At 1.55 p.m. I compose a text which I send at 2 p.m.: ‘Er…it’s nearly 2 and the lunch is nearly ready. And u r where exactly?!’ No kiss. I’m too cross. No reply.
At 2.03, with plans to put all the food onto a platter, drive over to his house and tip it through his letterbox, I phone him. He answers cheerily: ‘Hi Babe! Won’t be long – just coming through Camden. Can I bring anything?’ and my voice, twelve octaves higher than usual, sings: ‘No it’s fine, just bring your own sweet self. I didn’t want to overcook anything that’s all… See you soon!!’
I walk to the hall mirror, look at my image, blink a couple of times and slap myself round the face. That feels better. I should have done it earlier.
Why would he not have turned up? Why would he have let me down? Why am I so fucking insecure? Because I’ve played this scene before, that’s why, and it ended badly with a lot more expensive food. And I swore then I’d never do it again…allow myself be made a fool of by some young buck, yet I know in my hopefully romantic heart that I will continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over, because I believe that maybe this time it will be different.
He arrives at 2.20 p.m. with some of the Sunday papers I’ve already bought and I’m so happy to see him, I wouldn't have cared if he'd brought last Sundays. I throw my arms around his neck, and he hugs and kisses me and compliments the way I look. I enjoy seeing the appreciation in his eyes at the trouble I’ve gone to in both my appearance and the delicious meal. I ask him to carve the chicken and I dish up the vegetables and we drink the wine and enjoy the late lunch. He helps me clear up then I send him to the sofa while I finish in the kitchen. I expect him to be asleep by the time I join him and I’d allow him that for simply having turned up.
When I enter the living room, he’s leafing through the Daily Mail which he throws aside and pats the cushion next to him for me to sit down.
At that moment, my mobile rings and my jaw drops when I see the name on the screen. It’s my Man in Oman who I haven’t heard from in the longest time. I kill the call but take a second to re-adjust my surprised face. MLP looks at me questioningly.
‘It’s the guy I was meant to go to Dubai with…’ I explain shaking my head and muttering ‘What a tosser!’ I throw my phone onto the coffee table to confirm my disdain and total lack of interest.
This seems to ignite MLP's ardour. He grabs my arm possessively and pulls me down astride him. He kisses me deeply and raises his hips and I grind down onto his burgeoning erection. He slides his hands up my thighs and discovers the suspenders holding up the black lace-top stockings. This stokes the rising fire and for the next two hours we make wild, abandoned love until we are both spent and soaking with exertion. And then I let him sleep. He’s fulfilled his obligations which were to turn up for lunch and make love to me. Not that difficult, surely?
I potter about, contented to have him here even if he is out of it and snoring. I wake him at 7.10 p.m. and we spend a cozy evening eating leftovers and chilling out. He shows me some football clips on some lads’ website in which I feign amusement and interest.
We snuggle up to watch ‘Cold Mountain’ and he produces a joint (the 3rd I’ve had in 50 years!) A burst of energy assails us and we start moving the furniture around. I plan to buy a plasma TV which he suggests should go over the fireplace. He says he’ll come over and chase in the wiring, then re-plaster and re-paint the wall. All I can hear is ‘I’ll come over…’. Colour me happy.