It’s the day after my bruising encounter with the Swiss but sadly I have no time to wallow as I have to haul ass to one of my best friend’s weddings. My mate and I forget our invitations in our hungover panic and end up toddling around London in 30 degree heat looking for the venue. We arrive with just minutes to go, sweating like a pair of boiled hams.
It’s my night out with the Swiss and my mate and I are running late. We trot up the hill with a light, sweaty sheen on our faces, my side boobs jiggling angrily in my sundress. We finally arrive at the pub 15 minutes late and, as per the plan, by friend potters off to a nearby park so that I can spend some time alone with the Swiss. I head out to the beer garden but she’s not there. Shit.
I like to think of myself as fairly rational in matters of the heart. I remember women who fell hard and fast in my youth, often for men who had about as much respect for them as a bag of Wotsits. They’d invariably get hurt, limping off with battered, bloodied dreams whilst Mr.Wotsit coaxed a new woman into bed. I didn’t get it. Where was the slow burn? The prudence of a love that begins with an amble rather than a sprint?
Let me tell you a story about a girl who came out. Once upon a time there was a girl living in a Kingdom far, far away. She wasn’t a princess and she certainly wasn’t the fairest in the land, but she had a wonderful family and she was happy.
Doubts have begun to creep in, like ants crawling over a summer picnic. It starts with a relatively innocent request: a sexy photo for her to moon over late at night. So one evening I get home from the office, wriggle into a slinky LBD and dim the lights ready to titillate my paramour.
For our third date the artist takes me for a walk on the beach; a little slice of Costa del Kent. I’ve come to her home town, over an hour by train from mine, with a wheelie suitcase packed with champagne, strawberries, perfume and lingerie. We still haven’t slept together and I’m a bubbling mix of lust and nerves.
When I meet the artist at a quiet pub near Bankside I’m immediately attracted to her. Her long, dark hair falls to just below where I imagine the curve of her breast lies under her white shirt, her hazel eyes peppered with honey in the late afternoon sun.