A lot happened this weekend. I mean a lot. I thought about breaking it up into different posts. Or maybe telling you the major, major stuff first, then going into the boring detail of it all. But I really don’t have the energy for anything that organized.
Plus, right now, I want to write this blog post like a diary entry: just start at the beginning and write until I arrive here, where I am right now. So, sorry if I wander, and digress, and write WAY too much, and throw major drama in halfway through without any warning, but I feel like I kind of need to write this all down, in order to get it out of my head. That cathartic blog writing everyone talks about.
So, here it goes.
On Saturday morning, Fife came back from his run sweaty, and I was still lazing about on the sofa. He popped into the shower then after getting dressed he grabbed his keys and said, ‘Right. I’m off. I’ll let you have the place to yourself. Although, the busses are a nightmare on Sunday, so just text me and I’ll come get you.’
Yes, I’d asked to borrow the cottage so that I could be on my own, but since the night before was so amazing (or at least I thought it was) I assumed he’d stay – at least for breakfast. Why I thought he’d stay is a bit self-absorbed on my part. He could have had a million things to do other than hang out with me. But I was being terribly self-important, and I was quite flummoxed when he went to leave. So I said, in what was unintentionally the most pathetic voice, ‘Oh, you’re leaving?’
To which he stammered and acted embarrassed, ‘Oh, I thought…well, you said…about being alone…I assumed…’
To which I thought, ‘Oh my god. He can’t wait to get out of here.’, so I said, ‘Well…you know…if you need to…just…well, I assumed…’
Yeah, we both made a right tit of ourselves, until he finally manned-up and said, ‘Do you want me to stay?’
To which I totally acted like a pathetic twit and said, ‘Uh, only if you want to…you don’t have to…’
Thank god Fife dealt with it better than me and said, ‘Right. I’d love to stay for the weekend. But I’m not living off a half bag of crisps and some apples.’
With that he went to the shops while I showered and dressed.
After a fabulous fry up (which he made), we went and sat out on the patio. The weather wasn’t as gloriously summery as it had been, but it was nice to just sit and relax. I read some stuff from the slush pile on the Kindle and he read the papers.
I know this is mean, but because people will send in any old shit as a submission the slush pile can be so horrifically amazing sometimes. (Says she who is posting diary entries online for all the world to see without doing any editing or attempt at writing in a coherent manner.) So, we sat on the patio, and when I’d come across a funny part, I’d read it aloud, and we’d talk about it. Not always in a bitchy way, as sometimes we discussed what we’d do to the piece to make it better, but for other ones we just laughed. Come on, a manuscript written in a made-up language with a query letter explaining that the reader would have to learn the invented language to understand the ‘fantasy trilogy’ is not only impractical but also just ridiculous.
Eventually we broke out the beers Fife had brought back from the shops, and he suggested that we BBQ before the weather turns. But that fry-up was still sitting in my gullet and I had no desire to eat anything else, so I suggested an evening BBQ. If it rains, then we’ll just cook dinner inside. (Yes, I know I can’t cook. But he doesn’t know that yet, and I was kind of hoping he might cook.) So Fife suggested we go for a hill walk instead.
What is it with men who want me to wander about in the forest with them? I just don’t see the appeal. I protested a bit, arguing that I hadn’t brought the right shoes. He said we’d just take a little foot path, like the sort of thing old people go for strolls along. The more he emphasised the ease of the walk, the more I felt like a prima donna, which meant that I couldn’t say ‘no’. I had to just suck it up, pretend to be a low-maintenance gal, and go wandering about the woods in leggings and a pair of ballet flats. (That kind of makes it seem like I went topless. I had on an oversized shirt and a hoodie.)
The path started from the back of his property and went up a little incline. He was right, nothing too difficult. A lovely walk amongst the new green of summer. The sun came in and out of the clouds, but the grey overcast of the day kept me from getting too hot. We chatted as we walked, and he pointed out loads of edible plans. We passed some wild garlic and evidently you can make coffee from dandelion roots. He said he doesn’t pick mushrooms because it’s too dangerous, but he does tend to top up his salads with stuff from the woods such as cow parsley, and he cooks with nettles in the spring time.
