Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm Back....

Phew, that was a long break.
Severely traumatised and extremely nervous, it's taken me this long to get my head together.
And I apologise.
But I'm back...

It's gonna be fun catching up again....


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Chapter Sixty Five - Juggling Act & Spinning Plates

The afternoon I’ve just had at work has been the hardest ever! I feel completely rejected and downtrodden. I can’t eat, I can’t drink, I can’t smile or even answer the phone properly. I have absolutely NO conversation and even AJ’s smirking isn’t grating on me like it usually does. I know that Delaney had sussed that something was wrong. It was blatantly obvious anyway, but I think she guessed that I’d spent the night with Ade. She even looked at me sympathetically a few times, but that steely glint still left me in no doubt that I have to see this next date through. I’m so emotionally fragile and keep crying, which is made worse by Delaney’s sales pitch. She called me into her office and starting hyping me up in preparation for the next dilemma tomorrow! As if I didn’t have enough of a dilemma to contend with at the moment. The brief is this - I have a date with up and coming comedian Jonny Kowlowski, and guess where we’re going? To The Circus Space, near Old Street tube station! Fuck, how could this be worse? I feel as shit as I do - broken and busted up, sick at myself for giving myself to Ade so easily and making a complete fool of myself and believing that he liked ‘me’ and, and and......
And now.
I have to pretend that it’s laughs all the way.
I have to learn to juggle and ride a unicycle and walk a fucking trapeze.
With a comedian.

One hot bath and 2 glasses of wine haven’t helped me to relax or feel remotely better about things. I hate Ade for doing this to me, but hate myself too for falling for it all. HOW could it have been just insincere words to him? How? I feel shattered and am having serious trouble remembering that he’d said he was looking for something ‘different’, as my brain continues to recount his words as looking for something ‘better’! I’d NEVER have got into that situation with him if it hadn’t all been reinforced by the foundations of a relationship. It had taken a big leap for me to feel comfortable enough to get naked with him - and now look! I knew he was a player but didn’t dream that he was playing ME! What was behind all that about making it up to me? Why the helicopter and stuff? Did it mean that much to him to prove a point? Or was it because he couldn’t handle the fact that I really liked him too much? I was being a hundred percent genuine.
And he was simply taking the piss.


Tam’s cab pulled up outside her house and she was warmed to see the lights on inside. Rob had said he’d call in and turn on the heating but she wasn’t expecting him to still be there.
“Fantastic!“ she squeezed her rucksack in excitement, “he is SO the best brother in the entire world dot com. I can’t wait to tell him how gorgeous the log cabin was.“

The sounds of Tam shuffling in through the front door and dragging her luggage behind her broke Rob’s concentration. He’d been lured by her computer and, despite being glued to www.sophiedilemma.com, he wished he’d never turned it on. He knew she had her second date tomorrow and wondered how things could possibly get worse? He’d watched her slow dancing with Adrian Ford and saw the helicopter landing and her hesitating. And then he’d felt sick as he watched her catch Adrian’s hand and get into the chopper with him as they’d been filmed taking off and flying off into the London night sky. He was having trouble watching this and knew now that he could never compete with a connected guy like Adrian. He thought Sophie had been somebody that he could rely on and thought he knew her - how wrong he was. He hated the whole cosy notion of Christmas too and was having problems walking past the florist shop down the road, loaded with sprigs of mistletoe and Christmas bouquets. He’d had such high hopes for their first Christmas together and was gutted that he’d had to give the log cabin treat to his sister. And here she was - with a huge smile on her face as she stood ready to tell him all about it. He took a deep breath before fixing a smile on his face and spinning around on the chair to face her.
“Hey Tam,” he breezed, “how was Scotland?”
“Oh Rob, you really SHOULD have been there. It even snowed! It was SO romantic....”


OK, so tonight is my next date and I feel even more crap today than I did yesterday. I hardly slept at all last night and have called in sick today. Delaney had been shocked when I‘d told her,
“I‘m sorry, but if you want me to go on this date tonight, then I can‘t come in today. I have to get my head together. I‘m sorry.”
Her silence had shocked me. I‘d never known her lost for words. And so I‘d continued, in a calmer tone,
“I need to sort a few, em, ‘things‘. In my head. And I am finding it difficult to concentrate. I need some time. To prepare. Ha ha, and to, em, dust off my red nose and leotard maybe?”
Her voice was unexpectedly calm and balanced,
“Sophie. Take the day. You need some time to recover from Tuesdays, er, ‘date‘. I know. I understand. Go for it. Maybe get some sleep and perhaps a couple of hours in the beauty salon might help you to relax? A nice massage and facial maybe? We need you at The Circus Space for 6pm. OK? Ross and Darren will be there too. See you then.”
Which was really nice of her.
I tried to take her advice and climbed back into the soft warmness of my bed, willing myself to catch up on some more sleep. After all, when I’m sleeping then I can’t torment myself with the same old questions that I have no answers for. My eyes are clamped closed and yet a faceless voice relentlessly asks me the same tirade of questions:
How can a guy go from talking about all the things he wants to do with me, all the places he wants to take me, to the sending a text message saying that he’s looking for something ‘different’? I mean what was it about me? That spot on my arse cheek? My slightly jibbly tum? Was i too unparticipative in bed? No! I wasn’t, I know I wasn’t!
How dare he say he’s looking for something different! And there I was, ready to be so understanding at his lack of technique and ultra skinny willy!! I was even prepared to put up with his small dick and crap sexual techniques! I was all up for working on the small stuff over the following weeks, but now I’ve been ceremoniously dumped AND am plagued with the horror that I might be BIG ‘down there’!

I am having to accept that I will never be able to fathom what changed from that long night together in Ade’s arms and how we were together that following morning - to how things shifted that afternoon and that sudden, bizarre rejection.

All I want is a friend.
All I want is Rob.
To hold me and hug me.
To tell me that everything will be OK.
And that Adrian is a TOTAL arsehole - just as he’d always told me.

But there is no Rob.

There is nobody.....
No shoulder to cry on.
No Rob.

Chapter Sixty Four
Chapter Sixty Six

Monday, July 30, 2007

Chapter Sixty Four - Unclear Fallout

We wake again at about 9am, still snuggled in the spoons position, his hands cupping my boobs. We’re so cosy, our contours fitting perfectly, that I don’t want to move but I feel his breathing change and know that he’s awake too. I don’t want the magic to end but the day has begun and the mood has already slightly shifted.
“You gotta go work today?“
“Ugh, yeah!“ I reply to his question and realise that everybody will know that I spent the night with Ade. My customary lateness never exceeds 15 minutes, so walking in after 10 ‘o’clock will be like wearing a sandwich board, emblazoned with ‘YEAH! I DID IT!“. Embarrassing.
I ask Ade the same question and he tells me that he has to be at work too.
Great - now BOTH of our offices will know that we spent the night together.
If only they knew that it was hardly the shag-fest that they’re probably imagining.
In reality, as much as I like him, sexually - it was hardly worth it. We’ll get it right though; given a little time.
Ade yawns,
“Jesus, I’m knackered,” he pulls me tight to him again in a bear hug and his chest hair feels prickly against my back, “I wish we could stay here all day.”
“Hmmm,” I murmur, “me too. But we’re late enough as it is. It’s going to be a tough day and I’m going to need to stop at Starbucks for a massive strong coffee to keep myself awake until lunchtime.”
He groans and lets me go, pulling the sheets over his head as I walk towards the bathroom.


Today at work was tough, as I’d expected. After showering and calling in at home for a swift change of clothes, it felt strange arriving at the office together - us both going our separate ways at the lifts. It made me feel a bit awkward in front of Ellie, who gave us both a smirk in that I-miss-nothing way that only receptionists can. I’d hardly taken off my jacket before Delaney whisked me into her office to show me the video footage that was filmed at the rink last night - was it ONLY last night! - and I’m relieved to find that I don’t look overly fat/clumsy/idiotic/needy/ridiculous. They’ve already loaded it to the www.sophiedilemma.com site but have cut off the action at the point of me stressing over whether to go with Ade or not. It’s going to be interesting to see what the public think I should have done.
If only they knew that I’d already gone off in the helicopter with Ade AND had spent the night with him in The Dorchester.
I wonder how many of them will tell me to go with him?

I’m glad to be home and feel sick with tiredness. I’ve been desperate to text or call Ade all day. Maybe a cheeky text to ask whether he’s as tired as I am or a secret email checking that he hasn’t fallen asleep at his desk. I restrained myself rather well and now, as I dig into my bowl of pasta and Dolmio sauce my stomach leaps with the buzz of my mobile.
It’s a text.
From Ade.

Hey u! Been half
all day.
Early nite 2nite.

How r u? x

I reply immediately,

Me 2. Going
bed soon.
was work? x

I manage to fork in another 3 mouthfuls between replies. He comes back with,

Work was shite. Going
now. 2 sleep this time ;) x

Warmed by his mentioning that we were up all night, I reply,

Yes. We were a bit
naughty weren’t we?

Nice tho wasn’t it... x

And there’s no reply. I finish my bowl of pasta and continue to check my phone as I go to the bedroom and strip off. As I climb between the chilly sheets I wish I’d pulled my cosy pyjamas from the ironing pile but am too distracted by the silence screaming from my mobile! Scrolling through the menus I find that it’s over half an hour since I sent my last message. Either he’s fallen asleep or he’s ignoring me. I can’t help myself as I key in,

Oi! No reply? x

I feel a little sick at his lack of response but sleep soon overwhelms me and I’m gone. A deep warm sleep that’s way overdue....


