But she was relentless.
She'd gone from hugging him so tightly and thanking him for letting her go, to pacing the kitchen, uncorking a bottle of wine, dragging him to the sofa where she pushed a too-full glass into his hand, to grappling in her bag for her camera, turning it on and now she was racing through a series of snapshots of snow scenes.
And all without a breath!
So how come he was the one who felt suffocated?
He couldn't get Sophie's 'Dilemmas' out of his head and that clip where she took Ade's hand and climbed into the helicopter with him was just replaying again and again and again in his mind. Torturing him.
"And Rob, you should have seen the fireplace in the cabin! It was colossal! And there's nothing as cozy as the sounds of the wood crackling and spitting and the flames were huge! It was just like one of those Christmas music videos. We need to go again next year as it would be just fantastic with a crowd. We could ask Sophie too. Honestly, she'll just love it! We just need a crowd of us!"
He grabbed his wine glass and downed the drink in one, standing abruptly and sliding his jacket on. Tam was surprised.
"Where you going?"
"Oh, I've, erm… gotta go."
"You're fumbling! What's up?"
"Nothing! I'm just tired and shit. You know. Long day. And I only came to get the heating on and stuff. Ready for when you got home."
Tam nodded toward her laptop, "and use the laptop?"
"Yeah," he realized he'd left it open at www.sophiedilemma.com and was pissed off about it, "yeah, to use your laptop." He walked toward it to close the open tab but Tam jumped up before him.
"S'ok. Leave it on. I need to catch up on some emails too. And I want to get some of these photos up on Facebook."
"No, it's ok. I need to log out of that site anyway," he bluffed, desperate for Tam not to see that he'd been following what Sophie was doing.
"Rob?" Tam stood in front of him. "Are you OK?"
"So why are you all jumpy and weird?"
"I'm not! Just tired. Look, let me just close down that page I was in."
Tam calmly walked across to her laptop and didn't see Rob cringing behind her. She bent to see what he'd been looking at, half fearing that it was something xxx-rated or some weird porn fetish site that she didn't want to look at OR think that her brother was into. He watched her as she bent and then stood, turning to face him.
"It's Sophie's stuff."
"Why are you looking at that?"
"What is it? The first of her 4 'dilemma' dates?"
"Dunno. Yeah. Some crap like that."
"So….. Why are you looking at this?"
And there was something about the sadness in his eyes, the sag of his shoulders that suddenly made sense.
"Oh… My…. God…. You're in love with her aren't you?"
"Yeah. And it's shit."
He slumped down onto the sofa and as Tam slumped down beside him she agreed,
"Too right it is…"
If my inner thighs could talk they'd be screaming in pain.
As if it wasn't tough enough, gripping for dear life with my hands, my legs were like steel rods as they tried to balance on the trapeze swing.
Jonny was great – which made the whole façade a little easier, but I'm now *officially* bruised both on the inside and the outside.
Ade managed to make me feel battered emotionally and Circus Space has seen to it that I have:
a bruise the shape of South Africa on my upper left arm
another bruise – a little more like China with perhaps Ireland joined on to it – just above my right boob (don't ask me how that got there!)
legs that refuse to climb up or down a staircase without turning to complete jelly. (My muscles are in total rigor mortis!)
blisters on the palms of both hands (from hanging on for dear life to the trapeze swing)
There you have it.
A mess on all counts.
To be honest, for a moment there I thought the aching thighs might have been from my sexual shenanigans with Ade.
And then I remembered.
He was crap.
And *it* didn't really happen.
Not in the real sense.
I have another 2 days until the next date and I know it's going to be hell as it's Ballroom Dancing with Hassan SomebodyOrOther. I desperately need some TLC and pampering before I take that on so perhaps this is the perfect moment to book my evening at the spa. I'm going to go for the whole shebang too. I wanted to book in for a leg and armpit wax for Mum's Christmas L.A wedding and I wanted a St Tropez session, so I think I'll go for a full body massage and wax and then book in the spray tan for next week.
I'll be a great tangerine, what with my orangey flecked dress too.
Mum will be delighted!
Chapter Sixty Eight