"On paper it is so right".
Dean and I are seated on the 159 with only vague notions of where we are going and what we will do when we get there.
"If we were writing it down - personality, sense of humour...".
"Yes". It is undeniable. It has been said to me endlessly.
Of course Dean knows there's a but. Dean invariably knows these things before I do.
"I don't know, it's not something I can categorise". I should know I have tried. This blog is testament to that.
"But it is something".
"Yes". On his part as much as mine, if I am honest. But I hate things I cannot express, that I can't transfer into words and polish into shape and shade.
I try again. "In some ways they're opposites of the same type. And I know that he would never, ever knowingly hurt me".
"Oh, he would". I do not need to say he has. We both know this.
"And yet -" I let it hang.
The bus continues, more people spilling into its open doors.
"There's just something there, something incredibly reckless that I can't fight".
I watch as the people near the doors jostle for position. I let my words float away, feeling their truth in the recesses of my stomach.
"Which is why you can't settle for something less, because then you'd turn into [C]"
The revelation is disturbing to say the least.
"I don't want that".
"No, but that's what would happen".
I roll it around my brain; a group of teenage girls disembark, all rows of bangles and hair pulled up.
"It's Darcy versus Cleaver isn't it?"
How my 17 year old self, engrossed in the book, would love this moment. I almost wish I could giggle with her about it.
"And you made your choice".
It is stark. But the truth. The choice made so easily, almost carelessly.
"Yes. Yes I did". And I cannot help but laugh at myself. "Cleaver all the way wasn't it?"
We both smile, that knowing shared smile.
The bus continues to wind its way around South London and, sunglasses on, I recline in the seat. In some ways this is the holding ground, a bridge between the Summer and everything which the Autumn will bring. Here I am protected. It will not be like this for much longer, I know that. Reality will have to be let in.
And yet - if I were to be asked if I am happy then the answer would be yes. And if I could go back and change anything of these past few months? No, I would not. I am not willing to wait indefinitely on the strength of a tantalising maybe any more than, in reality, I would be happy to settle for eloquent carelessness.
Oblivious the bus continues, the people and voices blurring and I know, instinctively, it is time for a new adventure.