Rob sits in Tamsin’s lounge flicking through her TV channels. She’s only been away a few days and yet the house has a chill to it already. She’s due to return from her log cabin break tonight and he’d promised to call in with some milk and to turn on the heating for her. He hates waiting and is tormented by her computer, sitting, staring at him from it’s corner. He knew that Sophie’s dilemmas had started this week and as much as he hates the idea of WATCHING her on a date with another guy he can’t hold himself back. Almost robotically he finds himself walking toward the computer and pressing the ‘ON’ button. He was going to have to watch and see what happened.


I wake before my alarm clock and for a fleeting few seconds I feel a contentment; a serenity that comes with those first moments of the day between sleep and awake. And then a ball of doubt bounces in my stomach as I recall my text message to Ade that was left hanging last night. Grappling for my phone beside my bed I flip it open to check for a reply. Still nothing.
And I have to go into work today and talk to Delaney about the second date. WHICH, by the way, is tomorrow night. I’ve hardly had the chance to get over date 1 before I’m going out on date 2. But then again, it didn’t mention anywhere in the small print that I was supposed to jump into bed with one of the guys and REALLY complicate the issue!

I manage to wait until lunchtime before I text Ade. I can’t help myself and know that I probably shouldn’t, but I’m eaten up by his silence and tormented that he thinks I’m an easy ride - given how I was seduced by him into sex, albeit that I feel that this is going to be the beginning of a great relationship. I try to be chipper and send him,

Hey Ade. That was all
a bit bonkers last night.
How about we go out and
get to know each other properly. x

I feel a little sick when he replies,

Yep, could go out. But I don’t want
to waste ur time. x

and some alarm bells begin to ring somewhere in the far distance of my brain. I’m being a bit slow, probably due to slight lack of sleep and the trauma to my body of having sex for the first time in months and months, so I text him,

How wld u b wastin my
time? I don’t make a habit
spending nite with guy I don’t like!

And then it hits me. I’ve made a massive mistake. My stomach lurches and every nerve ending in my body is wincing as I wait for his non existent response. There is none, so I follow up with,

Have I just read that wrong. Is
that a polite way of saying
don’t want 2 take things
Best 2 b honest.

And then it comes. The drop-kick in the chest and I have to sit down to prevent my legs from folding beneath me. I read his words but they don’t register in my head. I suppose it’s disbelief...

Sorry 4 not being direct.
want 2 take further as
4 something different

I am truly devastated.
Gutted and broken.
My head is spinning as if there isn’t enough blood to circulate.
Different to what?
Different? Or BETTER?
Younger? Older? Thinner? Fatter? Harder to get???
My eyes are filling with tears and yet I’m not pulling that gurning face that I usually do when I cry. It’s as if my eyes are crying FOR me. A huge teardrop splashes down onto my mobile phone and slides from the screen, disappearing down between the keys.
I have to reply...

Wow. Now I feel crap.
4 being honest.
Kick in the guts
always teaches
a lesson eh?
I’m gutted u did this.

Chapter Sixty Three
Chapter Sixty Five

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chapter Sixty Three - First Time Nerves?

I wake up to find myself still in Ade’s arms and still fully clothed. The room is still and quiet, and as strange as it is, I subconsciously know it’s the early hours of the morning. I look up at his face as he sleeps. His muscles are relaxed and his mouth slightly open. He looks so vulnerable and I’m cherishing this intimate moment with him. I twist in his arms and check his watch - 2.48am. I was right. Early hours. My fidgeting has woken him and when I feel his hot breath at the back of my ear it shoots goosepimples straight across my chest.
“Hmmmm,“ he moans, “you feel lovely.“
It feels so natural with him. I know it’s a cliche, but I know this is right. I can’t help but remind myself that it would never have worked with Rob anyway - a relationship coming from a friendship would mean that we know each other on a different level; and then there will always be the Tamsin connection. It’s potentially too messy, whereas with Ade, we both have similar careers and understand the vagaries of working in the magazine industry. He’s quirky - my ideal man. Strong and opinionated, yet professional and in tune with his feminine side. We could be a fabulous couple - both journalists and both striving forward for a lucrative future. My thoughts are interrupted as he moves in to kiss me. His tongue is slightly jabbing again as he starts to part my lips with his. It’s a strange feeling - almost as if he’s in a hurry - but this could be a match made in heaven. The kissing just needs a little work. He groans a little as he kisses my neck and says,
“Sophie Regan. I so want to make love to you. And then I want to fuck you. And then I want to make love to you again.“
My tummy flips, causing a twinge between my legs and a fast pulse in the side of my neck. He gently but firmly pushes me onto my front and I turn my head to the side so as to not suffocate in the plump pillow.
“Are you OK? A little tense?”
I giggle.
“Come on,” his voice is a husky moan, “I’m going to give you a back rub.”
And with that he is pulling my top up to reveal my back and I fidget as it gets caught and tangled. As I raise myself a little he whips my top up and over my head and arms, leaving me laying there in my bra. His hands are firm on my back as he begins to make random sweeping movements across my shoulders.
“I’m going to open your bra strap. It’s in the way.”
And I feel the weight of him, sitting across my bum, as he fiddles with my bra strap. An absurd amount of time passes and I’m increasingly embarrassed for him as he fumbles for way too long.
“Ohhh,” he moans, and I can hear the humiliation in his voice, “I can’t open these things. Can I rip it?”
“No!” I shriek, “here, I’ll do it.” And I find myself reaching back and opening my own bra strap.
The back rub is a little clumsy and far from relaxing and so I am relieved and disappointed when he stops and rolls off of me, to lay beside me once again.
“OK, now you do me. Please?”
He makes no attempt to grope for my bare breasts or even to look at me, semi-naked on the bed with him.
Rolling onto his stomach he buries his face into the pillow and waits for me to return the back-rub favour.
“Dig your nails in,” he orders. “Really hard. Really dig them in and scratch me.”
“I can’t do that!”
“Yes you can. I love it.”
“But I don’t wanna HURT you!”
“It won’t. Just do it.”
And so, feeling rather ridiculous, wearing my jeans and nothing else, I straddle his back and begin to scratch him from shoulder blades to waist. The red track lines appear instantly and I’m not feeling great about this. I can only do this for a short while and before long I lay my nakedness down onto his back and hug him.
“I can’t do that any more. Your back is so red. I don’t like it.”
“OK,” he slightly grumbles and turns himself over beneath me, grabbing my hips and pulling me high over him so that my right boob is dangling near to his face.
He takes it in his mouth.
Once again I wait for the zinging pings of excitement to zip through me.
They don’t.
I look down at him, his eyes closed as he sucks and licks on my nipple.
It’s bordering on breastfeeding.
My face is ridiculously close to the headboard and I’m staring at it at close range.
And I’m feeling zilch.
What IS wrong with me?
Thankfully he stops after a short while and rolls me down and onto my back so that he is now towering over me and smiling. He is so gorgeous and the fact that he is a little clumsy and awkward is strangely endearing - as if he’s not this ‘super-stud’ who lives up to his ‘Ade Gets Laid’ image. He comes down to kiss me again and I can feel ‘him’ hard and bulging as he pushes down on me.
“Sorry,” he whispers as he licks and sucks my neck, “I’m a little out of practice.”
“S’ok,” I murmur, “you’re lovely.”
And I mean it.
And his kisses on my neck and across my chest become more frantic and needy and I feel myself panting and wanting to hold him so close to me. He raises my legs up onto his shoulders and then I feel him unbuttoning my jeans and grasping them tightly by my belt. I squeak in a little protestation as he tugs them and in one movement pulls my jeans and g-string from my legs.
“My god Ade,” I whisper, “I’m completely naked now.”
“Yeah,” he grins, a wicked twinkle in his eye, “I know.”
“We can’t do this. It’s not right. Not so quick.”
“Course we can. You feel so good. I’m nuts about you.” And then he lowers himself down onto me again and kisses me, those tongue-jabby movements not improving.
I can feel his exposed flesh on the insides of my thigh and I feel a slight panic.
“Ade. No. We can’t do this. This isn’t right.“
And he hushes me with some more kisses and before I know it I can feel him inside of me!
It feels strange.
It’s been so long since I’ve been this close to a guy, but I know for a fact that I’ve never felt a dick so skinny!
I’m aware that I’m clenching my muscles ‘down there’ but it has little effect.
This is horrendous!
I look up at him, frowning and pumping and we hold the eye contact as he smiles at me and then lowers himself to kiss me once again.
But I’m just not feeling this moment.
It’s not worth it.
I didn’t really want it.
But isn’t the first time ALWAYS awkward?
And wasn’t it inevitable that I was going to be a little disappointed? After all, I’ve fancied him so much and for so long, wasn’t I destined to be disappointed? Be realistic, it’s never like it is in the movies, is it!


He gives up shortly after, probably realising that there was going to be no wave-crashing, earth-shattering resolution to this. So he lays beside me, his glorious tanned and hairy chest rising and falling rapidly as he begins to regulate his breathing.
I rest my head on his chest, slowly twirling my finger around his nipple, watching it pucker and tighten. His hands feel tender, stroking my hair lovingly and then he says,
“You got any toys?“
“Yeah,“ I grin to myself, “I have a little red car and a Barbie doll - but I don’t get to play with them much.“
He doesn’t laugh, but carries on with,
“I could use them on you. Bring them around next time we’re together and I’ll play with you with them.“
“Yeah,“ I smile to myself, contentedly, “I’ll do that.“
Then he pulls me up to face him, kisses me slowly and I fall asleep once again to the feeling of him gently stroking my face and hair....


