Thursday, 22 May 2008

In which the end is as good as the rest...

“I am in such a good mood,” I said on the phone to Best Mate, as I leant back in my chair and rested my newly-pedicured feet on the desk. “I have not felt this good in… Huh. I have no idea, actually.”

“Oh hell. What’s happened? Did you have sex with Speckled Lad again?”

“No, no, no: merely that I executed a successful lunch party yesterday; I’ve not seen California Girl to speak to in days and days and days.” I paused for effect. “And I’m SINGLE!”

“Oh, congratulations!”

One of the myriad reasons why I adore BM: I knew she would completely understand my thrill at having escaped from a relationship that was beginning to feel less like casual fun and more like a blister from a new pair of shoes that, in retrospect, weren’t as good an idea as they first seemed: initially, just a little niggle, but it had got more and more irritating until the only thing left to do was to relegate the offending items to the bottom of the wardrobe.

And it did feel truly fantastic. Never before have I come out of a relationship with such unadulterated glee. If I’d known that breaking up with The Voice would be so much more effective at releasing tension than one of his massages, I’d have told him to take his hands off me weeks ago.

“So, how did you do it? Did you…call?” Curable Romantic was audibly doing her best to suppress her faint fear that I might have taken a supremely cowardly way out of this situation and told TV that things were over via post-it note.

But no – in a moment of common decency, I had acquiesced to The Voice’s request to come over on his way back from a party in North Berwick, and after I’d bidden goodbye to the last remaining stragglers from lunch (at half past midnight. After lunch, evening drinks, films and supper). And there it was executed: a gentle conversation about how the weeks ahead held final exams; how I’d be permanently leaving the ‘Burgh in a short space of time; and... There I paused, not knowing quite sure how to start filling the gap that was to end with “someone else…”

“Your remaining time is going to be filled with celebrating with your friends, and packing up the flat?” The Voice ventured. “Of course, I understand. If you’re up in the summer for the festival, let me know – it’d be nice to see you.”

“Absolutely,” I breathed a vast sigh of relief, thanking every single luck star I have that karma hadn’t seen fit to bite me in the arse, and throw another ridiculous break-up fight my way.

TV threw on his jacket, and smiled at me. “You’ll stay in touch?” I nodded. He kissed me on the cheek. And that was that. Amicable. Easy. Adult. And not entirely honest. But then, we can’t have it all, can we?

Friday, 16 May 2008

In which the predictable happens...

There’s quite a lot of hair-stroking. And hand-squeezing.

I texted Best Mate from the aged leather sofa by the window of the local whilst my companion nipped to the loo. Her response was typically unequivocal.

Give him a slap, then.

And this next piece of information may come as something of a surprise, but when Speckled Lad returned, and rested his hand against the back of my neck, I… Okay. It won’t come as a surprise at all. Because I didn’t give him a slap. I didn’t do anything of the sort. Instead, I let his fingers rest there, leant my head back into his hand and shut my eyes. And so it continued: the low-voiced conversation and the unnecessary contact. And then the lights went up, and we left the pub to go our separate ways.

Sweet dreams came the text, as I let myself into Blonde Towers. There ensued a brief, but intensely flirtatious exchange until, twenty minutes later, I opened my front door to find SL standing in front of me. And so it was that, in entirely different fashion to the last time, SL took my face in his hands and kissed me, tenderly and unhurried, as he nudged us inside the flat and towards my room – and he barely stopped kissing me until we fell asleep later that night, his arms wrapped around me, and my face nestled into his shoulder.

But, just like last time, there was no real discussion of the previous evening – this is us: why discuss the whopping great elephant in the room when it can just linger there, taking up all available space? We didn’t talk about it when SL got up to bring me tea in bed; nor when we lounged around on the sofa for hours, watching daytime TV and talking about nothing in particular.

So it was only when SL wandered reluctantly towards the library later in the afternoon that I was left alone to consider whether the previous evening was the only way in which SL and I could acknowledge the fact that actually yes, we do quite fancy each other and that, at some point, if we ever want to give things a go, then we are going to have to force The Conversation. But then, given SL’s track record, I thought, as I stood in the shower at 3pm, feeling that there was something wrong about the situation I couldn’t quite put my finger on, do I really want to get into a relationship with a boy whom I’d never be able to trust completely? Or is it going to be better in the long run if I accept that we’ll probably always feel this way about each other, and simply stay great friends, periodically scratching the itch when the sexual tension becomes unbearable?

It was only as I got out of the shower, wrapping a towel round my hair and picking up the bleeping phone that my train of thought screeched to a violent halt.

Hey, how are things? I haven’t seen you in ages. Fancy doing something tonight?

And it was only when I read the message from The Voice that I remembered that the flirting, the sex and the waking up in someone else’s arms of the previous few hours had been done with the wrong person. And even then, the guilt was steadfastly unforthcoming.

Whatever this means for the relationship between the Speckled one and me, it clearly only means one thing for me and The Voice…

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