I’m sitting on the train, bound for a New Year’s Eve party, and for some reason I’m reading old texts from VP. I say ‘for some reason’; it’s probably because I know that tonight VP is just 11 miles away. On finding this out I did something I’ve never done before: alone, at home, I cracked open a bottle of Martini and had a drink.
So I’m reading old texts from VP, from the top. I’ve got as far as the one where I’m telling him about an evening I spent with Perky who incidentally I’m en route to meet before going together to the aforementioned party. Perky’s been a saint recently, fielding endless messages from yours truly containing scintillating bulletins such as:
Tinder tells me VP is in London.
It’s a wonder she hasn’t blocked my number.
So I’m sitting there, reading, when something happens. Something I’ve been hoping for ever since a certain conversation took place in early October but which I didn’t really believe would ever happen.
VP’s messages, six months old, are before my eyes, when up pops… a new message. And suddenly we’re back there: back to holding my phone like it’s a piece of fine bone china, so that I don’t accidentally hit the message bubble, open the window, allow the message to show as ‘read’ before the ink is dry on the page. Back to staring at my phone with the most ridiculous grin on my face, wondering what it means, what to do next.
‘It makes me angry,’ Perky says, when I tell her. ‘He still hasn’t done anything.’
Tell me about it.
And when Karl comes on to me around 2am at the party, I cut my losses and tell him too. He knows about VP, whereas my neighbour – the main reason I don’t feel entirely comfortable making out with Karl in the hallway, or anywhere for that matter – is as yet undisclosed information.
‘You’re the ball of wool,’ Karl says.
Even without the four glasses of prosecco coursing through my veins, I don’t think I’d catch his drift.
‘What do you mean?’
‘You’re the ball of wool, and he’s the kitten in this scenario.’
I know he’s right.
‘How do I not be the ball of wool?’
‘You have to not care.’
Like that’s gonna happen.
The Morning After