We wake again and the mood in the room is different. I can hear the wood pigeons ‘coo coooo, coo coooo’ing’ outside and the sound of slightly increased traffic flow. I’ve turned in my sleep and have my back to him, my knees tucked up and almost in the foetal position. He wakes me with his hands on my bare bum, squeezing it and rubbing it sensually,
“Hmmmmm, this gives me an idea of what I could do to you later on.”
I straighten my legs and turn to face him,
“I’ve gotta go to the bathroom.”
He hugs me tight and closes his eyes, “No.”
“I have to.”
“No. You’re not going anywhere.”
I laugh and try to wriggle away, “Ade! I have to go.”
His eyes are clamped shut and he is hugging me so tightly that I can’t get away.
“Nope. You’re not going anywhere. I’m keeping you here with me forever.”
But I manage to tickle him into submission and make my bare-arsed exit for the bathroom.
I return to the bed to find that he’s ready for some more of me and am disappointed to find that his technique is no better the second time around.
He is sexually clumsy and rather immature, which shocks me, given his iconic Geezer magazine status. But I really like him and I’m looking forward to spending more time with him, doing all the things that he’s suggested - like going for meals to his favourite Chinese restaurant, chilling out at his place, playing with my sex toys and really getting to know each other. The sex stuff? We can work on that. His severe lack of fineries is something that I can educate him on.
Ade Ford, despite his lack of sexual prowess, could actually make me consider shelving the entire notion of staying single for another 14 weeks. I mean, if I’ve found what I’m looking for - if I have a man that is ticking (virtually) all the boxes, then why jeopardise that for the sake of a stupid magazine column?

Chapter Sixty Two
Chapter Sixty Four

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chapter Sixty Two - Contended Bliss

OK, OK! I had to make a decision and based on the speedy and overwhelming responses I’ve had to my ‘dilemma’ I decided to go for it! The shooting zips of excitement that were whizzing up my arms as Ade held my hand made it difficult to think straight. And I’m still not entirely sure that I am - thinking straight. I felt like something out of a James Bond film as I watched the helicopter start the propellers and Ade was gently tugging at my hand to go with him. Delaney’s smile was huge and Ross and Darren looked ecstatic at the live ’action’. Delaney showed a soft side and gave me a hug as she whispered in my ear, “this is so much more than we’d hoped for on the ‘dilemma’ front! Sophie, it was intended as a simple ‘should she see him again or not’? As a ‘would YOU go out with this guy again‘ question. But good luck to you. Enjoy this!”
I felt sick with nerves and felt slightly pressurised by Delaney’s excitement, coupled with the camera presence. So feeling rather ridiculous but also very excited and nervous I ducked down and ran to the helicopter with Adrian.
I felt even more sick minutes later when the helicopter took off and we swooped away from the rink, leaving behind The Temperate House lit up in multicolour and the heavy thudding sounds chopping in my head. Ade put his arm around my hips and pulled me close to his side. This was SO romantic that if I wasn’t hugging on to his arm so tightly I’d have had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. As we sped across the night sky I giggled at his lame jokes about enjoying his huge chopper - they were slightly crude and clumsy and made me feel a little unsure about him - just fleetingly. And then he kissed my cheek lightly and began to melt me with his words.
“You know, Sophie, we won’t ALWAYS travel like this. We‘ll have to pull in favours like this only on extra special occasions.”
And I looked into his warm eyes and we’d sniggered at the pretence of it all. And then he’d told me about a fabulous Chinese restaurant that he’d been to only last week and couldn’t WAIT to take me to. Looking down over the festive lights of London below I felt a glow that warmed my entire body from deep within me and buzzing gently outwards to my skin. I’ve never been so crazy about a guy who has made me feel as if we both want to build an exciting future together.
“It‘ll be a great Christmas this year,” he added. I didn‘t have the heart to mention that I’m going to be in L.A for the festivities - the timing just seemed wrong, so I let him continue, “You can come over to my place and spend some time just chilling. We can stay in bed all day and I can hold you. I have some fab new CD’s that you’re gonna love. And I just HAVE to take you to that Chinese restaurant!”
Then he’d hugged me and turned my face to his and kissed me until the electric shocks shot through my lips and straight into my head. The realisation that I haven’t felt as cosy and close as this for a long time suddenly hit me and almost made me cry. I‘ve missed this. And before I knew it he was stroking my hair from my face and kissing me again. It felt slightly clumsy though - his kissing. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the moment as I waited for his kisses to make my stomach flip. But they didn’t. And I wondered whether I was a little out of practice. It must have been that. Because I am completely mad about this guy. And I can really see us carving a future together. I found myself not quite knowing what to say - as if I was watching myself from the outside – how I look and act and what I was saying. And yet it was never like this with Rob. I have always been 100% ME with him. But then again, my ‘relationship’ with Rob was one that grew from friendship. And this, with Ade, is what is meant to be.

Minutes later we were lowering down onto a helipad at the London Heliport at Battersea and I noticed the sleek black Mercedes waiting. Ade was the perfect gentleman, taking my hand and helping me hop out of the helicopter before leading me to the Merc, ready to be whisked off to the Dorchester.


This is gorgeous! I’m totally blown away, although a bit nervous about all of this. It’s all so, well, over the top! We walk into this opulent room, both a little flustered after the highs (literally) of the journey and the adrenalin of the skating. It’s all been so heady and exhilarating and after the blustery exit from the helicopter and the chopping in-flight noise, the quietness of this room is buzzing in my ears. I don’t really know what to do with myself. The bed seems like a huge white elephant in the middle of the room and I don’t want it to be the focus! As much as I really fancy Ade I don’t want this just to be about sex. He has made me feel that he’s as keen as I am about working toward a loving relationship - he obviously can envisage a future with me, given what he was saying in the helicopter so it’s inevitable that we’re going to sleep together. But it has to be more than just that. Feeling a little awkward I go into the bathroom, the shine off the gold taps dazzling me - and I hear his voice as he speaks on the phone. I twirl my hair up into a high knot and twist my g-string around it tightly to hold it in place before nipping into the luxury power shower for a quick wash. It’s not so great having to put on my ice skating clothes afterwards, but there’s no way I’m going back in there naked! I return into the room to find that he’s had brandy and nibbles sent to the room.
“I was going to book us a room in the restaurant babe, but I’m a bit knackered. How do you feel about it?“
“No,“ I smile at him and flop down onto the sumptuous bed, “I’m way tired. This looks great. And I’m not hungry, anyway. Let’s just relax here, that’s fine with me.“
Ade flicks through the television stations, not even pausing at the porn (which slightly impressed me, I have to say!) and stopped it at the ‘100 Love Songs’ channel.
I feel the tension of the last few weeks begin to drain from my body, as if the plush bedding beneath me is sucking it away from me and soaking it up. I drink my brandy in 4 mouthfuls and begin to tingle. Within minutes I’m snuggled into Ade’s arms. It’s all just so right. His arms feel so natural and comfortable around me, his mouth feels as if it was made to fit mine and it’s as if we’ve known each other for years. His kissing is a little rushed, but that makes me feel kind of nice - as if he can’t wait to devour me. But he’ll have to. He doesn’t attempt to remove my clothing, nor touch any parts of my body other than my face and arms as he hugs me tightly, contentedly.
“This is lovely, isn’t it?“ He murmurs in my ear, his voice low and husky. “People weren’t made to be alone. This is really nice...“
And I grin and agree with a light “mmm,“ before slipping into a cosy and happy sleep.

Chapter Sixty One
Chapter Sixty Three

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sophie Dilemma #1

OK - firstly I must apologise for the wait.

Ross and Darren took ages editing this video and now they have it ready for you all to see.

The issue is - WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Do I go with Ade in his helicopter? Or should I refuse, on the grounds that he hurt me so badly before??

Talk about a dilemma!

I think Delaney had only agreed to this whole 'Sophie Dilemma' idea on the basis that you were all going to help me decide whether to see the guy again? Not whether I should be whisked away for a night of romance in a private helicopter!!!

Anyway, I'm having a few problems loading it to www.sophiedilemma.com, so for now, and without further ado, please look at this short film, and then PLEASE help me decide what happens next??

Comments welcome - PLEASE!


Chapter Sixty One
Chapter Sixty Two

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chapter Sixty One - Joining The Kew!

That was such good fun! My cheeks are glowing and my nose is freezing and I’m buzzing. Every time Ade catches my hand the tingle shoots straight up my arm and hits me somewhere between the eyes. There’s a physicality between us, a chemistry that feels so natural and as if we’ve been together forever. Still on camera, we’re making our way across to Café Ice, my feet feeling awkward in my boots now, after the ice skates. I’m so excited and it all feels SO Christmassy! The Temperate House looks positively glowing, the glass building lit up with multicolour fairy lights and I realise that I‘m in the middle of a Lowry painting - the crowds looking like matchstick people, their arms and legs jutting as they stumble on the ice.

Café Ice has a glorious festive smell to it, a mixture of spiced mulled wine and fruit and chocolate. We find a cosy table and Ade order us both a luxury Galaxy hot chocolate topped with cream. It’s really tough to drink through the cream and I know that I look flirty as I dip my finger into the cream and then suck it. Just sitting and talking to Ade makes me feel sexual and as if every nerve ending in my body is on red alert. His presence debilitates me to the point where I feel I’m losing my personality and I feel an overwhelming lust for him, which kind of freaks me out! This ISN’T how it was supposed to be!