Eventually the path ended. Or I thought it ended because a stream cut in front of it, but Fife was insistent that we could cross the stream on the rocks. He’d go first. And he did, like a mountain goat he skipped across the rocks and stood on the other side waiting for me to do the same.
One foot down, then another, then my little ballet pumps decided that traction wasn’t within their remit, so out went my feet from beneath me, and into the stream I went — the fucking icy cold, mucky stream.
I obviously wasn’t hurt, so Fife started laughing — bent over, hands on knees laughing. At this point, I was sitting in cold water, up to my waste. I tried to stand up, but slipped again, completely falling back causing my entire torso to go underwater. Thus also causing Fife to nearly fall over from shakes of laughter.
I got on my knees, yelled at him to help me out. He stepped back out onto a rock in the stream and offered me his hand. Now, I’m no fool, but evidently he is, because he was quite surprised when I pulled him in right off those rocks up to his knees in water.
He was a bit cavalier about being in the burn, ‘Not so bad. Unlike you, it’s only my shoes that are wet,’ then he stepped forward and slipped right over landing on his arse. To which I’m now laughing as hard as he was. He starts to splash me, and I splash right back until both of us are drenched from head to foot.
We clambered out of the creek bed and back onto the path. It had completely clouded over by this point, and the temperature from the cold water had gotten to me. My teeth were chattering and my lips were turning blue. Fife suggested that we run back to the cottage to get our blood circulating.
It was a downhill run so it wasn’t too hard, but the sky opened-up and it started raining. It was like Mother Nature was spitting on me, just to make sure I didn’t have a chance to dry out.
We got back to the cottage, and I went into the kitchen were there was tiled flooring and it wouldn’t matter if I dripped. Fife did that tip-toe run thing people do when they’re trying to not get the floor wet. Like if you ever get out of the shower and realise that you don’t have a towel, and you tip-toe run through the house assuming that being on your toes at a greater speed than walking makes the water cling to your body. Yeah, that run. Fife as doing that to the back of the house and came back with two towels.
He then turned his back to me and promptly stripped down to his black-boxer briefs. Now, before I continue on, let me just say that all that jogging and gardening has served him well. I mean, he obviously has the body of an older man, but it’s a fit body. He’s not like six-packed or anything, but he’s got a flat stomach, and really broad shoulders. When he pulled his shirt over his head, I could see the muscles in his back tighten. His thighs are rock hard and he had a cute little firm butt. He’s got just the right amount of hair on his chest, enough to be manly without being creepy or Hasselhoff-ish.
I stood there dripping wet in a daze admiring him, when it dawned on me that he must be expecting me to strip off. The point of being in the kitchen was to not get the rest of the house wet, and as he was comfortable enough with himself, perhaps he thought I’d be comfortable with myself. Maybe I should get out of the wet clothes before I get water everywhere. Plus, I was really cold and really uncomfortable.
As he threw his clothes into the washing machine I took everything off but my bra and pants. Then, just as he was turning around he said, ‘If you want to get changed in the bathroom, I can bring you your bag. Or if you need dry clothes…’
He turns around to see me in my undercrackers as I realise I made a big mistake. I had dear in headlight eyes, tried to cover up, he hands out a towel laughing, I grab it and wrap it around me, mortified.
‘Well, you may as well give me your underwear, and I’ll put them in the wash,’ he adds laughing.
Trying to keep the towel around me, I shimmy out of my pants and bra and walk over to put them in the machine. Then I say, ‘Now you,’ like it was a dare. I don’t know what came over me, two seconds before I was mortified. Maybe it was because he was laughing and everything seemed so playful, but I kind of dared him to strip down. I was standing really close to him looking up, and he looks down, and bites the bottom of his lip. I thought he was going to say something, but instead he kissed me. Quite lightly at first, then he put his hands on my face and kissed me harder.
