Soooo, I got this in response to my email, asking after David’s mother. As I said, ‘Doooom!’
‘Hi, my mum is over the flu. I was shocked to see how young she looked considering. Her complexion is fantastic and her eyes are bright as a button. She does have trouble with her memory. She remembers you though. She is very disappointed with your uncaring and indifferent treatment of me. She has stopped reading your Diaries. When I updated her of your post-Christmas activities she said, “I’m sorry but I’m not surprised at her fickle attitude.” So her mind is still sharp. How about you. Any news on your sister in the wheelchair?’
Fickle attitude? Post-Christmas activities? I didn’t reply. He really does have this wooing thing off pat, doesn’t he? I could have replied, ‘Well, did your mother sanction your constant moaning about the sheep? Your getting drunk at my niece’s wedding? The fact I’ve been very loyal, actually, waiting FOUR YEARS for you to get off your bony arse and do something about your flat? We are NO LONGER A COUPLE! If I choose to email an old crush, what business is it of yours? You had your innings! Why don’t you get back with Sonia?’ (His ex doesn’t in fact share a name with the late-80s popstar. She just has her hair.)
But I restrained myself. I ignored him, said nothing. A bit later, I got this: ‘Hi. Sorry about that last message. You have hurt me and I wanted to hurt you back. A futile gesture. It looks like I will be heading back on Wednesday. So if I may pick up Prudence then. I expect it will be around 5/6pm. I will confirm.’
All I sent back was, ‘OK. I will make dinner. Regards.’
‘Thank you. That’s very generous.’
I don’t want to make dinner – I’m too busy. I can’t be bothered. Also, the cat doesn’t live with me and I haven’t told him that: she is in a safe house. I don’t want conflict. I want people in my life who spark joy. The only thing he lights up is his endless skinny roll- ups. In the end, I emailed, telling him Nic has the cat and her address. That he will have to drive her straight to London, as she can’t come to mine or be left in a basket.
He replied: ‘Yes, that’s fine. Can’t wait to get her back. Thank you for taking care of her. I am coming to terms with the knowledge that you do/did not love me. I just want you to be happy. I’m sad I could not do that for you. I did try, though. I do hope, in time, you can see me as a friend. With great love always. David. X’
I sent this: ‘Hi, I will let Nic know to be there from 6pm. If you are very late please text her with a time. You did “try to make me happy”? I pity the poor woman for whom you didn’t try. You need to accept some blame. A £21.99 ring; I spent £300 on save-the-date cards alone.
‘Swearing in the car on the way to Edinburgh, swearing in Devon when the dogs were on the bed and I’d just been on a course to be less stressed, moaning constantly at a wedding I was supposed to be enjoying. Smoking in my bathroom. Accusing me of being Islamophobic. Stealing the cat without telling me in the week I was losing my home. Sending me to a flat that is frankly a s***hole.
‘You have done nothing to improve in four years. That would have been love – saving me money in hotels and from being exhausted from long drives when I was being made bankrupt. Why didn’t you send me a Sainsbury’s order when you read (as I know you did) that I was starving? [Dear God, reader: I put up a couple I’d never met, readers who had contacted me, desperate, in a holiday cottage when they lost their home.] Telling me to change! Cheek. You’re the one who needs to take a long, hard look at yourself. I was always cheerful, funny, well-groomed and generous towards you.
‘Love isn’t just a word; it is ACTIONS and you did nothing to keep me. You never read a book, or invited me anywhere. I tried to be tolerant; I let lots of things go, such as your appearance. But I have limits. Regards, as you are so fond of saying. Liz.’
I dug out the save-the-date cards for Nic to give him as a farewell gift. Put that in your roll-up and smoke it!