And then, just as I’m completely lost in my Galaxy hot choc and my naughty thoughts, he leans across the table and says something that blows me away.
“This ‘dilemma’ idea?”
I nod, wide-eyed as he continues,
“Well, the ‘dilemma’ is whether you should go out with me a second time, right?”
“Yep, reckon so,” I’m sucking more cream off my fingers as I answer him.
“Well,” his smile is stunning, “I’m just about to up my game then.”
I smile at him. “How?”
“I have something to ask you.”
And he leans across the table and takes my hand. My heart sprints into double speed as it bangs rapidly in my chest. I feel my cheeks flush as the camera moves in ultra close at our table side.
And then he says it...
“I’m ashamed at how I treated you earlier in the year. I was flimsy and now want the chance to show you how you SHOULD be treated by a man. A real man. Let me BE that man.”
And as my brain rushes to unscramble what he’s trying to say, he indicates across to the rink-side with a nod.
“Come with me,” he says, just as a small helicopter lowers itself, polka dotted with the reflection of the red and green Christmas lights of Kew Gardens at night.
I try not to choke on my drink as the camera pans around to watch it land, and then comes straight back to my befuzzled facial expression....

Chapter Sixty
Chapter Sixty Two

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chapter Sixty - Ice Ice Baby

OK, so the day has come. I’m ridiculously nervous about this first date. Even though I KNOW the guy and I know where we’re going I am a wreck. I actually feel SICK. I’ve rushed to the toilet 5 times already! I’ve spent the morning at work and Delaney has given me the afternoon off to calm myself down. She said I was no good ‘to man or beast’ - which I think she meant as a light hearted joke, but I actually took very seriously! She’s right! I’m not! I’m sitting on my bed and looking at the dress I bought from Monsoon for Mum’s wedding and am slightly repulsed by the small orangey flecks in it. If I’d only known I was going to be in keeping with the ‘theme’ then I’d never have bought it. But I’ve also realised that everybody at the wedding will be brown and tanned and I’ll be there with my pasty white arms and milk bottle legs. I need to book an intense St Tropez session and while I’m at it I might as well go the whole hog and have my hair cut and my legs and armpits waxed too. Yes, if I have to endure these next 2 weeks with 4 horrendous ‘live’ dates then I deserve a little pampering...
Now where are my matching gloves and scarf and woolly hat?
So NOT a good look for a date!


Ade felt slightly nervous about the impending ‘date’ but was quietly confident too. He’d decided to wear his jeans and his light blue Ben Sherman jumper - he knew it looked dead sexy, the way it stretched across his chest and shoulders. His Mum had joked that it looked like the coat hanger was still in it and he loved that notion. He looked good and knew it. He’d tried on a couple of beanie hats but had dragged them off almost immediately - there was something about them that made him feel like a Peter Andre wannabe. He knew from skating in the past that the exercise heats you up and he didn’t want to have the red-cheeked look after only half a hour. Patting his jeans pocket he checked that he had all the information that he needed and grabbed his car keys, slamming the front door behind him.


I always feel like somebody from a film when I’m in a black cab. There’s something cinematic about it, as I imagine myself being filmed, zipping through the London streets, the blue fibre optic Christmas lights shining down onto the black paintwork. I feel really sick. I’ve been listening to the saxophone version of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ for the last 3 minutes and it’s making me feel a little poignant and sad. It’s like one of those romantic moments from a film as I’m on my way to a date with Ade - the guy that really messed me up earlier in the year. But strangely, now the empty pit in my stomach is for Rob. I’m finding it difficult to eat or to think straight simply because of the misdemeanour that he thinks I’m a cheating bitch. And I can’t even defend myself. It’s not fair.
“Kew Gardens, babe!”
The taxi driver breaks my downward spiral of self-doubt and hatred, jerking me into an aware state that we’re actually here.
“OK,” I reply, my voice shaky.
As I pull a tenner out of my purse I can’t help but be overwhelmed at how fabulous the rink looks. Lots of people, many of them in red - how predictable, rhythmically moving in an anti-clockwise direction. It looks like fun! If only I wasn’t also looking at Ross and Darren standing with the 2 cameras and the few crew members. Reality check that this is work and NOT play. As soon as I’m out of the taxi Ross is over,
“Hey, Sophie. You look great! Any word from Adrian? He hasn’t arrived yet.
“No,” I reply, but can’t figure why they think I’d hear from him.
“OK,” he gently holds my arms and leads me across to the camera, “we gotta get you mic’d up and talk through the workings. Wanna wait til Ade arrives?”
“No, let’s do it now. I can listen again when he gets here. I’m so nervous I probably won’t remember it anyway.”
“Right, we’re gonna just film a short amount of footage of you 2 guys skating around. You any good?”
I shake my head. He laughs.
“OK, so we’re gonna grab some scenes of you both skating, or trying to, and gonna ask you to come over here and talk a little in front of the cameras too. But the main part of the dilemma has to be when you’re having your hot chocolate drinks afterwards. What we want is for the audience to watch how you both interact together and whether they think you should see him again. So just be yourself. Viewers know when they’re being hoodwinked, so just be completely natural and let them see the REAL Sophie and how she acts when she’s on a date.”
“Right.” I feel weak. Bloody Delaney. This was all her idea!

I’m watching the families and couples, work mates and children spinning on the ice beneath the stars and beside the glow of a huge Christmas tree and I hate to admit that it does warm my heart. That heart of mine that sits in shards in my chest every time I think of Rob and how I’ve messed it all up. I wish I was here with him. The atmosphere is exciting and edgy and I’m loving watching my breath escape from my mouth in icy clouds. I’m slightly impressed when Ade pulls up in a rather slick black car - I don’t have a clue what make it is, but it’s swish-looking. He looks gorgeous when he gets out of the car and in that split second all of the lusty feelings I once had for him rush in. It’s as if all of the bad stuff between us hasn’t happened, and as if all the good bits between Rob and I hadn’t too.


He’s bloody fantastic at skating - the bastard! I bet he was delighted when Delaney agreed to the open air rink being the first of my 4 dates. He certainly knew what he was doing. The very nature of ice skating means that conversation doesn’t flow particularly easy, which is actually more of a bonus than a pain. I throw my head back and laugh when Ade gets me a zimmer frame type of thing to lean on so that I can learn and ‘find my feet’. There’s no way I’m pushing that contraption around the ice. It’s only minutes later than I’ve completely forgotten about the cameras and when he grabs my hand and drags me alongside him at top speed, I feel my hair flying behind me and I’m aware that I’m screaming! I bet the film crew are loving this! He grabs my hips and spins me a little, not too fast, and I’m mortified to realise that I probably look at lot like Bambi - only less attractive and with chunkier legs. But it’s all great fun and I’m alarmingly aware that my skin tingles everytime he touches me. It’s a scary realisation, but a very true one.
I’ve still got the hots for Ade.
Big time.
He’s so wrong for me, a liar and a cheat and completely lacks integrity.
But I fancy the fucking pants off him....

Chapter Fifty Nine
Chapter Sixty One

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chapter Fifty Nine - The Man From Del Monte He Say "*&@!*!!"

It’s ludicrous - the way my Mother and sister go on. Honestly, you’d think they were a couple of teenagers - what with their shrieking and giggling about the stupidest things. I’ve been listening to Jennifer for the last 35 minutes from my bedroom. I’ve been trying to reorganise the room in a bid to create a calm space. It looked a whole lot better as soon as I moved the weeks discarded clothes from the floor and into the washing bin. As much as I’ve been determined NOT to ear-wig on their conversation, it’s impossible. Jen is raucous and from the one-sided chat that I’ve been listening to I already know about Mum’s ‘new best friend’ Bobbi Jo and how she’s now going overboard on the orange theme. It reminds me of a weekend I had in Amsterdam where everything was orange, but that’s another story. Jennifer’s been laughing about the orange-iced wedding cake, the orange juice fountain and the orange fairy lights. It stands to reason really though, that if my mother wanted to go for a hideous orange theme, she wasn’t equipped to do it in a STYLISH way. And then I hear Jennifer stop laughing and make a feeble attempt at lowering her voice,
“Noo, she’s still the same. Yeah. No. Not at all. Yep, another 3 months to go I think. Ridiculous, I agree. I CAN’T sort her, Mam. Chalk and cheese, darling. Yes. Of course. Well I think I’ll probably head back home after your wedding. No. Nothing really to go back for. Yeah, I have loved it here. London’s fab. And the sunbed shop job HAS been fun. Oh, Mam, how mad! I’ve just realised I’m working for a place that TURNS people orange and you’re having an orange weddiiinnngg!!!“

When I emerge from my bedroom an hour later Jen is still on the phone, although I can tell by her husky drawl that she’s not talking to our mother. She stiffens up a little when she realises I’m in the room, shuffling herself into an upright position on the sofa, and I’m SURE I see her move her hand from beneath her skirt! Yuk! How sick? She whispers a low,
“OK baby. Yeah baby. Bye bye Big Boy,“ into the phone before disconnecting it and trying to avoid eye contact with me. Probably that awful guy she met at the sunbed shop.
“So,” I ask with a forced air of nonchalance, “how was Mum?”
“Oh,” she flicked her hair and pretended to watch the muted television, “you know. Excited, hyperactive, a hundred miles an hour. The usual.”
“So it really IS going to be orange.”
“Yep,” she nodded, “it really is. And the hen party was orange and the caterers are cooking orange-themed or flavoured foods, the marquee furnishings are going to be orange. You name it, it’s orange.”
“Great,” I hiss, “our mother’s marrying the man from fucking Del Monte!”
“Ha, yeah,” Jen laughs, “bloody shame he said ‘yes’!”
And we both curl up and laugh.
For the first time in years.


