Relationship Rehab – week 5
This week has been a crash course on the male ego – with the emphasis on the word ‘crash’! It’s an unpleasant experience, publicising the car crash of your life, but it’s considerably worse when men add to your dilemma! It’s all been a little like the carousel at the fair, the colours blur into primary stripes as it spins, but change to faded, tarnished, tired paint jobs as it grinds to a halt. In terms of my relationship rehab, I’m now only marginally more disillusioned than I was six weeks ago. It sounds like a girls dream to receive flowers from secret admirers on a daily basis and to have to struggle over the dilemma of whether one date constitutes a break in my promise to remain single. But that was the week that was. As I’m sure anybody who reads one of the red-tops knows – I went on a date with the gorgeous Paul Ashkuri, but spent the rest of the week wondering why he hasn’t contacted me again and even whether he was genuine or not. It has been a truly ‘Toblerone week’ – the highs tasting great and the lows kind of hard to out from between your teeth! I was meant to test out a singles quiz night – but just couldn’t bring myself to enter that social cess pit. But I’m recovering slowly and will be out and about next week with a new update on how promising to stay single is really enhancing my life!!!?
Oh, and I’ve been asked to do a photo shoot and interview for Geezer magazine – so keep an eye out for that too.
The weekend really was horrendous and it’s knocked my self esteem hugely. Rob had called around in the afternoon on Saturday, whilst I was still prancing about in my pyjamas, trying to decide what to wear. He said he’d called in to check that the paint job was OK, which I thought was strange, but I was grateful for somebody to help me decide what to wear. He was great – listening to me fluff about, watching me try on numerous outfits in succession and he really helped me feel better about my concerns over Paul Ashkuri. I have to admit, and I don’t mean it in a big headed way, but I had been suspicious about his intentions and Rob helped me to see that someone like Ashkuri really didn’t need to be seen with someone like me. We’d laughed that I was an intensely small ripple in a huge media pond. Rob listened as I ranted about not trusting men’s motives lately and how guys who I’d once not noticed were sending me emails and flowers! Trevor Malone from Geezer has sent me flowers four times in the last week, which is nice but now becoming tiresome, especially as I hadn't even met the guy this time last week – and as for the remarks and invitations on my website? This is all a bit full-on and we’d made loads of jokes about it. He’s such easy company, but I noticed that he changed his tone and went kind of weird when I emerged wearing my new Coast dress. He made a quick exit and disappeared, mumbling something about needing to get back to work.
A couple of hours later Paul texted to say that he was outside, and I asked him in - determined to keep him waiting for a few minutes. He came in and waited patiently on my sofa, whilst I disappeared to the bedroom and pretended to finish getting ready. In reality I was sitting on the edge of my bed nervously trying not to pick my French manicure off – but he didn’t need to know that! He was the perfect gentlemen – telling me I looked gorgeous and helping me with my coat. I felt a million dollars and my thighs are still bruised from where I’d had to continually keep pinching myself. So we left the house and walked straight into an overwhelming firework display. Camera flashes were going off all over the place and I was totally blinded. I knew that I was pulling one of those open–mouthed-gasping-for-air faces that you make after too long under water, but I was completely disorientated. I waited for Paul to clutch my arm tightly and guide me toward his waiting car, in the way that Rob had done the other week when I was afraid that the photographers were waiting. But he didn’t. Far from it. Paul Ashkuri shook my arm from his as if it were on fire and pushed me sideways away from him. I stumbled toward his car, estranged shouts of ‘Miss Regan!’ and ‘so how does this mean that you’re staying single, Sophie?’ ringing through my ears. By the time I fell into the passenger seat of his car I felt as though I’d done five rounds with Tyson.
The evening was strained after that. I found it hard to believe his flimsy claims that he was always on edge when he travelled without a bodyguard and that he’d had some serious run-ins with paparazzi before. My food was sticking in my throat as I couldn’t help but think that Rob would never have treated me like that. And also the come down that as much as I was being spoiled with male attention, someone like Paul Ashkuri seemed embarrassed to be with me – or was it that he was pretending to be embarrassed. Nothing is what it seems anymore.
Ade was depressed. He’d gone ahead at the weekend and had booked a limo and top table at the restaurant for next week, but still hadn’t mustered the nerve to ask Sophie to go with him. It had cost him the best part of £300 and he felt sick at the thoughts that she might say no. It wasn’t helping that Trevor Malone insisted on sending her bouquets every couple of days, and when Ade had seen the photos of Sophie and celebrity Paul Ashkuri in all of the national newspapers and magazines he realised that he wasn’t the only guy after her. He’d heard the guys down the pub making jokes about how they’d soon sort her out and make her decide not to stay single. He was already desperately regretting his bet with Trevor. He hated his Ade Gets Laid persona now and really felt it was time to grow up and meet that special lady. It tormented him, the way that he liked Sophie. He constantly tried to ignore the fact that she’d gotten under his skin, but it was difficult to. A ‘new message’ alert flashed on his computer. It was from Trevor. Ade’s stomach flipped with anger and he surprised himself at how annoyed he felt on reading how Trevor had emailed Sophie Regan, asking her to do a photo shoot and interview for Geezer magazine….
Tamsin hadn’t got out of bed for 4 days. Her weekend away with Pete had gone disastrously wrong and she couldn’t pull herself together. She’d intended to put him on the spot about his marital situation but she hadn’t got the chance to. They’d had some mind-blowing sex again – she loved the way he ripped at her clothes and growled a little when he got his hands on her. It turned her on immensely and she really couldn’t get enough of him. They’d spent hours exploring and then re-exploring each others bodies until they’d both lain, wet and exhausted beside each other in the early hours. She’d been afraid to breathe for fear of breaking the stillness and the intimate moment but after a couple of minutes Pete had reached down and pulled his mobile phone from the floor. She detested that. Every time, without fail, that she made love to Peter, he had to check his phone afterwards. It was as if he was checking in – and it made her feel ill. She was beginning to feel that she only ever really had every last cell, every last fragment of Pete during their love making, as afterwards he always had to check his phone. And this time, it was worse than ever. She had lay beside him, deliberately not making eye contact, but aware that he’d jerked into a seated position whilst pressing the buttons on his mobile.
“What is it?” she’d asked, her voice light and still slightly panting,
“Oh.” Her voice hung in the warm air and she felt cold and empty as he hopped from the bed, and paced into the bathroom to make a call.
She could hear his voice, the concern and tenderness that she was so used to, and it was sickening listening to him talk to somebody else that same way too. When he emerged a few minutes later his face was white and his glorious body already seemed as if it no longer belonged to her.
“It’s my wife,” he’d said in low tones, “she’s had a fall. She’s been rushed to hospital. I have to go Tamsin. I have to get home.” And then he’d stopped, the realisation of what he was about to say suddenly hitting him. “She’s pregnant, Tam.”
Chapter Twenty Nine