August 24th, 1989

August 24th, 1989

At home

Ben rang this morning and I would go so far as to say that our chat was one of the best we’ve ever had. It was so lovely not just to hear his voice but to laugh with him on the phone about some of the things that have happened since we last saw each other.

According to Ben, he hasn’t been with anyone else. Of course I don’t believe him but if we’re thinking about getting back together (oh yes, it was mentioned more than once!) we need to put the past behind us and not dwell on it. We know each other so well and he’s always somewhere in my thoughts, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing.

He asked if I’ve “been with anyone?” and I told him I haven’t. I didn’t tell him I almost got “back on the bike,” (thanks to Frankie for that expression) with Graeme in Bermuda. Or, that I kissed David in Delhi. All while being single!

Having said that, I do feel a bit concerned about falling back into the old ways with Ben when he comes home. The old, shitty ways that ended us. I really don’t want that to happen. If there’s any chance of us being together again we need to start afresh. Hopefully I made that clear on the phone.

I was on a high after we hung up, so I got on my bike and cycled to the city centre. It was such a lovely day so after I locked up my bike I sat by the fountain at Queen’s Court to have a think about things before I hit the shops.

I had my eyes closed and loved the feeling of the sun on my face. I started replaying my chat with Ben and could feel myself grinning just thinking about him.

“Karen?”

I opened my eyes and shielded them with my hand.

“Oh, hello Lee,” I said, squinting up at him.

“You look like you’re enjoying this fantastic weather.”

“It’s gorgeous isn’t it? What are you up to? I haven’t seen you for yonks.”

“Not since we commuted to London together on the train.”

“That feels like ages ago.”

“It certainly wasn’t warm like it is now.”

“Ugh, those awful winter mornings waiting on that cold platform. Are you still commuting?”

“I am,” he said, nodding his head.

“You must be mad.”

He laughed. “The financial world is London based.”

“No work today?”

“I took the week off, needed a break. How about you?”

“I just got back from New York…”

“Uh, sorry to interrupt but do you have some time now?” he asked.

“I do,” I said, getting up.

“Would you like to go somewhere for a coff, oh wait, you’re allergic to coffee.”

I smiled. “Good memory.”

“Tea? Would you like to go and have a cup of tea?”

We walked through the city centre and I noticed a few girls checking Lee out. He did look smart in his casual jeans and Ralph Lauren shirt. So different to how he looked in the dowdy trench coat I got used to seeing him wearing. And no more heavy rimmed glasses like old people wear either.

We popped into Café Rouge where, as well as tea, I ordered a Mille-feuille, because two layers of puff pastry aren’t nearly enough! I ate while Lee filled me in on what he’s been up to and when only crumbs remained on my plate, he said, “your turn.”

As is normal for me, I ended up sharing far too much! Lee rolled his eyes when I told him about Ben’s call. “I thought that would’ve fizzled out by now,” he said.

“It did. We split up back in June when I went to see him in France.”

“And now you might be getting back together?”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“Then what would you say?” His sharp tone took me by surprise.

“I’d say, eh, I’d say we’re planning on seeing each other when he returns. As friends.”

“How do you think that will go?” he asked, pointing to my mouth.

“Thanks,” I said, wiping a trace of custard. “I don’t know how it will go.”

“You must have some idea.”

“I might.”

“Let me rephrase it,” he said, sitting up straight.

“Shit Lee, are you sure you’re not a lawyer?”

He cracked a tiny smile. “What would you like to see happening with you and Ben when he returns?”

“I’d like to spend time with him.”

“And?” he asked.

And I’d like to kiss him, but of course I didn’t say that.

 

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