Ben Scott was on his fifth Jack Daniels and had a massive hard on. He was reclined on his sheepskin rug dressed in La Perla lace knickers, suspenders with silk stockings and 3 inch high black patent stilettos. They looked ridiculous, cutting into the flesh on his thighs - his black leg hair thick and squashed beneath the stockings; his bony, knobbly ankles leading down to the size 9 shoes. A glow from his laptop was the only light in the room which gave a soft-tone blue tinge to his naked flesh. Looking out at his balcony doors he could see the night lights of London sparkling in the icy night air. His breath was short and fast and he could feel his pulse beating in his neck and chest. The feel of the tight knickers really turned him on but the sexy messages that were hitting his ‘inbox‘ were certainly upping the pace. He‘d hooked up with his new cohort months ago, when Sophie Regan had become London‘s new ‘favourite‘ and launched her stupid project. Little had he known then what a sexy bitch this new ‘buddy’ was and how her evil streak was her sexiest feature. As he waited for her to reply to his MSN instant message he continued checking his friends-friends-friends. He adored Facebook and since hearing how all the media types were on there and the potential for networking he hadn‘t hesitated in loading his entire portfolio of publicity photos and give it his best shot. At his age he couldn’t afford to miss the opportunity to comb through everyone else’s ‘friends’ and the networking opportunities were endless. It bothered him that Sophie might reveal his ‘secret’ and it if wasn’t for this new woman and her wickedly sexy ideas then he’d surely be finished on television. He’d seen it all too many times; the nations ’darling’ pulled through the shit, their career in tatters and beyond repair. Take his good friend Michael Barrymore - what an horrendous time he’d had and then there’d been Jade Goody for her rants on Big Brother. It had left them both in tatters and it was all so unfair and unjust. He couldn’t risk the same for him, which was why Sophie had to be silenced and if that meant framing her as a fraud, then that‘s what he‘d have to do.
His television contract had only been renewed for another year and he knew that he was in constant danger of being cast in the shadows by the new influx of presenters filtering up from the children’s TV channels and onto the mainstream, Saturday night shows. Then there were the ex-radio jocks moving into the daytime chat-show arena. He’d felt sick when he’d been told that Charlotte Church had been given her own chat show. He felt truly saddened that the old pro’s - the Michael Parkinsons, the Jay Leno’s, the Terry Wogan’s were being spurned for a gobby cow with NO experience. But ultimately he was terrified that Sophie had the potential to spill the beans on his fetish for women’s clothing. He’d felt ill when she had first found him wearing the cotton sundress as she’d walked into his flat without knocking. That had been nearly 2 years ago now but he remembered it like yesterday. She’d been shocked but they’d talked it through and she SEEMED to understand! It had taken her a couple of weeks to tell him that she respected his pleasures, but that she couldn’t continue to see him in a sexually attractive way. She’d even hugged him and said that they’d remain friends! And he had believed her! The sex between them had always been explosive and she was an extremely uninhibited filly in the bedroom. He’d always thought it such a shame that she constantly nagged him about his communicative skills and that she found his penchant for Agent Provocateur a turn off. The fact remained though, that she was the ONLY person in the media world that knew about his secret and since her catapult into public eye with the Staying Single story he wasn’t so sure that he could trust her. He clicked to open the MSN menu to check whether his sexiest closest confidante was online.
Angela Johnson was.
If it wasn’t for her, he’d have NO idea that Sophie was planning to humiliate him on national television . It was just as well he had something on her to sling back. And, thanks to AJ, he was now going to be her 4th, and final, Sophie Dilemma date – which was to be filmed live. This would give him the perfect opportunity to embarrass Sophie live and online. That should lay to rest any wicked ideas she might have about mentioning the odd suspender belt or lycra mini skirt that he had tucked away in his secret drawer at home….

Chapter Fifty Eight
Chapter Sixty

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chapter Fifty Eight - Agendas & Suspenders

Rob was feeling shit and angry. He hated to admit it, but he’d been naive in thinking that Sophie was genuine. If she’d been THAT genuine then why was she trying to stay single? She looked great and had a sparkling personality and had really wormed her way under his skin over the last few months. He wasn’t short of female admirers - he was a fit, good looking guy and saw lots of women that he liked the look of, a few that he’d meet in the pub that he’d chat with and would instigate an interest, but not enough to get involved with. The truth was, Rob hadn’t had a relationship for a couple of years. He’d been so busy building up his business and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to commit 100% because of that. He’d had his share of unfulfilling one-night stands and had always liked Sophie. In a way he could now see why she’d opted out of the dating game – he’d forgotten how painful it all was, how insecure it made him feel and how you could rush from high to severely low in a matter of seconds. It bothered him intensely that he’d begun to lose himself in Sophie’s kiss beneath that umbrella and how he’d been on the verge of telling her that he’d made the grand gesture of booking the log cabin. He’d worried that it might freak her out - that she’d think it was too much too quickly, but then he’d figured that they’d been good friends for a while now and that they’d manage it.
And then he sees her kissing Adrian Ford.
Getting angry once again he pondered over all the grey areas that he couldn't define - like how long she’d been seeing him?
Had it been since they’d first met?
And what about Tam and their friendship?
There was so much he wanted to say to her - to ask her and to tell too, but his stubbornness insisted on standing in his way with it’s arms folded.
Bah humbug - so much for the warmth of Christmas.
He dreaded the thoughts of yet another Christmas Eve out with the lads and getting drunk again.
He was SO ready for ‘something more’, if only she had been honest, and ready, for him....


Rob and Ade were at extremes. Whilst Rob felt alone and desperate, Ade was excited and on a high as he prepared for his ‘date’ with Sophie. It had been his idea to go to the outdoor ice rink at Kew Gardens - it was the perfect Christmas venue and it was impossible not to have some laughs. Without being witty, it was the ideal scenario for breaking the ice as it involved lots of touching and laughing as he imagined them wobbling about under the twinkling fairy lights. He used to be good at ice skating and had spent hours at the rink at Streatham in his teenage years, even being asked to join the under 16’s ice hockey team. He was confident that he had every capability of having lots of fun with Sophie and make her realise that they SHOULD be together. He’d been wishing that the rain would stay away as he wanted just one last chance to make her see how much he liked her. Determined to be fun and extremely hands-on, without being creepy, he’d prepared it all right down to the last detail. OK, those ’extras’ had cost him a small fortune, but he was certain that it would be worth it. He wanted this chance to put right all the wrongs – the Trev Malone wind up, the Geezer involvement in Sophie’s Staying Single quest, the many ways that he’d seemed flippant about the way he’d treated her. The first Sophie Dilemma date was his chance, possibly his last chance, to make a public display of how serious he was about a relationship with Sophie and he intended to pull out all of the stops.


Tam was pulling out all of the stops as she got stuck into the back of her wardrobe. She began to fear that if she delved any deeper she’d come across a giant lion and a half-man/half-goaty type thing, but it didn’t stop her. She was beginning to sort out some clothes for her long weekend in the log cabin and was chucking clothes onto her bed at a ferocious rate. Her frenzied excitement was escalating alarmingly, despite the slight niggle at not really knowing what clothes to pack. Would it be cold in Scotland? Would the log cabin be cold/double glazed/centrally heated? Looking back at the jumble of fabrics and colours made her realise how dowdy and scruffy she’d been lately. A pang of disgust punched her in the stomach as the true horror hit her. She’d let herself go, big time. No wonder Adrian had called it off with her. He’d have been a fool to stick around.
In the same way that Pete would have.
Been a fool.
She was stunned at the hoards of colourful and gorgeous clothes that she had here - clothes that she used to delight in wearing before she’d stolen Pete from his wife. Suddenly it all fell into place. She’d been flattered by Pete’s attention - it was strangely intensified by the knowledge that he was married - somehow made it MORE flattering that he liked her, despite having a wife at home. She couldn’t figure it out now, but it had struck a chord with her at the time. And so she’d gone from the wearing sexy, sassy clothes that had attracted him to her in the first place, to slipping into domestic doldrums of tracksuits and t-shirts.
There was time for this procrastination and that’s what she supposed Rob had been thinking, when he handed her the booking info for the Burnbank lodge. She needed to remember WHO she used to be. Sophie was a fantastic friend and knew her so well. She’d got it right when she’d said that to be happy with somebody you have to be happy with yourself first. Tamsin could see how she’d spent years going from man to man as if they were all the same person. Scooping up the mountain of clothes she dropped them clumsily into the tub chair in her bedroom. She was going to keep everything as simple as possible from now on. Pulling her favourite jeans from her wardrobe door she packed some of the chunky knitted jackets and her Timberland boots into her small holdall. She needed to spend some quality time with HERSELF and hoped that she’d have plenty of chances to enjoy walking through the Scottish forestry and beside the lake and remember WHO she was, and what she wanted to be. Rob had truly pulled an ace out of the hat with this one. It was the best Christmas present that she’d ever received.
Although she was more than a little curious as to why Rob had initially booked it for two people.
Perhaps he’d hoped to go with her and now couldn’t.
But she suspected that there was more to it than that.
But Rob? Have a girlfriend? He surely would have said something to her.
Then again, Tam realised, she’d been pretty much myopic lately when it came to her friends and family. And so 3 weeks before New Years Day Tamsin made her first new years resolution.
It was time to fall in love again.
But this time with herself.


In Los Angeles Sophie’s Mum was also preparing. Thrilled to be getting married in Orange County she’d just spent 10 minutes on the phone instructing the wedding planner to scrap the tasteful white and gold balloons and replace them with orange ones! Bobbie Jo had made her think of the ‘orange’ theme at her bachelorette party last week and she’d already asked for orange icing on the wedding cake and orange lights around the marquee. Snatching the phone up from the garden table she punched in Sophie’s number, secretly hoping that Jennifer would answer.
Sophie was a darling, but she was SO dry. Jennifer really was a girl after her own heart - knew how to party and how to really let her hair down.


Ben Scott loved Facebook. It was everything that MySpace was and more. The networking opportunites! The combing through media contacts ‘friends’ lists!
He was in heaven.
Apart from the stretched elastic strip that was beginning to cut into his bum cheek.

