I didn’t much like you at first. Your clothes were always fashionable, your friends were in magazines, you only read the sports pages and were seen in all the right places.
I read French literature and loved documentaries. I’d just start knitting and my friends strongly debated the environment, politics and whether they best related to Sam or Toby in West Wing.
You made me laugh though. And sometimes, when the conversation sat in just the right light, I wanted to touch your hand, regardless of the logic that kept me still.
We became friends. You dated models and socialites, never longer than three months. I thought you were shallow and teased you for getting away with something a woman never would. You never commented on my dates, my jokingly woeful stories whenever anyone else asked how the poet/professor/musician turned out.
We both liked computer games. We both wanted an old-fashioned life; marriage, children, a house.
I made you laugh. You began to email me about old-school television and the new Woody Allen. I started asking if your team won and how your friend’s television career was coming on.
On Christmas Eve you sent a text from a paparazzi-infested club as I was curled in bed with a new book. You asked me out, but I couldn’t date a colleague, and still held tightly to the logic that kept me from reaching for you.
You resigned from your job and asked me again.
After six weeks you told me that you knew. It would be us. No more you and me. Just us. I raised my eyebrows at you and told my rapidly melting cynicism that we could never last.
After six months you asked me to live with you. I laughed and shook my head before moving in a few weeks later. Then repacking my bags during a panicked morning and creating a scene about how ludicrous we were. You waited until I calmed down before holding me gently in your arms.
After two years you flew me overseas and to the top of a glacier. It was you and me and the pilot. He took photographs as you proposed. I cried and laughed and forgot to say yes until you asked again.
Your suits are fashionable, your friends are in magazines, you read the sports pages. I knit, I read French literature and still think I’m Sam, but have aspirations to one day be Toby. We make each other laugh all the time. And sometimes, when the conversation sits in just the right light, we hold each other and our son. No more you and me and him. Just us.
A cheerful and simple meal to be eaten with all those you love.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 350g cherry tomatoes
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice
- 1L hot vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 250g chorizo sausage, cut into 1cm chunks and quartered
Preheat oven to 200c (400f)
Pour the olive oil into a large roasting tin before scattering the cherry tomatoes and red onion.
Roast for 10 minutes.
Add the rice, stock and rosemary.
Return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been almost absorbed.
Add the chorizo, cover with foil and bake for another 5 minutes. This allows all the flavours to steep in each other as the chorizo gently steams.
Remove the foil and rosemary.
Serve immediately with lots of cutlery and prepare to spoon-fence each other for the last skerricks.