Michael had Henry until Saturday morning. It was Thursday and already the silent monotony enveloped me; all the chores were done, and Jeremy Kyle had another bunch of social degenerates chatting piffle on my television. I was bored, that is the only justification I have for what I did.
I know it’s wrong, but I got my small pink laptop out from its case, booted up, sipped coffee and then hacked into Michaels Facebook. What did I expect to find? I suppose some random hussy messaging him with all sorts of suggestive comments all over his inbox wasn’t the worst thing that I could find. “Hey babe, can’t wait for this weekend,” and “Got something new for you to rip off me,” were probably the tamest examples of what I found. Oh and he made sure to reply. “What page of the Karma Sutra have you bookmarked for us?J” and “Can I use my teeth?” Fuck him for getting on with his life, how fucking dare he?
I know, I know, it’s pathetic is it not? For two minutes I sat in the warm terracotta living room scrolling through these sordid messages before it dawned upon me that he actually isn’t doing anything wrong. Furthermore, if he isn’t doing anything wrong, then what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. One distressing generic Facebook status update, one warm blooded male asking if I am ok, one invite for him to come around for a cup of tea, and the gander is upstairs applying lipstick and slathering on the foundation.
Gareth isn’t a bad guy. Slight body odour issues, a consistent relationship with acne, very little in the way of personality, and two years younger than me, but Gareth isn’t a bad guy. I got through two cups of tea before I forced myself to seduce him. Hey what’s good for the goose…
I realised that sex is a sloppy, squishy thing. Slipping, sliding and chafing over my silk duvet for about fifteen minutes hardly epitomises romance I know, and for those who are hoping to hear about angels singing hymns, earth being moved, or any other cataclysmic cliché then I am afraid you will be left wanting. The silent magnolia room was filled with a metronome of slapping, interjected sporadically by a Neanderthal grunt, and after fifteen minutes the god-awful contorted expression that gratifyingly signalled the end of a completely unwholesome waste of time. Fucking just doesn’t replace contentment.
Gareth outstayed his welcome for two cups of tea longer, and an almost apologetic kiss on the cheek with a false promise that we would, “Do this again!” I watched as he walked down the crazy-paved path and hopped over my stupidly small gate before heading out into the grey British winter, disappearing into the teeming rain. Standing, leaning on my green front door, I wondered what lengths I would resort to for a little unhealthy revenge. I wondered, what IS good for the goose?
Inside an hour later, having shed myriad silent tears into a cold cup of tea, I lifted the remote and turned off the television I had been staunchly ignoring. I was picturing the brunette whore that was messaging my Michael telling him that she loved him, telling him all the things that I used to tell him, and I lost my temper. How could I be left with this sloppy dribbling monstrosity of a situation? Does he have that Miss You-to-rip-off-me Karma-fucking-sutra bitch to entertain him all weekend? Angry wasn’t an adequate enough word to describe how I was feeling. In my hand I fiddled with my phone, I was going to ring and tell him I wanted Henry back right this second, I wanted him to go to the solicitors and take me to court for access, so he can start nailing that cheap Facebook bitch two days early. It had crossed my mind to tell him that I had just had down and dirty sex with Gareth from work, that it was amazing, and I intended to fuck him again. Now what is good for the goose?
I threw my phone at the three piece sofa across from the footstool on which I was sat and grabbed my white faux leather handbag. I needed chocolate, and fast! The wind whipped around my face, the rain stung my exposed cheeks as I pounded the pavement with long angry strides. The damp smell of an oncoming storm raped my nostrils with a wintry reminder that all is not good with the world. Today the world hurt. Today I realised that jealousy is an ugly colour on me. Today I was incensed, but had absolutely no right to feel this angry. Today I intended to blow a tenner on chocolate and cheap trashy alcohol and write this morning off under the emboldened, underlined and italic word: experience. Entering the supermarket from the rain was like entering a portal; the swoosh and whizz of the automatic doors, then the cold cream light and tepid air of consumerism broke me from my autopilot trance of anger.