Chapter Fifty Seven
Chapter Fifty Nine

Chapter Fifty Seven - Seasons Bleetings!

Relationship Rehab – Mingle as a Single at XMAS....

Let me get one thing straight.
The stigma of being a singleton at Christmas is potentially bigger than being an ex-Big Brother contestant and trying to launch your own lingerie/perfume/autobiography. The ‘It’ll Be Lonely This Christmas’ ethos is potentially damaging to the ego and can be like watching a party that you’re not invited to, through a smoky window. It’s a bizarre race to be ‘ready’ for Christmas and if YOU isn’t TWO then it’s set to be a little lonely. Now don’t mistake me for a cynic - I’m not! I can get into the swing of it all along with the rest of the population - strangling their credit cards and depleting the notion of financial freedom for the next 10 months, all in the name of ‘goodwill‘. Forget the 80% of the world that are starving, if we don’t have a gold platter of mixed nuts that would make the fattest squirrel jealous, then we’re just NOT in the game! Everywhere you look there are schmaltzy tunes, pissed, puking office party-goers or chocolate box families.
But the bright side as a singleton? The absence of in-laws, no money arguments, the freedom to go Christmas shopping when YOU want and the budget to treat yourself to a pressie. If I’ve learned one thing over these last 9 months it’s that being SINGLE doesn’t mean being ALONE. And I won’t be. Despite turning a seasonal shade of green when my friend told me that she’d been treated to a long weekend in a romantic log cabin in Scotland, it got me thinking how I’d really LOVE to do that. Especially at Christmas. But we never get that snowy scene do we? More like grey skies and deep puddles. So this year I’m decamping to Los Angeles for a truly American-style Christmas. My mother is getting married on Christmas Eve and I’ve heard that LA in December is in the seventies - so roll on sunny skies!

So this will be the last Relationship Rehab until the new year, but before all that frivolity I have 4 dates, 4 guys and 4 dilemmas to face. With mere days until Date 1, I‘m a little nervous. I know it‘s at Kew Gardens Ice Skating Rink, followed by hot chocolate. I don‘t know yet what the other 3 dates will be - but I do know that I‘m going to need your help in deciding what to do! So watch this space - all will be revealed in the next couple of days. And in the meantime keep an eye at www.sophiedilemma.com - it'll all change when you're least expecting it

So for now, I‘ll sign off and let you help me with my dilemmas - and while I can‘t guarantee that you‘ll have snow at Christmas or that I‘ll have scorching sunshine, I CAN guarantee one thing...
I certainly won‘t be breaking a leg to catch that bridal bouquet!


Chapter Fifty Six
Chapter Fifty Eight

Monday, July 09, 2007

Chapter Fifty Six - The Ice Breaker?

I’ve just trudged home in the rain after a long, thin day. I feel like an overstretched elastic band, tight and ready to snap as I sidestepped the deluge of warped office parties - the women giggling in their ‘party’ office gear - which comprises usual office clothing but in velvet rather than cotton, accessorised with flashing xmas bauble earrings and felt antlers. They look ridiculous - but at least they’re laughing. Which is more than I’m doing. I feel so low that any sound of frivolity is bristling off of me like shards of glass. So imagine how hacked off I am to walk in through my front door and HEAR Jennifer before I see her. She’s on the phone, squeaking and squealing in hysterics.
“Oh Mam, I just CAN’T feckin’ wait. I’ve bought the most drop-dead-gorgeous dress too.”
I kick off my wet shoes and leave them upturned and discarded on the mat as I listen to the pause. It doesn’t last long,
“Noooo! I’ve no intention of upstaging the bride! Mam, as if I’d do that to you! Honestly!”
I close my eyes and blow my breath out as I stand there in the dark. She doesn’t know I’m home and I really wish I could ring Rob and ask if I can go over there. Only I can’t. Because he hates me. If Mum could SEE the slashed-to-the-navel and ripped-to-the-thigh red dress that Jennifer cajoled out of her rogue boyfriend, then she’d shirk at the notion of being upstaged. The fact is that Jennifer is hoping to have ALL the attention. End of.
“Oh Mam, wait till Sophie hears! You’re joking! They got married in Pasadena? Oh My God! And what about your plans for saying your vows on the beach in Malibu? Out the window still?”
I push open the door and want to giggle at the flat slapping sounds that my damp feet make on the wooden floor. I sense Jen frowning at me. It makes me smile a little as I go into the kitchen and pull open the fridge door. You know, she’s home here all afternoon and it’d be nice, just once, to walk in and find that she’d sorted some food. As I root around in the fridge the acrid smell of lemon pinches at my nostrils and it makes me think of when I first met Ade and he bought me the lemon muffin from Starbucks. He’d really intrigued me and I’d fallen for him in a far bigger way than I even admitted to myself. Which made the fall twice as far and doubly painful too. It’s funny, because I saw him at lunchtime, chatting to Ellie on reception and it was as if I truly saw him for the first time without the rose-coloured glasses. He just looked like a good looking city boy who flirts with everyone. It felt good, being able to smile and say ‘hi’ to both of them as I walked past and I was secretly pleased that there were no pangs of lust or loss. It made the day easier, knowing that he’s going to be my first Sophie Dilemma. It won’t be so painful now, knowing that I have no feelings for him. Looking at is positively it might make the first one easier too - that he’s not a complete stranger and there’s no worry that I’m not going to know what to say to him. Delaney told me today that there’s going to be 4 guys on 4 dates and there’ll be the last 2 weeks of work before we split for Christmas. She’s told me that the first date is confirmed to be with Ade, a humorous seasonal coupling in collaboration with Geezer magazine, and it’s going to be a night ice-skating on one of the open air Christmas rinks, followed by hot chocolate and muffins in the 24-hour cafe in the park. Sounds like it could be fun. IF it was with somebody other than Ade. Somebody like Rob, for example. Then there’ll be another date later that week, with another 2 in the following week - the last one is going to be the day before Jen and I fly out to L.A. Which makes me sad. Especially when I think about how I’d jumped the gun and dreamed about Rob coming out there with me. Maybe it’ll do me good to get away for a while. I can recharge my emotional batteries and bolster myself to get through the next 12 weeks wearing the crown of Staying Single.
Jen is still on the phone and I can’t bear being dragged into the conversation so I open a tub of cottage cheese and pineapple and fork out huge mounds, as I hold a pen in my other hand and begin to write my Christmas edition of Relationship Rehab.

Chapter Fifty Five
Chapter Fifty Seven

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chapter Fifty Five - The Yule Log (cabin)

The paperwork sat on Tamsin’s floor, neatly piled on her rag rug. She kept picking up the printed pages and reading them through, but not really taking in what they said. The log cabin looked adorable. Hugely romantic.
They were for couples, which freaked her out a little, considering she’d be going alone. It was puzzling her though. Rob had been great about the break up with Ade and had been totally supportive to her. He hadn’t hesitated to give her the info for the Scottish lodge and hadn’t asked any questions about what had happened between Ade and her. Which was good - because she didn’t actually know herself! Ade had been really nice about the way he’d told her that it was over. He’d explained that he wasn’t ready for a relationship and that it had all got a little too cosy too quickly - but she still wasn’t entirely sure why he’d wanted to call it a day. Rob had made sense about it all and, once again, he’d been right when he’d pointed out how Tamsin had slipped straight from the messy relationship with Pete into a new one with Ade. And he was right too, when he’d said that she needed some time alone, some time to get to know herself, before she committed to anything else. As she sat cross-legged on her sofa, sipping a glass of red wine, she stared at the paperwork on the floor. Why had Rob booked the log cabin? And why had he booked it for the week BEFORE Christmas? And WHO had he booked it for? Himself plus one? Or for another couple? It didn’t make sense. She was going to go next weekend anyway. She’d been a little concerned about driving the 9 hours to Scotland, but Rob had already sorted her a cheap flight, so she had no excuse. She was looking forward to having some complete time out from her life. Time to chill and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Rob had been right - she wanted to start the New Year with a revived and refreshed outlook. It was pointless being a serial dater - the next year was going to be all about Tam. Maybe Sophie had it right - choosing to remain single was going to be Tamsin’s aim from now on - no more unsuitable or unreliable men. It was all going to be about Tam from here on in.

