It is just under a week since that email popped into my inbox. A week, two plays, a lot of alcohol and even more new purchases later.
He holds the door open and I walk into the pub, registering the slight surprise on the group that not only is he there, I am with him. It is a surprise I register myself.
The surprise that we have sat together for over two hours and just talked. Where it has been effortless, gently mocking and rather jokey. Where we laughed about the food, and his class choice and the couple who came and - somewhat obliviously - sat on our table and therefore almost on our laps. That we have, within our narrative, referred to everything but four crucial emails which we exchanged. And the one email that broke me a little. And it has been, I do not want to say it but my brain registers it, lovely.
I take a seat as he collects the script and says his goodbyes.
I smile and say goodbye, and there is a second, just a second, where we hold eye contact a moment too long and I wonder if I read it correctly.
As soon as he is out of the door the questions begin.
"How was it?"
"Should I burn the hoodie?".
I mumble something, my inarticulacy not evasive but unsure.
And so the conversation moves on and I am laughing about a distinctly disturbing verbatim play when my phone beeps.
For the second time today I unexpectedly see his name.
There is an allusion, just an allusion, to that which we have expended hundreds of written words on but which has remained unspoken between us. And then a question. Entirely innocuous, were it not for the unspoken.
I feel the thrill, this little secret of mine.
And I wonder if I am to make the same mistake all over again.