It’s a massive cliche I know, but it’s actually true that someone will come along when you least expect it and not from the direction you’ve been looking in.
As you well know by now, I have been diligently doing the dating leg work for 6 or 7 months, I’ve been on about 30 dates and met some very different, mostly lovely guys but none of them quite right or me right for them.
So I’m standing in the queue in the supermarket on a dull, wet Wednesday evening, I am mulling over the last couple of dates I’d had with the Irish guy, wondering whether I should give the guy with the wife a chance to explain plus debating the recent ‘likes’ I’ve had online. Then there is the curveball. It swings into my life completely upsetting everything.
My phone pings with an email. I assume it’s work. But it isn’t.
It’s a friend of mine, a guy who I haven’t seen for over 7 years, who I think in fact I probably last saw at his own wedding. We met at 19 at university in Fresher’s Week. We were constantly placed next to each other at dinner parties so we’d ended up becoming good friends. I’d always liked him but I’d had a long term boyfriend and he’d snogged all the girls in my entire flat. Apart from a near miss post university, we had just been friends. I hadn’t really kept in touch as he had moved abroad but I’d been genuinely worried about him as had heard he had got divorced and lost his job. A few weeks before I had sent him a quick email to see how he was.
“Hey you”, he says. “Want to come and keep me company and catch up?”
So on a whim I book some flights and arrange to go and see him for a long weekend. I thought it might be good therapy for us both to share our traumatic break up stories. I send him a link to my blog “this is what I’ve been up to!” thinking it will at least amuse him. At the airport I start to feel a bit nervous and wonder what the hell I am doing. Is this a bit weird, a bit random? It’s been so long since I last saw him. Would we even recognize each other, would we still get on?
The minute I see him waiting for me I know he is the same lovely person I knew, if slightly more battle worn. We arrive at his house late afternoon and he opens a bottle of wine. We sit and talk and laugh in the garden in the fading sunshine. I have only been there less than an hour but I drink in his profile when he is not looking and know in that moment that I will not be able to leave without kissing him. I think about the last 3 years on an emotional rollacoaster with my ex-fiance and months of dating when I see that everything I want is right here.
We go into the local town where he has booked a table for dinner. Swapping stories, (we have plenty of material between us), we share an enormous gin and tonic and another bottle of wine. Apparently we had a digestive and coffee as well but I don’t remember as by now I’m reeling. On the way home, we pass a bus stop and, him having read this blog, he pulls me into it for a passionate kiss. I remember that part. Why did we not do this before? We ask each other.
The next few days are a happy blur. We talk about everything. I cannot remember ever laughing so much or sharing so much. I cannot help myself but feel insanely jealous when he talks about other girls he’s loved and lost and insanely angry when he tells me the cruel ways his ex-wife treated him.
When it’s time for me to go home he drops me at the airport and if I could have pulled him onto the flight with me I would have. “Come back soon” he says. I am embarrassed to admit I cry on the flight and pretty much all the way home.
The next few days I’m in a weird no man’s land where I know am falling for one of my best friends and am not sure what to do. I feel very vulnerable. We have crossed a line, and far from being odd, it’s so easy, so simple, it’s scary.
We have a week of two of texting then he suggests we chat. He sounds very formal. When I speak to him I am a bit tongue-tied, worried about what he is going to say. But instead he says, “well I could wait another 7 years to call you but I think we should, well you know, give it a go. What do you think Miss X?”
PS: Single in the City is a new column by Miss X about being suddenly single.