I usually love the giddy experience of falling in love. It induces a high and I’m sometimes reckless enough to risk a broken heart. The other evening I agreed to another dinner and movie date with an ex. Some seven or eight months have passed since our break up and the only form of contact had been when he sent me a birthday text on Facebook messaging. That had been some six months ago and things had still been a little raw. With the passage of time I no longer feel embarrassed at the way things fell apart at our last meeting though and was curious about how R was getting on.
We met at the cinema and then went to have a meal at a restaurant next door. The cuisine was East Asian and the whole experience felt vaguely familiar. When we were dating last year we’d tended to have a movie and dinner date which involved going to an east Asian restaurant. He was easy company and we surprised ourselves by there not being many more awkward moments. In fact he had quite a few entertaining tales and we swapped anecdotes. We decided to enter a square of green and sat down on a sunny spot. There were parties of families dotted around the space. One had even brought their own collapsible chairs and tables and a few were enjoying wine and pizza. The sun was beginning its descent but the evening was warm and balmy. The sky was still clear and blue without even a hint of a stormcloud even though the forecast had been thunderstorms since the previous day. On that patch of grass we’d sat cross legged and he made me laugh out loud with a story about the prudish establishment and a feature toilet cubicle at the top of the Shard.
He was very pleasant company and I couldn’t help wondering where this might eventually lead. I am sufficiently wary not to want my heart broken but it would be so easy to fall in love with him all over again. I tell myself that it would be extremely foolish to repeat the past but as we teased and flirted with each other over the course of the evening I wondered how the date would end. We walked back to the cinema and he got us both some red wine. I’d chosen a cushioned bench and we both semi reclined on it. The place had been done up so that it was now concrete, glass and steel. The cushioned seating were shades of grey and stainless steel. It wasn’t exactly comfy but it was oh so stylish and elegant! We lounged companionably and I let him take my hand on the pretext of showing him some of the scars the bee stings had left in the recent past. He stroked the bumpy blemishes and I told myself that he was merely being solicitous and there was nothing suggestive in his manner. Later in the cinema auditorium itself we settled into our sofa seats. Throughout I was conscious of his close proximity but the film was riveting. At one stage he stroked my upper arm deliberately with his fingers but I gave him no encouragement and after a while he stopped.
When we came out of the cinema we found the ground soaked. It had rained and a thunderstorm was brewing. He gave me an enormous hug and kissed the side of my cheek goodbye at the entrance to the tube station, he needing to catch a bus home. We made promises to repeat the pleasant experience and I made my way down to the platform. Later there had been some incredible lightning flashes in the midnight sky as I walked home from the station soaked to the bone. I wonder if we really would see each other again. Sometimes those sorts of promises made at parting can easily be forgotten. The fortress that surrounds my heart still stands but how close had it come to being disturbed?