Living with Mr M certainly wasn’t much fun, but I managed to avoid him as much as I could. I finally had a University social life to be proud of. No more sitting at home watching TV and playing housewife – no I was out until the early hours at nightclubs, dancing and drinking with my friends. We went to street parties, house parties and club nights. We carried small bottles of vodka in our handbags and ordered straight cokes so that we could afford more nights out. My liver, I’m sure, was begging a return to the days of Gardener’s World.
Mr Jones and I went on dates – we watched films, went out for dinner, went to the seaside and drove around in his beaten up white Astra. One night, about four months after we’d first got together, I cooked Mr Jones dinner. I can’t remember what we ate, but I do remember drinking a lot of Blossom Hill White Zinfandel. We made short work of the first two bottles and popped to Jacksons ( a very handy convenience store just down the road) for two more.
Suffice to say it all goes a bit blurry after that. We were lying on my bed talking drunken nonsense to each other. I made a joke and Mr Jones pushed me off the bed and onto the floor. I lie there laughing in a heap. “Come back up here” said Mr Jones
“No,” I slurred. “I’m staying down here with Eddie” (Eddie is my teddy bear – I’ve had him since birth and he is my most treasured possession). “Eddie loves me,” I said.
“I love you too,” said Mr Jones.
The whole world (which had been spinning rather rapidly) stopped. My brain clicked into action. “What did he just say? He just said he loves me. I can’t believe it. Say it back. NO! Don’t say it back – he’s drunk, he probably doesn’t mean it and then you’ll say it back and the words will be out and you won’t be able to take them back and then you’ll have left yourself open and vulnerable and he’ll run off and leave you. Just keep quiet…..”
I laughed and climbed back on the bed and gave him a big kiss. My heart was pounding in my chest and I felt giddy with happiness. Or perhaps it was the wine. The room started spinning again and I suddenly felt very hot and very sick. I leapt up from the bed and ran the downstairs to the bathroom where I was violently sick.
To my utter horror Mr Jones had followed me – I begged him to leave, embarrassed that he should see the girl he’d just said “I love you” too retching and vomiting. But he refused. He sat on the floor behind me, his legs around mine and rubbed my back and held back my hair while I was sick for the next hour and a half.
I woke up the next morning with a pounding head and a furry mouth. Mr Jones went to Jacksons for a curative breakfast of Chicken Super Noodles. He brought me the bowl of steaming hot noodles in bed and smoothed the hair from my forehead. I looked up at him weakly, feeling very sorry for myself.
“I meant what I said last night,” he said.
“When I said I love you last night – I meant it,” he said smiling at me.
I tried to stop the huge grin spreading across my face. “I love you too”
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