You can tell a lot about how a relationship will end by how it starts. With David, when we re-met, he had sent me a text from a number I didn’t recognise, saying, ‘I owe you lunch.’ I had replied with, ‘Is this Grant?’
With my ex, I had been writing in this column about my crushes, and he had emailed with a, ‘I hear you’ve gone off me.’ He later offered me his villa so that I could go on a well-deserved holiday; unfortunately I’d been unable to afford the flight and car hire, so didn’t go, but the thought was there.
You can tell that, in both cases, I simply was not that interested. Men are the least of my problems. I remember when I got the ‘I owe you lunch’ text, I was in my office with Nic. I must have smiled, as she asked, ‘What? Who is it?’ And I told her, after he had informed me that he was not, in fact, Grant, that I had been in love with him once, and that I knew, because his mum had written to me, that he had ended up in a hostel. ‘Don’t even go there,’ Nic had said. ‘That’s a “No”.’
But as someone who has lost everything, who has known the ignominy of having just £3 in my account, an amount too small to withdraw, the fact David had hit rock bottom didn’t put me off. I don’t date men for their money. But the fact I wrote, a couple of columns ago, that David had indeed been homeless was perhaps the final nail in the coffin of our relationship. We will never know, as he is refusing to communicate with me, probably knowing that whatever he types will be copied, pasted and printed.
I opened my ex’s email, with the subject header, ‘You were missed’ with a sense of trepidation. Could this be the equivalent of placing a sheet of newspaper against the fire grate, and puffing, while adding more kindling; petrol, even? And do I really want to go there again, all the conflict caused by my betraying him in print? The lawyers’ letters?
In the end, I needn’t have worried, or got my hopes up. The email read: ‘For everyone who missed out on our New Year’s Day chance to sponsor me in my marathon in May, here is the link. Please give generously as it is for a very good cause.’
Ah, so he’s trying to lose the back fat. And the stomach fat. And the several chins. And, ah, it was a round robin, not really a special email to me at all. He’d forgotten to keep the other email addresses secret, so I now have a contacts book to rival Cheryl’s.
I never cease to be amazed by how you can have been in bed with a man, had his hands everywhere, and yet, in the blink of an eye, without you even having done anything terrible to them (I never once cheated or expected them to pay for everything – at the Hôtel du Cap with my ex, I took along my own fizzy water to avoid minibar charges), you are banished; in my ex’s case, to being a member of a group email, and in David’s case, to being simply banished.
I’m annoyed now, so I reply to the stupid email about his stupid fun run: ‘I am really angry you wanted to put me in the annexe. And that the only email since is one about a stupid fun run. Just give the charity some of your money. Why make everyone you know give money to help you lose weight? What are you, 12?’
I waited. Ah. He is starting to text me. I can see three little dots, vibrating.
‘I was only joking about the annexe. I don’t have one. Don’t know how rich you think I am but with several ex wives and alimony and various, as you call them, giant teenagers I am not as rich as you think.’
I really don’t appreciate being teased. It is time wasting. I ignored him for a day, then he sent, ‘Shall I pop in to see you on my way down to London?’ Do you know the fantastic thing about losing your home? No one knows where you live. Not him. Not David. Not a bleeding soul. I can go weeks without being extreme bikini waxed and experience absolutely no stress. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘I love David.’*
*There is always a *, isn’t there? In this instance, it stands for: HE HAS MY CATS HELD HOSTAGE AND HE’S NOT GIVING ME FEEDBACK OR PHOTOS!!! The ginger b******!