Two nights, one step forward, and maybe one step back

Okay, I promised I was going to finish my St Andrews story, but I’m going to work backwards instead, and start with tonight.

I got a text from HP just before five asking me if I wanted a ride home from work. Not only was I in a complete shock because I’m not sure what’s going on in the relationship, but he didn’t even offer me a ride home when I was positive of our relationship. In fact, the amount of times he’s offered to drive me places has reduced significantly since he moved to Dundee. I can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation.

Then on top of the ride he asks me if I’m up for Thai take away and a film. I’d be a fool to say no.

So we spent an evening watching a very enjoyable film called ‘Moon’. It’s about a guy living on the moon by himself. Okay, when I describe it like that it sounds stupid. But it’s really good and I don’t want to say anymore because of spoilers.

Well. I had my pad thai and he had his green curry and we watched an excellent film. When it was over I was itching to keep the evening going despite the fact we weren’t sitting anywhere near each other. I was on one side of the sofa and he was on the other. So, to keep the evening moving forward and to implement subliminal domesticity to the situation, I asked him how his day was.

He answered in the usual shruggy way with a noncommittal ‘It was okay.’ Then out of what had to be pure politeness he asked ‘How was yours?’

Perfect I thought. I could tell him about the work gossip and we would have a good laugh over it. Plus it was totally someone else’s drama, not mine. So I was in the clear for a positivity check. Or so I thought.

I told him all about Patch and BigEyes. Expecting him to laugh, he instead goes, ‘That’s not fair. In fact it’s quite misogynistic really.’

My only response was ‘What the fuck are you on about?’ But luckily I said nothing instead, which was fine as he then explained.

‘Why, when a woman is obsessed, she’s called a “bunny boiler”, but when a guy is obsessed with a woman, she was leading him on and is a tease?’

Oh fuck. I’ve been out feministed. Damn it!

I just shrugged, and tried to win my argument with, ‘But you don’t understand. She’s crazy it’s not the same thing.’

To this he said, ‘Then it’s quite sad, and it sounds like she needs help.’ With that he said he was tired and went to bed.

Oh my god, this is so not fair. In principal I agree with what he’s saying, but he has to at least admit it’s good gossip and an interesting story. Why is he getting all high and mighty on me? It’s like he’s trying to find fault with me, which after yesterday, is just not on.

So, okay. Yesterday in St Andrews.

I’ll skip all the boring stuff, the wandering in and out of shops. Strolling from the harbour to the East Sands and back around. I’ll skip this because it felt forced and we didn’t talk much. Then the sun went down, we hit the festival tent, and something just clicked.

Eddi Reader’s band was amazing, and not just because I love her surname. The whole band was so much fun, energetic and a beautiful voice. (The Principal of the Uni also clearly hadn’t even heard the band, got on stage and thanked HIM. Total gender slip by a Principal who is already not well liked.) Then the town lights were switched on and the ceilidh began.

I thought about my first ever ceilidh in Glasgow. That ridiculous time at the ESOL school where Roger was working and none of the students spoke English well enough to understand the calls. I started laughing to myself remembering that Burns Night and HP asked what was so funny. I told him, and he laughed, and all the stress and sorrow between us melted away.

We swung and danced and to-ed and fro-ed until the band called it quits. We followed a pipe band in a procession for ways until we decided it was too cold. I suggested a pint in a pub, but HP was driving so we headed for the car.

We walked back along the West Sands in the dark. HP asked me if I remembered that weekend in St Andrews when we stayed in his parents caravan. Freezing and drinking. Of course I remembered. It was like he was reading my mind. We chatted about that night, and we laughed at how time could make everything feel so distant. Not just a long time ago but almost as if it happened on another planet. As if the St Andrews we were in today wasn’t that same town we visited nearly four years ago.

We got back to the car, but he didn’t turn the engine on. He didn’t say anything for a while, and I was leaning in closer to him. I thought he was going to come in for a kiss when he said, ‘My Dad loved coming here for holidays. When I got to be a teenager I thought it was a bit daft to holiday an hour from your house. Especially when all my mates were going abroad. But I see it now. I see why we came here. This is where I’ll take my kids and they can hate it too. It’ll be a tradition.’

We got back to the flat and ordered a pizza. I fell asleep on the sofa with my head in his lap. I woke up this morning to him moving me out of the way so he could get ready for work.

I wish I knew what was going on between us. I feel like we’re almost there but not quite.

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