Of all the men I contact, he’s the only one to say this. Nice Guy and Swiss National are non-committal in a ‘thanks and have a nice life’ kind of a way. Benedict being Benedict is effusive in his regrets…
He begins by suggesting I drop by where he works for a drink on the way home, then tells me he’s just moved to my neighbourhood so we must meet up soon, and sends me his mobile number for ease of contact. Coming from any other man, this medley of attentions would have had me dancing naked down Oxford Street. But Benedict, like I said, is Benedict, and in Narnia they do things differently.
I don’t reply to Matthew’s message until my birthday a.k.a. The Apocalypse has been and gone. The balance of my mind has been restored, and I’m probably a little bit more cynical about love stuff than I was twenty-four hours before.
‘I had a baby!’ he says.
‘I have a date!’
Small talk ensues.
‘Good to see you,’ she says, looking up at him.
‘You too. We should get together and have coffee sometime, and catch up.’
‘Yeah, great! OK we’ll do that.’
As Carrie walks away, the voiceover comes in: there is the type of date you can’t wait to keep, and the type of date you both know you’ll never keep.
Part of me – the cynical, pessimistic part that’s big on self-preservation – reckons that ‘meeting up’ with Matthew is like Aidan and Carrie’s coffee: it will never happen. And with that in mind, I reply, saying it would be great to catch up, perhaps one night after work, and to let me know when would be good for him.