It’s Sunday, and although Sundays are my digital detox days, I look at my phone. A text. From David. After, what, six weeks?
‘Hi. I’ve just started the final syringe of Sweetie’s medicine.’
‘OK, I’m picking up next month’s supply tomorrow. I can drop it off on Tuesday.’
‘I won’t be here on Tuesday. Plenty of time to post it, save your time or the money on a courier.’ And that was it.
There must be a reason he doesn’t want me to drop it off. Has he lost Susie? Moved in another woman? Have more of his teeth fallen out?
I’m still smarting from the fact my ‘dinner’ with my ex ex turned out to be a threesome (he’d brought along a Hunter-wellie-wearing blonde with no explanation). I never did find out who she was or get anything to eat. Perhaps she thought I already knew her name and the nature of their relationship. He didn’t think to introduce her, and I didn’t like to ask, ‘So, sleeping together? Married?’ in case I started crying. It’s suspicious, though, arriving at a country house hotel with overnight bags.
I always find it odd, meeting these sorts of women (halves of smug couples). They never say, ‘Oh, what is it you do?’ Or, if they already know, they never say, ‘Have you interviewed anyone interesting recently? What was Donald Trump like up close?’ I just get a big – blonde, in this case – blank space.
What is really annoying me is the fact my ex ex, having told me Gracie surreptitiously chewed a button off the blonde’s navy blazer (she had slung it over the back of her chair, probably to show off her arms, as it was Not Warm), suggested, after I’d ignored him for a few days, that I replace the jacket. What a bloody cheek. If someone’s dog chewed my sweater, or someone’s baby threw up on my Moncler jacket, I would just shrug and say, ‘Please, don’t worry. It’s old.’
So I replied, ‘If you don’t want to meet a border collie, don’t have a pit stop in North Yorkshire.’
Nothing in reply, so I added, ‘And, actually, if you’re bringing along a third wheel, it’s polite to warn the other person.’
He shot back. ‘It was last minute, and anyway she said she was curious to meet you.’
‘She wasn’t that curious. And she hung on to your arm as though you were a helium balloon, about to take off.’
‘I couldn’t wait to drop her off.’
‘Fulham, was it?’
‘How did you guess?’
‘I have a sixth sense about these things.’
‘I thought you were still with David, so why would you even care?’
I told him David is ghosting me. It’s a shame, as I’d tentatively booked a week at the Equilibrium Wellness Retreat in Mallorca in April. David was always telling me how he went to Palma in the late 60s, working the streets to get holidaymakers into clubs. I think David is the reason the Balearics became party central. My plan was for Tom, who runs the retreat, to help David give up smoking. All the food is vegan and gluten-free, and there are always interesting people to chat to across communal tables, and massages. I find conventional minibreaks too pressurised, with just You and Him and Nothing to Do or Say. But, you see, and I tell my ex ex this, here I am again, organising something lovely to get him to like me. Why does no one ever organise anything for me? I tell him he can be blunt in his response.
‘The couple of times I arranged something nice [did he? I can’t remember a single thing], you said, and I quote, “I do have a job, you know.” Either that, or it was, “But I can’t leave the collies. I’d rather be with the horses.”’
‘Yes, but all women have baggage, unless they’re 12, or needy like droopy drawers hole in my blazer. Who even wears blazers these days, unless you’re Joan Collins?’
He sends a laughing emoji. I cannot stand men who use emojis. It is just not conducive to really hot sex. I tell him this.
‘OK,’ he says. ‘I will never use an emoji again.’
Was that a pick-up line?