Foreign Correspondent and I were having a couple of after-works drinks and discussing pretty much everything from allegations of MI5 colluding in torture to the state of Yemen, via the dating scene in London. All serious stuff.
"Don't sleep with them on the first date," FoCo said gravely. "They'll only wonder how many other men you've done the same thing with."
It’s quite refreshing to be given pragmatic dating advice by someone who’s managed to nail down a successful relationship. I do love my friends, but in Social Circle Blonde, it does tend rather to be a case of the blind leading the stupid. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that, despite an evening's worth of intelligent discussion mostly about International Relations, it was Foreign Correspondent’s parting words that stuck with me as he dropped me off at the station:
“Is this guy kind, Blonde?”
I paused briefly to consider the time I’ve spent with, and talking to, Sports Nut. “Yes, I think he is.”
“Then you’ll be okay.”
“It doesn’t stop me being scared, though.”
“Maybe. But doesn’t that make you feel alive?” He leant over and kissed me on the cheek. “You’ll be fine, Blondie. Just enjoy it.”
And so I have been.
It’s been several weeks, making this dalliance the most successful I’ve had in some years. And, despite being gripped by the fear since our first date, I’ve been doing my best to ignore my deep-seated instincts, and just let myself fall.
And so following dinner and drinks one night, in a cab that was dropping me at the station before Sports Nut headed back to his flat, I leant my head against his shoulder, and asked quietly whether he might come back with me. Which he did.
And anyone who can find it in himself to entertain a kitten at 6.30am whilst I’m getting dressed, despite having had the soles of his feet scratched as an early wake-up call, is probably one whose levels of kindness I could cope with.
Although we’re going to have to do something about his choice of reading material; there were enough sideways glances from the other station regulars that, whilst we waited for the train, I was wrapped up in the arms - and under the umbrella - of a man they’d not seen before. I won’t be causing such scandal in the Home Counties as to out myself as having acquaintances who read the Guardian, too.