I’d like to think my smile was infectious. But so was the plague




You and I are more than friends. We’re like a really small gang.



I had stayed in touch with some people and made the effort with those I felt were my friends. 

I’d even made some tentative arrangements to do things with some of those who were genuine.

Summer was one of those people. I worked with her and we hit it off straight away.

She had suggested ages ago about doing something. I had said yes and then heard nothing and thought she’d forgotten or changed her mind.

The conversation was had over a coffee, a month or so before. I had met up with her on a Saturday morning in one of those spit and sawdust places where a mug of tea is eight pence and the cup has to be brought to you on a low loader.

Still. there’s quite a big difference between coffee and doing something more.

“Let’s do something.” Vague and something I could say yes to.

She had a cappuccino moustache which meant I could not take her seriously. So I wiped it away with a napkin, before I answered.

“What would you like to do?”

“Why don’t we go away? Nigel won’t mind.”

Now Nigel was a lot older than me, a lot richer than me and a lot more boring than I could ever be. They had been married about three years and I had only ever seen him once.

“OK. Let me know when you are free. I’ll fit in around you.”

“Well let’s agree a date now, and then I can just tell him.”

The weeks went by and as I had heard nothing, I just assumed she had forgotten, which was fine.

In fact I didn’t hear a lot from Summer, which was also OK.

But I did actually wonder what to do. If I didn’t mention it and she had remembered, how would I explain it away? I guess I could play the thick card. Adam had made a life out of doing that.

But I didn’t want to say something and her feel obligated to say yes.

She was a good friend though. In fact, when we did talk, I felt I could tell her anything and she would listen intently, not judge and normally have a good idea to help. She was always quiet about her own life, never giving away anything of how she was feeling, but I did always make it clear if she chose to talk, I would always listen. 

She just always seemed to understand. She would smile and hug me. 

Summer made me feel comfortable.

She almost reminded me of Victoria. Saying it, makes me feel like I am betraying what we had but she would always be there, whisper funny comments in my ear and make me feel important.

And then, at the end of the night; she went home to someone else. 

But it did feel, like, in some way, I was being unfaithful to Victoria. Not that we were a couple any more but just the fact someone else made me laugh. I didn’t tell anyone how I felt, not even Summer, because I knew it made me sound even more pathetic than usual.

In the end I took the spineless way out and emailed her on a Thursday afternoon and asked her if she would like to do something the following week.  I didn’t want to sound too keen to do something. I spent much of my life obsessing about not asking people to do anything so they couldn’t say no, or worse still, yes, but out of sympathy.

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