This is the fourteenth time I’ve called Rob today and he’s not answering my calls. I swing from feeling desperate for the chance to explain myself, to being really fucking angry at him for being so gullible and jumping to conclusions about me! How DARE he think that I’m that flaky that I’d arrange to meet Ade behind Tamsin’s back! Or that I’d be less than honest with him, OR HER, about it too! In a way I can’t help but figure that if he thinks I’m that kind of spineless person, then what’s he interested in me for anyway? Doesn’t that say more about HIM than it does about ME? And then I lose the firecracker in me and feel terrible. All of those shit men, those terrible dates, those losers that dumped me WAY before I’d started my quest to stay single? They were nothing compared to how I feel now. This is different. Because I really like Rob. I mean, really, REALLY like him which makes it so much worse. And also because he’s angry with me for something that is a huge mistake! If only he’d give me the chance to explain! He’s obviously really angry at me - which is kind of good, because that means he really likes me, doesn’t it? Then it isn’t good too. Because if he likes me that much (like I do him) then wouldn’t it make sense for him to listen to what I have to say? MEN! Grrr - they’re SO damned stubborn!! The first guy I’ve kissed in years that I truly like on so many levels. His kiss made me melt right down to the middle of my body. That hasn’t happened for a long, long time. And now he won’t talk to me... So much for asking him to come to Mum’s wedding with me! What a joke THAT idea was! Didn’t even last 24 hours. And I have a week until my first ‘official’ Sophie Dilemma. And here I am, with a real one!
“Regan!” Delaney is calling for me first thing on Monday morning. It’s been a shit weekend and Rob is still refusing my calls. It’s outrageous and now I’m really annoyed at him. He’s acting like a stubborn school boy by not listening to my side of the story. I spoke to Tamsin about it and asked her if she’d seen Rob. She was FULL of news! Apparently Ade went around to see her over the weekend and broke it off with her. For no real reason. I knew he was planning to do that - he’d told me when we’d had our drink together. And I’d been right too - her laziness and overly-cosiness was freaking him out. So she’s been feeling awful too - poor love. After the break up with Pete too, it’s all too much in a short time span. But then she told me how Rob gave her a booking for a long weekend at a beautiful log cabin in Scotland. It sounds completely gorgeous - a cabin for two in a remote woodland in Scotland somewhere. She’s really puzzled about it all though. She said that the date on the booking was last week and that Rob wouldn’t say where he’d got it from or who he’d booked it for. Which leads me to think one of two things - he’d either booked it FOR Tam as a present for her and Ade, or he’d booked it for himself and somebody else. Could that somebody have been me? Or is he seeing somebody else too? Has he been seeing somebody else for the whole time we’ve been friends, but I’ve been so caught up with my own sorry state of affairs that I’ve never given him the chance to talk to me about it. Or was it for him and Jen all along? It just doesn’t bear thinking about... “REGAN!” Delaney’s loud voice breaks my trance and I grab my papers and rush to her office. “OK,” I huff and puff, “here.” “Good weekend?” she barks. “No, but let’s not talk about it.” “Oh,” she looks at me a little concerned but says nothing. Thank god. Because I really don’t want to talk about it. I keep thinking about how tormented I‘d been when Danny-the-chav had said how the word monogamous was so like monotonous and I’ve realised how wrong he was. It all depends on who you’re with and if it’s monotonous then you’re either doing it wrong or you’re doing it with the wrong person. Perhaps Jennifer WAS right when she’d said that publicising my ‘inadequacy’ wouldn’t help me to find a decent man. Of course she’d been right, because ultimately when I had the chance with Rob - I blew it. I’m useless. And now I have to put a smile on my face when Delaney shows me the cover for the Woman To Woman Christmas edition.

And then she shows me the one for the Geezer edition too.

And I see the bit about Ade Gets Sleigh'd and it reminds me what he's really like. It's worrying me that Ade is my first Sophie Dilemma...
I’d eat Delaney’s toenail cuttings out of a dog’s bowl rather than do these 4 dates for Sophie Dilemma. Delaney interrupts, “OK Sophie, we’re loading the SophieDilemma site this week. Going to show you a preview later today.”

How to pretend I’m excited?

Chapter Fifty Four
Chapter Fifty Six

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pulling Power #21

One guy's story.

Why can't this happen to me?

I'm so busy thinking how 'it' always happens when you're not expecting it --- that I'm ALWAYS half expecting it!!

Keep 'em coming!

Pulling Power loves your 'lines'!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Chapter Fifty Four - I'll Have A Blue Christmas Without You

Rob had the radio turned up full blast, but wasn’t really listening to the deluge of Christmas tunes that were ricocheting around the walls of his garage. His hands were black with grease and he stood beneath a car with the spotlight, focussing on the underside, spanner in his hand. He wasn’t concentrating. He couldn’t. He was annoyed at himself for trusting Sophie so quickly. He’d gone from worrying that he was dragging his feet with her - which had led him to book the log cabin in Inverness-shire as a romantic surprise for the two of them. And now, he felt that he’d rushed in too quickly. If only he’d waited a few more months until the year was up, then he could have stood back and watched how things panned out for her, and what decisions she’d make. But as things stood he’d forked out over £300 for a long weekend for 2, somewhere that was a nine hour drive away! And then there was how to tell Tamsin too! Or SHOULD he tell her? How could he break the news that her best friend was seeing her boyfriend behind her back? Talk about a double betrayal! His mobile vibrated in his pocket and he pulled it out, knowing it was Tamsin again. She’d already rung him a few times this morning, but he didn’t have the words for her. She’d probably be all bright and breezy and he was going to find it hard to sound chipper. He frowned and looked down at her name, flashing in lights in his hand and decided to answer it. He pressed the button with the green phone on it,
“Hey, babe. How ya doing today?”
He was shocked to hear her crying.
“I’m not. Doing. Today. I HATE today.”
“Tam? What is it? You at work?”
“No! I didn’t go in. I couldn’t. Not after last night.”
His stomach churned as he climbed out from beneath the car, clambering up the steps leading from the pit.
“What?” his voice was measured and amazingly calm, “What happened last night?”
He heard his sister sniff as her voice cracked,
“Ade. He dumped me.”
“Jesus! He what? Did he say why?”
“No!” she shouted at him, “He didn’t say why at all! He just called around about an hour later than we’d planned, soaking wet smelling of beer and said that we needed to call it a day. I mean Rob, what kind of an excuse is that?”
Rob was furious. This news reinforced what he’d suspected - that Sophie and Ade were back together and were shuffling about, trying to keep it all a sordid secret. He’d been foolish enough to think that Sophie couldn’t be that callous, but he’d clearly been wrong. It severely jarred his ability to character-judge people now. He’d thought that he knew Sophie really well and look what happened! Talk about getting burned!
“Tam,” he tried to remain calm, for her sake, “listen, Ade was never right for you. He’s a playboy and you deserve better. I know you don’t wanna hear this right now, but he’s not worth it. Listen babe, I’ve got something for you. I’ll call over after work and see you. Did you get any sleep last night?”
“No,” she sniffed, “hardly any. It’s just too much, so soon after Pete.”
“I know. That’s why people try to avoid rebound dating. It’s all too painful too quick. Try and get some sleep this afternoon. I’ll be round after 6.”
“OK, thanks Rob. You’re the best.”
“No prob sis. Get some rest.”

He sat down on his rickety ex-office chair and stared at his open diary. He’d written
tell Sophie about log cabin
in red pen and had circled it. The writing had an air of flamboyance and promise to it, with it’s rounded shapes and swirls. He’d been so excited at finding the romantic 2-berth log cabin in Scotland and he’d booked it immediately. He’d been even more excited at telling Sophie about how he’d planned to take her away for a few days. It all had seemed so much more precious, after their kiss last night. But how short-lived THAT high had been!
And then he knew what to do. He would give Tamsin the short break in Scotland and suggest that she spends a long weekend alone. It would do her good to go and relax and to think about what SHE wants out of life, rather than seamlessly dating the wrong men. There was the added bonus that she’d mention to Sophie how he’d given her the opportunity for the log cabin break and that might get her thinking too... He wasn’t going to reveal what he’d seen last night. It wasn’t fair on Tamsin - but he had every intention of telling Sophie how disgusted he was in her.


I check my calendar in Outlook as I begin to check my emails. Loads from Delaney and a few from Ross and Darren too. Yuk. Hmmm, 7th December today and only 17 days to go until the dreaded wedding.Yet, this morning everything seems lighter - as if a huge burden of doubt has been lifted. I know that it’s all down to the kiss with Rob. He’s gorgeous and I never dreamed that we’d be a couple. Well, OK, I had DREAMED about it, but didn’t actually think that we’d get it together. I’d been convinced that he was hanging around to get closer to Jennifer and I was blown away last night when he kissed me. It was electric and my skin was tingling all over simply through the lip contact. To be honest I felt absolutely nothing when Ade stepped out in front of me, and I was still buzzing about Rob an hour later - when I sat in the pub with Ade. I’d nursed a WKD and listened to his flimsy story about Trevor Malone and the ego of the men working at Geezer. He’d said many things about thinking I was great, and funny and smart; sassy and sexy and honest and gorgeous. Things that might have got me naked within seconds, only a few months ago. But now I have Rob, the Ade bubble has burst and he’s just a good-looking but shallow guy. Simple as that. I have no interest in him. I was secretly chuffed that I got it right about his feelings for Tamsin. He was bored of the cosy domestic routine and felt a little cheated that she only wanted to slob about in her joggers, her most energetic moves being when she swings her legs up onto his lap as they settle down for yet another episode of Friends or Will & Grace. He was going to call it off with her before Christmas, he said. And I think it’s tough, but only fair. At least if Tam’s single for Christmas it might force her out to join in the relentless office parties and Christmas socialising. I obviously won’t be around to join her, as I’ll be shuffling awkwardly in the 70degree heat as I watch my mother get married in Los Angeles. I’m dreading that too. I have to go and get a dress this weekend and it makes sense for me to splash out a little more too, in lieu of the Sophie Dilemma nights. I wish I felt excited about being filmed on these 4 dates, but I don’t. Now I have Rob I’m not interested in spending social time with any other men. So I should be glad really that there’s only 4 sessions. Darren and Ross have booked the slots on Tuesday 11th, Thursday 13th, Tuesday 18th and then Thursday 20th December. They’ve chosen 2 midweek dates based on the New York ethos of dating which dictates that you NEVER go on a new(ish) date on any of the weekend nights for fear that you give off a vibe that you don’t have any friends. So it’s midweek dating for me. And Delaney emailed me yesterday afternoon to say that Richard & Judy want me on one of their Christmas shows - probably the Thursday 20th one - which is the afternoon just prior to the last Sophie Dilemma piece. And then I’m jetting off to Los Angeles the following day. Myself and Jen are booked on a flight on Friday 21st, giving ourselves a couple of days to recover and prepare for Mum’s Christmas Eve wedding. I don’t know which is worse -the thoughts of Mum’s false and pseudo-Americanisms for a fortnight, or the false and relentless Christmas party scene in London - all those hoards of drunk men in suits make me feel nauseous.

