As my replies came back less polite, more annoyed, he took offence. Only then did I start to register all the ways in which he’d disregarded me on a more human level.
He didn’t want to talk to me if I was going to behave in a way that was possessive, he said. I’m a writer, struggling to publish my first novel – a fact he barely seemed to register.
They also share finances; if we want to do something that costs some money, she may say no. My friend recognised him from his university days and shouted at him from across the bar to join us at our table, where we and our other friend were eating fish and chips and drinking tequila soda.We talked about politics and TV shows and films we’d recently seen, my two friends fading into the background as I laughed to eschew the explosion that was mounting in my chest because of the way he was looking at me – insistent and unswerving – romance novel clichés elbowing sentient thoughts out of my brain.He did, he said, and we met the following Friday on a bench at an outdoor bar in south London where the sun made both of us squint.Three drinks later and we were at another bar, drinking tequila sunrises and comparing tattoos.Just six weeks before I met this guy, I had broken up with my girlfriend of a year.