I put my hands across his chest and when that happened my towel dropped. He pushed me against the kitchen cabinet. His hands and mouth were all over me, and I could feel his hardon against my stomach. He’s quite tall, may be nearly a foot taller than me, so he picks me up and puts me on the kitchen counter so that we’re eye level, and (to be blunt) crotch level. I pulled down his pants and…
Okay. I’m going to leave this little porn scene which I now realize I’m writing, because I was about to get a little too graphic. Also because I just have to share something. Fife is massive. Like, in my limited experience with men, I’ve never seen one this big before. Not like ‘I’m afraid to have it near me, my god what’s wrong with it, it’s a mutated organ’ kind of big. But ‘holy shit, I’ve never in real life seen one like that’ kind of huge. Suddenly there was a mixture of curiosity and fear.
We’re both, well, doing things to each other when he goes to…(I’m trying to think of something polite, but with this topic, I’m just going to have to be blunt)…put it in me. But I stopped him and said, ‘We need a condom’.
To which he says, ‘Don’t worry, I’ve had a vasectomy.’
To which I say, ‘Condoms aren’t just for pregnancy.’ (It was at that point I realised that I sounded just like an old NHS poster hanging in the doctor’s surgery. I have been brainwashed by governmental health campaigns.)
But he was cool with it. He picks me up and flings me over his shoulder (Why do tall men always feel like they can pick me up and carry me about everywhere? Not that it happens a lot, but I’m sure it happens more to me than it would to someone taller.), takes me to the bedroom, flops me onto the bed, and says, ‘I’ll be back in a moment.’
He’s rummaging around in the bathroom and finally he comes back with an unopened box of condoms. He flings himself down on the bed, and says, ‘I thought I had these somewhere.’ He checks the expiration date (for fucks sake, how old were they?), says that they’re still good to go, and well, let me just make a statement for the record: ‘Size does matter.’
After, as we lay there in the glow that was us, he says, ‘I have something to tell you.’
It was like my heart seized up. He was going to tell me he’s still married, an ex-convict, or has some sort of incurable and contagious disease.
‘I have to admit it,’ he continued. ‘That was you I put in the novel. Or well, a characterisation of you. I was just too embarrassed to admit it before.’
My heart started beating again. As far as I knew, he wasn’t a married ex-convict with a STI. He was just a guy who put a representation of me in a novel. I told him that I was totally flattered, especially since he made that character such a babe. Then I realised that the ‘me’ character had sex with the protagonist, so I asked about that, ‘And the sex scene? Was that a bit of wishful thinking?’
Fife bit his lover right lip, looked up and then said, ‘Maybe. A little. Kind of. Okay, you got me.’
He confessed to having a crush on me from the moment he saw me, and that he was actually supposed to leave Greece that day. He was at that cafe killing time before getting a ferry back to the main land and a flight out. He met me and decided to stay.
‘I spent a bloody fortune actually. I had a ticket on the ferry, a hotel booked in Athens and a flight out the next day. I missed all of that, and had to rebook from scratch,’ he said.
I asked him why he didn’t make a move if he was so ‘besotted.’ (His word. Not mine.) His answer, he thought I was out of his league. And all this time, I thought there was no way he’d be into me. He thought someone my age would never be interested in an old boring history nut like him. I said I thought a cool mature author would never be interested in a flaky kid like myself.
It was still quite early, and we were both getting hungry, so we decided to BBQ. I opened the wine and Fife got the grill ready. He asked if I’d marinate the chicken, and that’s when I had to admit that I have no idea how to cook. He thought that was quite cute, and said that I could be in charge of drinks. I was happy with that.
For dinner we sat at the kitchen table and attempted to make BBQ romantic by eating by candle light listening to classic FM. Although, but after the first bite of chicken, Fife said, ‘Aren’t we pretentious’, and we turned on the lights, switched it over to Radio 2 (his choice not mine), and blew out the candles. He talked about food and music, and laughed about how we fancied each other but were too nervous to do anything. He thought it was obvious he had a thing for me, ‘Why else would I go to all of Conspiracy’s events? It was to see you.’