I swooped past the alcohol aisle, whisking a bottle of Lambrini from the shelf and made a determined beeline for the confectionary aisle; my mind was still fizzing and hissing with unrighteouswrath. I should have apologised to the guy I nearly knocked over onto his ass, but I didn’t notice him, and today of all days let it be him getting in my way.
“Christ woman, manners can be found on aisle three.” I swiveled around to face the speaker. Yes I was in the wrong, but someone needed both barrels, and this poor unfortunate bastard standing between me and a large bag of M&M’s was prime for it. Simon’s smile wrong-footed me completely.
“You’re going to wrap that bottle of Lambrini around my earholes now aren’t you?” Simon looked from my face to the bottle with comical mock fear. Two elderly ladies trundled up with their tartan-box-trolley things, grumbling a deep-throated “Excuse me please” at him. Politely Simon stepped out of their way so they could continue debating the price of cheese in their Scottish accents.
“Sorry ladies, have a good afternoon.” He said as he moved forward closer to me. Looking at me he grinned, “See that wasn’t difficult was it? What’s the
hurry?” I wanted to slap that stupid lopsided, warm and sexy smile from his cocky little face, but I just huffed a gust of irritated air and turned away from him continuing on in my own direction to finish my shopping. Never is it a good idea to wrong-foot me in a foul mood, it makes me belligerent and sulky. Simon just let me walk off to finish my shopping.
Sometimes I wonder why he waited really. What prompted him to be stood outside leaning on the red brick wall of Morrison’s after being so rudely dealt with, I am not sure I will ever know, but by god I am glad he did. It amazed me that he wasn’t cold; just stood there in jeans, green t-shirt and black and white checked shirt with one foot on the wall and the other a casual half-yard away from the store. Damn the dude could have been waiting for a bus he was so nonchalant.
“Can we try that conversation again?” Simon wasn’t smiling this time, a slight concerned and cautious network of wrinkles appeared on his brow.
“Shit Simon I’m sorry, having a crap day. I shouldn’t have been like that with you, I was out of order.”
“It’s fine, but that humungous bottle of Lambrini aint gonna solve anything mate.” I shook my head, ready for a well-meaning lecture; one I probably deserved, but I sure as hell didn’t want. I looked at the bottle and shrugged.
“I’m that transparent huh?”
“Yes indeed you are.” Simon paused, probably for effect, he did like drama and theatricality; in the years to come I would get a lot of dramatic pauses. “Look it’s four o’clock in the afternoon, that gives you three and a half hours to get ready, and half an hour to get to the bar.” His smile was back, that warm cocky, sexy, delicious smile. The confusion on my face was evident for he chuckled cordially.
“What bar? What are you going on about?”
“Well you obviously haven’t got your little un’ tonight, if you’re planning on smashing into that booze; you obviously have some money if you can blast a note on a kilo of chocolate; so I figured, you got the necessary ingredients to come Café con Leche and save the fizz in your hands for another night.” Damn that smile on his face for brightening a day that was comfortably miserable.
“Oh Simon I don’t think I am in the mood, maybe next time.”
“Or, maybe this time. Rob is coming, we’re getting up and playing a few tunes, you can heckle us if you like.”
"Really? You’re actually going to be persistent?” Despite my protestations I could feel my mood lifting.
“Indeed I am. Hey, I’m not being forward, you just look like you could do with a chilled out night. I’m thinking a room full of immature blokes talking about boobs and bums could be just the thing to cheer you up.” Damn that likeable cheeky patois of his for cracking the ice around my frozen frown.
“Simon, I really don’t think I am up for it.” Did I sound convincing I wonder? Perhaps I did; Simon didn’t push the matter any further. He offered his phone number in case I changed my mind; I took it without intending to meet him out and quickly and genially the conversation ended with casual “See-ya’s.”
Six o’clock had arrived, and I hadn’t touched my chocolate, nor even taken a sip of the large glass of Lambrini that I had poured myself. I had just sat comfortably in my terracotta room smiling despite myself. The warmth of the radiators filled the house with warmth, and the memory of a lopsided warm grin filled my stomach with a similar heat. Bollocks to it, I won’t text him, I’ll just turn up. Glancing at the clock I stood up, it was time to (as my Daddy used to say) ‘Shower, shit and shave.’