Friday mornings were always the same and Tamsin hated them. She was now tuned in to Pete’s extraordinarily early Friday starts, but hated prodding him, sick of being governed by the clock as it smirked it’s 05:20 at her. The birds chirped outside her window as she listened to the whoosh of traffic pass by. She imagined it was the sea washing onto the beach and she closed her eyes, snuggling into Pete’s hairy chest and convinced herself that they were in an exotic apartment beside a tropical beach. The luxury of a ‘clock-less’ room and no demands on his time would be her idea of heaven. Nestling in closer to him, she wrapped her leg up over his hip, pulling herself in tighter. His soft chest hair tickled her nipples and she contemplated turning off the alarm clock. She’d read a blog entry that Sophie had recommended from DirtyFilthyPrincess in which the ‘Princess’ blogged about a magical moment of loving with her husband. It was passionate and lustful, downright dirty and playful and Sophie said that it restored her faith in the concept of marriage. Tam had looked at it, wishing that she and Pete could spend more time together. She worked ridiculously long hours at the hospital and coupled with his excessive work load, they had to grab time together whenever possible. But it wasn’t easy. Her feelings for him had begun to overwhelm her lately, bringing bouts of sadness as well as intense love. She questioned what sort of woman she was– that she could feel such overpowering emotions for a guy that she shouldn’t be loving in the first place.
It’s a scorcher today and I’m in Delaney’s good books once again. She loved yesterday’s column, even agreeing to let me call it ‘Relationship Rehab’. My inbox has 42 emails from readers who have also decided to stay single, which is encouraging. One reader has posted me a link to an interview with Pamela Anderson who is also vowing to stay single for a while - – but I suspect that it will be a whole lot easier for ME to stay single than her. I’ve got that Friday Feeling, despite AJ’s noxious comments about my speed dating experience. It was strange the way that she asked whether I saw anybody that I knew. I was initially suspicious, wondering whether she knew that Adrian was there too, but then she remained true to form and sniped,
“I mean, how many saddos can you pack into one room, before you recognise somebody that you know! You’re a hideously over-populated breed.” She’s poison and I was determined not to mention what great laughs we’d had with Adrian. She just stared at me as I smiled at her, gathered my papers and went into Delaney’s office.
“Regan?” she manages a half smile as I knock and then open her door. “Come in. Sit down.”
She throws an open magazine onto her desk, twisting it so that it lands to face me. The first thing I see is the tacky grapes photograph as backdrop, and then I notice the twee curly wurly font in green which reads ‘Wine Not? Meet other classy singles and have a grape night out as we take you on a gastronomic rollercoaster through the vineyards of Europe’.
“It looks gross.” I stare at Delaney, horrified that she’d even think that I’d be interested.
“No, it’ll be fun.”
“Will not be fun.”
She laughs, throwing her head back, her shock of short auburn curls jerking out, like a baby’s arms on losing its balance.
“Anyway,” she tails off with the hilarity, “you’re going. I’ve booked you a ticket for Wednesday. It’s just off of Greek Street. 8pm start. You can write about it for next week’s piece.”
I feel the colour drain from my face. As if speed dating wasn’t enough like Butlins, I now need to go on the dating equivalent of a Faliraki pub crawl. This is not good.
“OK,” Delaney gees me up, “that’s it for now then. I need to get on with this piece about The Times.”
“Right.” I stand up, clutching my file tightly to my chest. For all my promises to focus on my inner and outer body beautiful, my determination not to give out an invisible radar of wanting to be with a guy –I’m being put into the most hellish scenarios where that is the focus of the evening. I reach for the door handle when she speaks again. I turn around to see that she’s talking but typing and staring at her computer screen. I’m not sure that she’s talking to me.
“Yeah and it really has attracted some attention too.”
I think she must have her Bluetooth in her ear and is on another call. I turn to leave again.
“Sky want to talk to you about it.”
I open her door, still stunned at being booked in for ‘Wine Not’, when she yells,
“Regan! I’m talking to you.”
“Oh, I thought….”
“I said that your Relationship Rehab column has been picked up by some of the media. Apparently Paris Hilton made a similar promise to stay single for a year and Sky want to talk to you about how it’s working for you. Obviously Paris Hilton attracts men wherever she goes, but they’re interested to see how it would work for an, well, an ‘ordinary’ woman.”
“You know. Non celeb. So keep doing the good work. I’m going to talk to them later today. Might see if you can write a piece for them, but be prepared for them wanting to interview you. For a programme they’re developing on how we attract the opposite sex and how we break up relationships.”
I’m blushing. “Really? They want to talk to me?”
“Reckon so. Anyway, you crack on with what you’re doing there. And I still want you to follow up the leads for that piece on rape sentences across Europe.”
“Right.” I’m stunned.
“Oh, and by the way,” she adds, “they know you dated Ben Scott.”
Sky! Want to talk to me!
I think I feel sick.