nothing on.  This isn’t deliberate; I haven’t cleared my diary to ensure we meet.  It’s rather that I’ve had a busy week, and made plans for Sunday.  So Saturday I’ve set aside for the 3 R’s: rest, recovery and writing.  And, at some point, seeing Viable Prospect.

I wouldn’t normally do this, but it’s been eight months.  I need to meet the guy, have my worst fears confirmed, and put the thing to bed, or… y’know.

With each text that arrives in my inbox I find myself getting more and more pissed off.  There’s nothing in them to provoke as such but, well, I suggested this meeting, so any turn of phrase which could be read as him suggesting he’s doing me a favor in going through with it, I’m hypersensitive to.

4pm, and I’ve got that sinking feeling. VP still hasn’t confirmed the time (7pm) and venue, and, and this is the real reason, before me looms the British Museum.

I dash off a text. ‘You’re welcome to join.’

‘Do you have plans late?’ he sends back.

I’m not going to sleep with him.

4pm, 7pm, late.  That whole ‘not letting on that I have an entirely free Saturday’ thing – not going so well.  I could lie, pretend I’ve got a house party or drinks with a friend.  But he might then say it’s not going to be possible to meet.  So instead I say:

‘Nope.’

At best, I can just write this whole thing off as a mistake, an exercise in how not to play the dating game.  Next thing I know I’m agreeing to meet on the opposite side of town from where I live, if only because I’m fed up of making decisions.  The logistics of dating, eh?  It’s little wonder people keep things online.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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