Just as I’m inwardly cringing at the beginnings of excitement at a different kind of Christmas this year, I begin to wonder whether it’s too late to ask Rob to come to Mum’s wedding with me. It would be the icing on the cake for me - I wouldn’t be stuck in Jennifer’s shadow for the duration and it would give me and Rob some fantastic time together too. My telephone rings and makes me jump. I grab it and say,
“Sophie Regan!”
“Sophie?” Ellie’s voice is always bright and warm, “call for you.”
“Do you know who it is?”
“Says his name is Rob.”
“Great!” My voice is overly exultant and I sense that Ellie is a little surprised at my lack of composure, but I don’t care. I’m a little stunned then to hear his deadpan, flat tones,
“Sophie. Rob. Forget last night. Forget everything. The friendship, the kiss, everything I said. Actually, you might as well forget about Tamsin too. You’re not the woman I thought you were. In fact, you’re lower than low. All what you said about Jennifer? She’s streets ahead of you. I can’t believe you, Soph. Just forget it all.”

The line goes dead.
And so does my heartbeat.
My stomach is filled with rocks.
My eyes sting as they begin to fill, involuntarily, with tears.
My god.
He must have seen me walk away with Ade.
And he obviously thinks that I’m deceitful and wicked enough to have planned it all.....

Another fuck up.
And a big one this time.

Chapter Fifty Three
Chapter Fifty Five

Monday, July 02, 2007

Chapter Fifty Three - The Grinch! Is My Heart 2 Sizes Too Small?

If my hair is falling out due to stress, then give me a week and I’ll be completely bald! Why can’t I ever see when I’ve got something good, something worth hanging on to? Why am I so damned greedy? I’ve been dumped by Rob after, ooohh, what, about 24 hours after we kissed in the rain? Now that’s gotta be a world record! I feel empty and shit...

I’d just left him and was getting near to Tamsin’s house and was really lost on the high of that kiss. His touch unlocked all the feelings that I’ve been restraining so admirably and I virtually floated down the street. My stomach was flipping and it took every inch of reserve to stop me launching into ‘Singing In The Rain’ and Gene Kelly’ing my way through the puddles. I’d decided that it was all so much easier now - I could tell Tam about how she’s being so boring with Ade. Now that I KNEW that I wasn’t interested in him, it all made sense. The final pieces of the jigsaw had jostled into place and the resulting picture was superb. I was bursting to tell her all about me and Rob and I was sure she’d be delighted. She’d better have been, I’d thought, especially after how ‘good’ I’d been about her asking Ade out. I’d planned on being an ace best-friend and telling her in a diplomatic and kind way about her scruffiness. And then when I’d helped her see how she was letting herself go we could open another bottle of wine and have a cosy girlie chat about Rob and then about Mum’s wedding. And then talk about me and Rob again. And again. We had loads to catch up on!
Then somebody stepped out in front of me and stood under my brolly with me, completely shocking me out of my rose-coloured-glasses mode. It was Adrian!
It all went wonky after that...


I felt sick and shocked to see Ade standing in front of me. He smiled and I melted.
Easy as that?
Pathetic aren‘t I?
“Hey, you going to see Tamsin?” he grinned.
“No,” I pulled a wide-eyed sarcastic look, “I just LOVE walking the streets, aimlessly, in the rain. Oh, yes, look? I‘m in Tam‘s street! What a coincidence. Oh, I might as well then!”
“Hey,” he touched my arm, “don‘t be like that. Sophie,” his voice softened, “I really need to talk to you.”
“Ade. There really is nothing to say. The flowers and messages and stuff that you sent as apologies were lovely, but you made me feel like shit. And you knew what you were doing - it was no accident. There‘s nothing to say.”
“But there IS. Please. Look, just come for one drink with me and let me talk. Please! ONE drink only. At least give me that chance to explain face to face.”
“I don‘t think so.”
“Please. Anyway,” a cheeky twinkle sparkled in his eyes as he said, “I AM going to be your first Sophie Dilemma date - so it‘d surely be best to get all of our personal, messy stuff out of the way before that, eh?”
And I realised that the dilemma situation was looming and that he actually had a point. So I agreed.
“OK, I give in. Just one drink though.”
He crossed his chest with his fingers, “Scouts honour.”
And with that we walked on, past Tamsin‘s house and to the end of the street and around the corner where the grotty pub was. I knew it was wrong, that I shouldn’t even consider giving him my time - especially when he is Tamsin’s boyfriend - but I walked on anyway. It was weird going straight past Tam’s, seeing her lights on and thinking that I would have been in there by now, taking off my wet coat and leaving my brolly in her hallway. It felt bad - as if we were betraying her, but I had to hear what Ade wanted to say. It was true that there was unfinished business between us and I wanted to lay it to rest. And I am so insanely nervous about the Sophie Dilemma campaign that any chance to talk it through is more than welcome...
If only I knew what the implications of that, rather boring, and quick drink were going to have.


Rob was gutted. He’d stood to watch Sophie walk toward Tamsin’s and while he waited he’d decided it was a perfect time to text her about the log cabin. He pulled out his mobile and wrote,


He’d waited to see her approach the front door and ring the bell. Only she hadn’t. She walked on until she ‘accidentally on purpose’ bumped into Ade and they’d stood for a few minutes, having a cosy chat under her umbrella, before laughing and scurrying off together. Talk about a double whammy! Ade was cheating on Tam, Sophie was cheating on Tam AND telling him lies too! He was disappointed and hurt. He’d sat and endured bloody Jennifer, who loved nothing more than a good old whinge-up, for too many evenings in the hope of finding the right moment to ask Sophie to go to the log cabin with him. Now he felt foolish and pathetically romantic. He’d read the signs wrong again and it had cost him - both in his pocket and emotionally. Sophie obviously still had a ‘thing’ for Adrian, despite the crap way that he’d treated her. Maybe she was one of those women who liked men who weren’t very nice to them. But he hadn’t had her labelled as one of them. What a let down. And the log cabin? He might as well give it to somebody else for a nice mini break before Christmas...


How can one person totally misread an entire whole scenario? After that quick drink with Ade I realised that he really wasn’t worth worrying about - simply a guy with lots going for him - except a sliver of integrity. So no loss there then. I’d gone on to spend a few hours with Tamsin and had managed to talk to her about where she thought her and Ade were heading. We had a few laughs and she even began to say how she missed our girlie nights out and was a little bored with the whole stay-at-home-with-the-boyfriend routine. So I’d pulled out my mobile to call a cab at about 11.30pm only to find a message from Rob. It said something about wanting to tell me something and hoping that I didn’t mind. And my worse fears hit me in the stomach. I’d felt sick as I’d been certain he was going to tell me that he really likes Jennifer. I suppose in a way I was expecting it, after all the time they’ve spent together. It seems like Ade was only getting close to me to get to Tam, so why so unbelievable that Rob might be getting close to me for access to Jen? I was certain that I’m always destined to lose the guy I like to somebody close to me. I’m virtually a fucking donor!

And then I woke up this morning to a voice message from Rob. His voice sounded cold and edgy - nothing like the warmth that I expected from him and I feel ashamed at my indecision. I should never have gone for that drink with Ade - it wasn’t fair on Tam, or Rob, or ME! Once a loser always a loser, yeah? And he is a loser! If I began to stay single because of feeling crap after dating disastrous men, then being single when you’ve met someone that you REALLY like is even worse. I never got to hear what the ‘thing’ was that he had to tell me, because he was too busy spitting blood about how he’d stood and watched me walk off into the rain with Adrian. Damn! He’d seen us! And he thinks we’d planned it all. And so he wants nothing more to do with me. He called me some terrible names - a pompous cow being one of them - that really hurt. How could he really have liked me that much if he thought I was a pompous cow! And I SO am not that. I know that I’m not. To have had him so close and to have fucked it all up at the last minute is almost laughable. If only it was remotely funny.
Which it isn’t....

It’s always horrible being dumped. That surge of shitness that’s been kept at bay - held back by the invisible force field of the ‘highs’ of a new relationship, knocks you right over. Once the highs are shattered, once the magic has been broken the floodgates open and all that shit rushes right in. And it does knock you right over - even if the dumper was somebody that you had doubts about anyway! It makes you feel like crap, like you’re not a ‘proper’ or worthy person, like there’s something wrong with you. How many times have I asked myself whether I have ‘issues’ or whether I’m ‘good enough’? I’m so angry at myself too. The whole idea behind choosing to stay single was to avoid this emotional rollercoaster, so why the hell am I right back on it again? I’ve done far too many post mortems on dead relationships but I can’t figure this one with Rob. I was stupid, MORE than stupid to go for that drink with Ade. And I can’t talk to Tam about it because it means I have to reveal how I sneaked out with him behind her back. I can’t even ask Tam to have a chat with Rob on my behalf, for exactly the same reason! It’s a mess. And I have nobody to talk to! The whole deceit of that 45 minute chat in a seedy pub was supposed to break me free from Ade and all it has done is isolated me in a lonely loop all on my own. As I sit on the Tube train to work my eyes keep welling up as I want to talk to Rob. He’s my new best friend and now I know how I feel about him, it’s even worse. He’s helped me out so much over the last few months and now, when I really need to talk to him, I can’t. I’m ‘not allowed’ to. Because I’ve upset him and made him feel used and stupid.
So much for Christmas cheer? I feel yuk. I had him so close and now he’s so far away from me.
I’m like the bloody Grinch - maybe my heart is 2 sizes too small too???

Chapter Fifty Two
Chapter Fifty Four