I feel sorry for people who don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they’re going to feel all day.
“Thank you for coming with me.”
“I had a good time tonight. As long as that continues, you can take me away again.”
“We really ought to go to bed.”
“Is that an invite?”
I felt very embarrassed. I’m sure I looked it. My ears felt red.
“No, I just meant…”
Summer laughed. “I know. We agreed we would talk this weekend. So let’s go and talk.”
“It’s really late.”
“Do you stop talking at really late?”
We finished our drinks, she poked her tongue out at the bemused barman and I followed her tottering upstairs.
I opened the door and went straight to the bathroom and changed into shorts and a T-shirt.
I studied myself in the mirror and couldn’t help but think Summer’s behaviour was just like Victoria’s.
That scared me.
I came out and she was already in bed having brushed her teeth and got the toothpaste on the duvet.
I got in the other bed and we lay facing each other.
I turned the light off.
“How are you?” Although it was dark, I could see she had her eyes open.
“Not so much so. How are you?”
“Why? I thought it was all perfect”
“It is. Work is fine, busy but ok. Nigel loves me and he is really good to me, but…” She tailed off.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s OK. He is very sweet guy but he let’s me do what I want. Sometimes it would be nice to be with who says no. He reminds me a bit of a new puppy. If he had a tail he’d wag it when he saw me”
“Have you told him?”
“He wouldn’t understand. He’d just agree with me.”
“What do you talk to him about?”
“Work and ….”
“Work and what?”
Silence. Summer had gone to sleep.
I lay there a while, listening to her sleep. Before this weekend I thought Summer was someone I could see myself with. But things were different now. Too many times already this weekend she had done things that reminded me of what I had and that scared me. I would never say anything to her. I knew I would always be there for her and she was a wonderful friend but that would only be as far as it goes. She was with Nigel.
But… as as long as she was in my life, that would be enough.
Small talk that made people feel special, didn’t work for me.
Summer seemed to understand this and allowed me to be myself. That was more important than anything.