“I had an out of office from you this afternoon,” said Best Mate calling from her car, sounding somewhat disgruntled, “telling me you’re away for FIVE DAYS. Since when?! And where on earth do you get off disappearing for so long and not filling me on the Sports Nut situation?!”
She was right: in a piece of fortuitous, spirit-lifting planning, I’d booked a long weekend away in my beloved ‘Burgh that just happened to start a day or so after Sports Nut had declared that he was ‘making a go of things’ with his ex. I had, however, neglected to give Best Mate any of the salient details about any of it. And, thus it was that I found myself giving her a run-down of the previous few days whilst standing in the middle of Waitrose in Morningside, finding something to cook for my hosts, Gin Operated and The Architect, for supper.
“And you’ve not spoken to him about it?” she asked, then muttering under her breath at some driver who was clearly about to cause her a bout of the finest road rage.
“BM, I couldn’t - he’d caught me whilst I was on the train. The last thing I wanted to do was burst into tears in front of a load of middle-aged men in suits. Not cool.”
“Hmm, no, I suppose not. So, what did he say, exactly?”
I relayed the brief conversation to her. “I'm not thrilled, obviously, especially given that I had no idea of the situation. He could at least have given me all the information and let me make my own mind up, rather than letting me think he was actually, properly single.”
“Hmm… Well…” She paused.
“Look, maybe… And, I’m not saying it wasn’t a really gitty thing to do, because it was, obviously, but…” I could hear her considering whether what she was about to say was a good idea. “Has it occurred to you that he might be telling the truth?”
“Huh?!” My attention turned sharply from a raspberry brulée cheesecake and I paused, listening.
“Well, I just mean, from everything that you’ve told me, it sounds like Sports Nut’s a pretty decent guy. He put in an awful lot of effort if he was only after a quick screw. Men aren’t really like that, are they? I just think maybe you shouldn’t be too hard on him. It sounds like maybe he did think things were over until she called. I know you asked, and everything, but maybe he geniunely didn't think there was anything to tell you about. Just… Give him the benefit of the doubt, won't you?”
I adore Best Mate, but she isn't particularly patient when she thinks she's having to suffer a fool. And so, wandering the short wander back to Gin Operated's flat, clutching bags full of organic salmon, I thought about what she'd said. By the time I'd got to the front door a few minutes later, I'd come to the conclusion that, not only is Best Mate someone I always want fighting my corner, but on this occasion, maybe she might be right.
World War One and Britain’s Equine Army
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