I got a text from David when I arrived home alone, shattered, upset and hungry, after our abortive stay at Lime Wood hotel in the New Forest. He’d had too much to drink, sworn at me in front of all the other diners in the restaurant, then stormed out, ruining the whole weekend and leaving me to pick up the bill. He’d texted me later, when I was back in the room, saying that he would sleep in the car and drive me home the next morning, but I’d told him I’d rather get the train.
‘I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened but I feel ashamed.’
And another one. ‘Thinking more. You should not have to pay to be embarrassed by me. Let me know the bill and I will transfer it to you.’
The old me would have ignored him. The new me took photos of the receipts and sent them to him.
Shall I tell you what he left on the bed before he left, apart from 60 quid, which to be honest didn’t even cover his bar bill? It was a sex toy. He left a sex toy on my bed. I dropped it in the bin. God only knows, in the words of Brian Wilson, what on earth the cleaner will think. Other women get flowers, Tiffany bracelets. I’m shocked and disgusted.
On Saturday afternoon came this: ‘Hello. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear from me but I need to say I am mortified by my behaviour. It is clear to me now that I can no longer tolerate alcohol. I don’t remember much of what happened. Not sure I want to. I do remember calling you a d*******. I’ve no idea why. It is equally clear to me that I’m the d*******. And that I will never get into that state again. It’s such a shame because until then we were having such a good time. I will be able to transfer the money by the end of next week. X’
Me: ‘You missed your entire three courses of Angela Hartnett food. I did ask, “Are you OK? Do you want to go up to the room and lie down?” And d’you know what you said? You yelled, “Yes! Let’s go upstairs and f***!” To the Whole Room.’
‘No. Oh God. Oh no.’
I also, let’s not forget, missed my three courses of (vegan) Angela Hartnett food. I missed breakfast and lunch, too, which I’d been really looking forward to. What a waste of time and money. It would be my only night away not working for the rest of the year, and it was a complete disaster.
Come Monday, though, and I’m slightly feeling sorry for him, so I send this. ‘Why not still come to the pop star’s summer party at Dartmouth House in Mayfair? It will be outside in the courtyard. The sister of the young cellist who played at Meghan’s wedding is performing.’
‘I would love to see you again.’
Monday afternoon, nervous about Tuesday night, I send him this: ‘You know you have to behave. I can’t take another awful evening.’
‘I am fully aware of that.’
I am thinking we need to have a serious chat, after the party. In his drunken outburst, he had said he doesn’t trust me. That I’m stuck up. In vino veritas, and all that.
I meet him at the party. I’m in the Victoria Beckham dress lent to me by My Wardrobe HQ, the last time I’ll get to wear it before it has to be returned. He is already there. In his black Burberry suit. He’s eager to see me, like a puppy left in kennels. He has already grabbed me a glass of wine. I notice there is a toothbrush in his top pocket. I try to broach the subject of the mini-break, but he puts his head in his hands. After the party, he takes me out to dinner, then comes back to my flat. We have sex. The next morning, he shuffles around, morose. I suggest we go for breakfast at the Greenberry Café in Primrose Hill. ‘I’m not hungry,’ he says.
‘Well I am.’
We sit outside. He feels quite hard work. I tell him I have to get something for dinner, that I will be all day finishing my novel. ‘Shall I come round and cook?’ he says.
Then, as we part ways, he says, ‘See you next week.’
I’m now waiting to see if he refunds me for the mini-break. He said I’d have it by end of the week. Shall we run a sweepstake? It’s the following Friday. 6pm. I log on to my Barclays account. Has he sent the money as promised? If he was unable to do so, wouldn’t he have warned me? My account details swim into view. I look. I scroll. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
* I think this description is stretching it somewhat.