During the evening, he’s complimented me on everything: my jacket, the colour of my top, my pearls, my earrings, my skirt, my nail varnish – every detail of what I’m wearing. To have a man seem so interested, yet still have no idea where I stand with him, is discombobulating.
Despite my recent shenanigans with AB, CD and EF, these were just pastimes to kill the hours, days and nights while waiting for CC to come back into my life. Not exactly honest behaviour, I know, but what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.
Now that I’m with him however, my blousy confidence has blown out the window and I feel like I’m drowning, the life raft having been carelessly omitted from the manifest.
As we sit in the back of the taxi, me trying somehow to climb inside him, he begins to run his hand up and down my arm. His touch is like a promise and my cheating heart soars as I take this tactile contact as proof of his feelings for me. If it's not love, it's something I manage to interpret as such.
I sigh deeply and rest my head lightly on his shoulder. He stops his movements immediately and stiffens in all the wrong places.
‘There’s so much I want to say to you…’ I whisper encouragingly, and I actually feel a lump rise in my throat.
He doesn’t ask what this ‘so much’ is and the moment somehow passes. The taxi is nearing my home and having waited so long to be with him, I know these precious few hours are rushing towards their unnatural conclusion. I need more time with him. I need to express how I feel.
The taxi pulls up outside my block, and I raise my head and look questioningly at him.
'Now what?' say my worried eyes. His impassive look reveals nothing.
‘Would you like to…?’ I begin tentatively as if I'm inviting a rabbit to stand in my headlights.
‘No. Thank you. I must get home.’ The rabbit retreats to its warren.
My heart crashes through the floor but I decide not to push it. Not tonight. It’s gone better than I could have hoped. I think.
He walks me to the entrance of my block and kisses me goodnight. The lightest brush of his lips on mine is tantalizing, but for now, that will have to do. I thank him for a lovely evening and we say goodbye.
As I climb my stairs I write the text: Everything I wanted to say could have been summed up in just three words but I do not send it. I know that less is more and I want so much more.
I go to sleep peacefully, convinced he and I are far from over. In fact, I think we’re just beginning.
Wednesday. I wake up with a banging headache as expected and replay the evening like a cracked record changing the end with every turn. I’m certainly no worse off than I was yesterday, in fact, I may be a lot better. He didn’t have a dig at my lifestyle like the last time I saw him, and he was pleasant and personable company.
I feel very restless though. I want to call him, but I’m afraid of not catching him in the right mood, of him being cold to me which will compound my insecurity. I’ll do it later and see if I can pin him down for that theatre date.