We were washing up when the phone rang and he went into the other room. I could hear most of the conversation; he was talking to his kids. ‘That’s great buddy.’ ‘Then what did your brother do?’ ‘That’s really cool.’ ‘I can’t wait to see your pictures.’ Then it ended with ‘Yeah. I wish I was there too. I miss you. See you soon.’ And the conversation was over.
He came back into the other room and his expression had changed. His youthful smile was gone; he looked older and a bit worn. His eyes had glazed over. I asked if everything was okay; he snapped out of it a bit and flopped down on the sofa. I asked how long the kids would be away, and he said they left on Thursday morning. They’ll be gone for about two weeks.
I tried to help him look on the brighter side of things and said, ‘Well. You’ll get a bit of time to yourself for a couple of weeks. To work on the edits for the novel.’ Then I realised that I didn’t even know if they lived with him full time or not, or perhaps he’s in some sort of ‘Fathers for Justice’ type situation. Did I say the wrong thing?
‘This will be the longest I’ve been away from them.’ Then he sighed and said, ‘Usually we spend the spring holidays getting the garden ready. It’s kind of our thing. Two weeks playing in the mud. I’ll have to wait until they’re back from holiday this year.’
‘Couldn’t you have told your ex that you didn’t want them going away for the entire spring holiday?’ I asked.
‘That’s pretty hard to do after she’d already told them they were going to Tenerife for two weeks. They’re at that age. I can’t get them to the cottage for a Saturday afternoon without a fight, but give them the offer of a resort in the sun, and they’re all over it.’
The conversation wasn’t going well, so I offered to get us a beer from the fridge, but he said he’d get it. He came back with a beer for both of us, and I tried to change the topic, but he was still sullen. So, I figured I’d go the other route and talk about it. Plus, if I’m going to have any kind of a relationship with Fife, I need to know what the deal is with his children’s mother. (That sounds really weird, ‘his children’s mother’. ‘Baby mamma drama’. I’ve never been involved with someone who had kids. Yes, Goatee has a son, but GoateeSon’s grown so it doesn’t count. And I like Goatee’s son more than I like Goatee. But anyway…)
I asked, ‘What happened between you and your wife?’ That was it. I was jumping in at the deep end.
It worked though, he started talking. ‘We met at Uni and should have never gotten married,’ he said before adding, ‘Although, I guess I’m glad we did get married, in a way, because I have the boys. But it’s never been a good marriage.’
He said they met in first year of University and with the exception of brief break-up in second year, they were together the entire time. Just before graduation she got pregnant, so they got married. But, unfortunately, she miscarried quite far along into the pregnancy. Fife said, ‘We should have split up then. But we didn’t. After that the relationship was over, but we stayed together because we wanted kids. It was like we were trying to justify the marriage.’
Fife’s wife went through more miscarriages and it was nine years in total before they had their first son. Fife wanted to stop trying then, but his wife was insistent that they have another son. They had the next little boy two years later. His wife continued to want more children; she wanted a girl. But Fife was too worried about her health, and the marriage was shutting down, so he had a vasectomy. However, he did it while she was away, and, because she’d never agree to it, he didn’t tell her when he got it done. Eventually she found out that he had had the surgery, and she asked for a separation. That was about five years ago.
It was such a sad story. You know, I taking having a baby for granted — or at least, I think I do. I’ve never thought about not being fertile or unable to carry a child to term. It must be horrible, and I can see how it can become all consuming. I felt bad for Helen (I’ve decided to call her Helen after Helen of Troy, because it seems kind of fitting with Fife’s obsession for mythology, and wives are always named Helen). Of course, I felt bad for Fife.
