I’m on my lunch break just now but I’m so knackered, and I just want to go home and go to sleep.
Fife’s phone went off at 4am and I was still awake, so when Fife came stumbling into the bedroom searching for his bath towel, and he asked why I was up, I said, ‘I’m going with you to St Andrews.’
Believe you me, I was as surprised I said as he was I was going.
He bent down kissed me on the head and said, ‘Good. I’m sure the boys will be happy.’ Then he shuffled off to the bathroom.
As we locked the door to the flat, I glanced across at Posh’s flat. HP was curled up asleep on the floor, and as I walked down the stairs I reminded myself that I have to wake him up at 6am.
The good thing about Scottish summers is that despite it being a quarter to five in the morning the sun’s out like it’s noon. As we drove across the Tay Bridge in bright daylight with the birds squaking but the clock only reading 5am, Fife asked what I got up to the night before.
For some reason my first reaction was to lie. Isn’t that horrible of me. Why do I have this natural reaction to lie to the men in my life? Does it go back to lying to my Dad about stuff when I was a teenager, or just the feeling that I want some privacy in my own mind. I don’t know why I do it. It’s stupid and wrong.
So, I caught myself and told the truth. I said a friend came down from Glasgow and we went to the torch then came back to the flat, ‘Did we wake you up last night?’ I asked.
‘I thought I heard something, but I wasn’t too bothered,’ he answered.
Right. I was on a truth telling steak and I was going to continue. ‘It’s my old flatmate, [HarryPotter], who came around. I put him into [Posh]’s flat to crash for the night.’
‘He could have slept in our flat,’ Fife said.
‘Well. You were asleep on the sofa. And he fell asleep on the bed. And I didn’t figure you wanted to wake up to find some strange guy in the bed,’ I responded. Wow. Telling the truth felt good.
‘Unless I find you straddling him naked, I don’t mind a friend of yours crashing in the bed for the night. I trust you.’ He said.
Hm. I don’t think I’ve ever had a boyfriend who’s been like that before. I was taken back a bit. But in a kind of good way.
We got to the house and the kids could give a shit about the Olympic torch. LittleOne was still in his pyjamas, with his hair all over the place like his Dad’s. BigOne was on the sofa playing with his phone. He was dressed, but not for school because Fife had arranged to take them out of school for the day. Helen was fighting with LittleOne to get his breakfast finished and dressed, and when Fife got there he just stirred up the situation.
LittleOne asked if he could go in his pyjamas, and Fife– I think just to get under Helen’s skin – said ‘Yeah. Buddy. You can wear your pjs.’ Which I thought was kind of ridiculous. The kid’s eight years old, and I can’t imagine he wouldn’t get embarrassed if his school mates saw him standing on the pavement in the middle of town in a pair of dinosaur pyjamas. I have no idea what was going through this kids head.
I went and sat on the sofa with BigOne while Fife and Helen fought it out over pyjama-gate, and asked BigOne what he was doing. BigOne just shrugged, then he got up and walked out of the room. Lovely.
Finally, after much ado, we finally got the kids all dressed and into the car. Then after even more ado, we found a place to park in St Andrews and hiked it into town. Fife had heard that it’s starting in the Quadrangle, but when we got there we discovered that it was a ticket-only event. Fife tried to appeal to the gate-keeper’s sense of humanity, explaining that he got out of bed at 4am to get there and the kids would be sorely disappointed if they couldn’t come in. As the kids yawned and tugged on Fife’s sleeve asking if they could to stomp on the HP in front of the Church, the gatekeeper shooed us away. Then as soon as LittleOne realised that we couldn’t go in to the Quad, he then wanted to go into the Quad and kicked up a big stink. Fife cajoled and pleaded, but LittleOne wouldn’t stop with the temper tantrum. So BigOne punched him in the arm and told him to ‘Shut up.’ LittleOne did indeed shut up, and they say capital punishment doesn’t work.
We decided to just find a place and sit out on North Street and wait for the relay to start. It took ages for them to finish their little exclusionist ceremony in the Quad, and believe you me it’s not easy keeping to over active boys occupied while other children shout for joy and have fun twenty feet away. I mean come on. Turning away children. Not cool.
Finally they came out of the Quad and started down the street. LittleOne began jumping up and down and as the torch passed BigOne ran behind it. Still feeling slightly guilty for letting BigOne run away the other week, I told Fife to stay with LittleOne and ran after BigOne. He looked behind me and saw me coming up behind him, so he started running faster. I ran faster, until I was right on his tale, and he was right on the tale of the torch. (He would have passed up the torch, but there were too many people on the pavement to dive around.) I yelled to BigOne, ‘Keep running. Beat the torch and it means that you’ve run faster than an Olympic Gold Medallist.’ (Yes, I know that’s not true.)
He did run faster. He turned downCastle Street then down South Street. I was on his heels, my flats clapping against the pavement, ‘Keep going. We can make it.’ I desperately wanted to stop and gasp for air, but I couldn’t lose BigOne, especially not after I had encouraged him to keep running.
He looked back at me, and gave me the biggest smile. We were running along side each other laughing, with the torch not far behind us. The jumped over prams, and dodged toddlers. I ran along side, side-stepping old ladies and skipping around bins on the pavement. We were heading towards the WestPort and I wheezed to BigOne that theWest Port arch was the finish line, and he picked up speed. And so did I.
The arch got closer and we squeezed through the smaller arch together coming to a halt just before we reached the street. I was gasping for air and BigOne was jumping up and down, ‘We did it. We beat the torch. We beat the torch.’ Then he jumped on me and gave me the biggest hug and had a smile that stretch across his face. I finally caught my breath, and told him we should find his dad.
As we walked back through the streets BigOne couldn’t stop talking, ‘I didn’t think we’d make it…Did you see that lady stick her stick out…I almost fell…I’m so glad you were right behind me…that was so cool.’
We found Fife rounding onto South Street with LittleOne in tow.Fife was none too pleased, he thought BigOne had taken off. But I quickly put him straight. We were running with the torch. We beat the torch. Fife laughed and said, ‘I didn’t think you ran.’
‘This was a one off,’ I said.
Fife then took us to the Bean Scene and got us all drinks (a coffee for me) and cakes. BigOne said he wanted to be an Olympic runner when he grows up, and LittleOne said that he wants to be a ‘party organiser’. That kid’s kind of weird.
Fife has the kids for the day, and there was plenty of time to get them to school, but he wants to have a ‘special’ day, so the plan was to spend some time at the beach. But I had to get to work, so I said my good-byes and turned to walk to the bus station, when BigOne said, ‘See you later.’
I know it’s not much. But it’s more than he’s ever given me before.