Chapter Eight

TIM

Well what a cool few days I’ve had.  A lovely family weekend in Wales and two dates with Sophie which went off like a dream.  It could have gone all the way, I think, that first night, she seemed totally mine when we were dancing.  I don’t regret that I didn’t.  I just felt I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to take advantage even though she said she was up for it.  

To be honest I had had a problem with my old girlfriend, Laura. She was my first and only lover – Chakka had the old-fashioned view of no sex before marriage – and was already quite experienced when we got together. A bit of a goer! She led me on and when she saw me fumbling for the condom I had in my wallet said she was on the pill. Because of this we had unprotected sex and my foreskin tore slightly when we made love. It was quite painful, not what the first time is supposed to be, at least for a man. I only discovered the tear when I inspected myself afterwards in the loo and there was quite a bit of blood on my underpants. Somehow I knew it was my blood, not hers. I was so embarrassed I didn’t say anything to her at the time but next day I sent her an email because I realised that there must have been blood on her as well. Laura thought this was touching but also very funny and she showed it to her sister who couldn’t resist telling her boyfriend and several others as well. The next time we made love was worse.  An artery in my penis tore and blood was pumping out at quite a rate soaking the bedclothes.  Laura was great and found a small polythene bag and a rubber band to stop the blood making even more of a mess.  Then she phoned the college doctor who kindly took me to Leighton Hospital in his car, me in my dressing gown in broad daylight with the plastic bag still in place. Quite a few other nurses came in to my cubicle to inspect the damage and have a laugh and one of them put a stitch in to cure the problem.  I suppose I can see the funny side but it was embarrassing at the time and it’s made me apprehensive about having sex with anyone.  Laura and I never went out again after that.

Sophie and I arranged to see each other the following night as well.  We just went for a drink at a pub where there’s live music on a Tuesday.  I enjoyed it but I’m not sure whether the music was to Sophie’s taste.  The night was cut short as earlier I’d had a phone call from my friend, Gordon, asking if he could come and stay with me and he was due to arrive at my place at 22:00.  He had sounded in an awful state. I apologised to Sophie and suggested she could come round to dinner the following night and meet Gordon.  She seemed upset about the change of plan and I hoped the dinner invitation would mollify her.

Gordon was waiting for me and he leapt out of his car when he spotted me coming towards him.  We shook hands in the street and between us we took his two huge cases into the lounge.  He came into the kitchen as I made coffee and told me his woes.  His girlfriend, Emily, had kicked him out of their flat. The bitch.  Not only that he was completely skint as he’d spent all his money doing up the flat that they shared.  I let him rant on as we moved into the lounge but I tried to get him to talk quietly as I didn’t want to disturb Chakka.  He was very angry and thought Emily had deliberately let him pay for the improvements even though she intended finishing with him.   

“Gordon,” I asked,”who owns the flat?”

“Well we own it together.  We bought it as tenants in common.”

“So she can’t really kick you out if it’s half yours.”

“No but she has and she’s changed the locks.”

“OK then you must contact a solicitor.  As I understand it, she will either have to buy you out or sell it.  Either way you will get your money back.”

“That’s all very well but how do I live meanwhile?  I mean I haven’t enough money to even rent a bed sit.  They all want a damage deposit.”

“Have you discussed this with Emily?  What happened?”

“I went to work this morning and Emily texted me at lunchtime to tell me she’d finished with me and changed the lock to our flat.  I tried and tried calling her but she wouldn’t answer.  I went round to the flat and she didn’t answer until I’d given up and was walking back to my car.  Then she just opened the door and dumped my two suitcases full of my clothes outside the front door and shouted at me to collect my stuff.”

“Wow!  What a cow!  What had you done to deserve that?”

“I went off with another girl at a party last Saturday.  I was drunk and we went upstairs to find a vacant bedroom and ended up screwing on the floor.  I’m not entirely sure how she found out.  I think I’d forgotten to lock the door and someone saw us hard at it.”

“Right.  So she had good cause to be angry with you.”

“Yes, I know.  I said I was sorry and I promised it wouldn’t happen again but she wanted me to promise to give up alcohol and I refused.  She said she couldn’t rely on me, that the trust had gone and she hated me.”

“Well you have had bust ups before and got through them.  Just kip here for a couple of days, text her telling her how sorry you are and how much you love her and that you won’t get drunk again.”

I gave him my sleeping bag, yoga mat and one of my pillows and persuaded him to go to sleep on my bedroom floor.  In the morning I gave him a spare key and told him he could meet me at work at lunchtime.  He didn’t wake up before I left for work and didn’t show at lunchtime.  I had texted Chakka earlier warning her about Gordon and I asked her to join him, Sophie and me for dinner that evening.  I thought the distraction might mean Gordon would not get too maudlin and I didn’t fancy just the three of us for the evening.  I wasn’t sure whether Sophie would be put off by Gordon but I couldn’t let him down.

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