We’d been sitting on opposite ends of the settee with our legs tangled together, so I pulled at his hand and he came crawling over on top of me. It was much slower this time. Less frenzied. It took us ages to get out the condoms, and when we did it was much more romantic. It was like the first time we did it, we were just so happy to discover that the other person wanted to do it to, that we rushed through it all before the other person changed their mind. But the second time felt like we were making a connection. Although, I still stand by early statement.
I woke-up in the morning, with an arm across my back. At first I was a little confused. It didn’t look like my bedroom, but Pete was next to me so… Then I remembered. It’s not Pete. And oddly, I was relieved the moment I realised it was Fife and not Pete. In fact, I was so unbelievably happy. Happy about the day and the night before. Happy I was here. Happy he was next to me.
He woke up not long after me, and (sorry, graphic part again) he woke up ready to go. I know most men are like this, but he didn’t even try to make a pretense that it was just a morning-pee-stiffy.
He opened his eyes, said good morning, kissed me on the neck, then on the shoulder, then his hands got going. He pulled me on top of him and, well, despite the morning breath issue, I’m kind of liking morning sex with Fife.
After, he put on his running gear and went for a jog. I don’t know how he does it. I thought morning sex was exuberant enough to be a workout for the day. Then again, I guess he doesn’t keep his figure by lazing about.
I showered while he was away, and when he came back he suggested that we do a Sunday roast. Today was amazing. He cooked us lunch, and I lied about on the sofa. He watched the match in Newcastle. I said my Dad lives just outside Newcastle, but he follows Arsenal, and Fife said he’s not a big football guy but he’ll watch a game if it’s on; he mostly follows the Rangers because it’s his family team. I said I used to live by Ibrox, and hated the Rangers because they made living in Ibrox horrible, and he said that’s what I get for living in Ibrox.
It was such a lovely day. Lazing about, chatting, and watching telly. After the footie was off, we watched Mrs Doubtfire on telly. We made fun of Robin William’s bad English accent and wondered what happened to Pierce Brosnan. We hadn’t seen him since James Bond. We both fell asleep curled up together on the sofa, and woke up with it getting dark outside.
He suggested that we stay for one more night, he’d drive me to work in the morning, and as tempting as that was, I didn’t have a change of clothes. I’d have to go home before work in the morning, and that seemed like a lot of trouble. We gathered my stuff and headed back to Dundee.
In the car, he asked if, we weren’t going to stay at the cottage, then perhaps I could come back to his house, ‘Just to get away from the house guests.’
Oh shit! I had honestly forgotten about Pete. Flashes of him came into my mind over the last couple of days, but I was pretty good at pushing those thoughts aside. But I couldn’t forget about him any longer. And as much as I wanted to stay another night with Fife, I couldn’t avoid the inevitable. It was best that I got it over and done with quickly.
‘Pete. I’m seeing someone else. I think it would be best if you found somewhere else to live.’
Quick and painless. I’d do it as soon as I walked into the flat.
I told Fife that I shouldn’t stay at his, because I had to work in the morning and trying to get into Dundee in time for work would be a bit of a hassle. He offered to drive me in the morning, but I declined. I needed to talk to Pete.
Fife dropped me off, and as he said he’d ring me later I kept an eye on the flat window. Would Pete see me get out of Fife’s car? Would he see Fife kiss me good-bye? Would he start asking questions? Maybe it would be better if Pete did see us?
I’m home now. The flat is spotless, and Pete and S are no where to be found. I thought he’d be home before I finished writing this post, but he’s not materialised. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Fife, but this is obviously the end for Pete and me. But how to I tell someone who moved to a new country to be with me, who has no where else to go, no other means of support, that I can’t be with him any longer? (Rhetorical question. Yes, I know it’s kinder to just do it and get it over with.)
Fife’s already texted: Amazing weekend. Can I see you this week?
I haven’t responded, because I want to see him. I will see him. But I have to deal with Pete first. So, now off to watch some mindless telly until Pete gets home. Then I’ve got that to deal with. I’ll let you know how that goes.