Necessary detail

I did promise Faisal, who has so kindly invited me onto his blog, I would include some sort of introduction. But there is really not a great deal to say; I am Welsh, I love cricket (which is how I came across Faisal), I am certainly old enough to know better, and I am married.


The last point is particularly salient given the story that is unravelling around me. Because if I were single, by now I would have grabbed the man I have been writing about and dragged him off into the bushes. If only to get him out of my system. He has a name, but of course I cannot use it. Nor can I continue just to refer to him as ‘he’, so we’ll call him Owen – because that’s a Welsh name too.


My main reason for sharing this story is because it’s a universal – I have other friends in the same boat – some jump ship, and others cling to the wreckage. And universals are the stuff of romantic fiction, the writing of which I aspire to. But let me make one thing clear from the start – my marriage is not a wreck; it is perhaps a little stale in places, but my husband is my best friend and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Which is why this ‘thing’ (if, indeed, it is so much as a thing) is so very fascinating – and so very confusing.




I feel his eyes bore into my back as I interview his boss. I am strangely aware of him at his desk, facing the glass wall of his boss’ office. I shut him out, and continue with my information gathering; making this into a readable story is going to be enough of a challenge as it is.


I pause by his desk on my way out. “Time for a catch up?”

He smiles “Give me five minutes – where will you be?”

“In the members’ bar. It’s too cold to watch the game outside.”


As I wait a strange thing happens; someone recognises me, but can’t place me. It seems I have a certain profile around the club. This could be good, or bad. I will have to resist Owen’s efforts to make me put my photograph on the articles I am writing. He guards his own anonymity well enough, but having said that, wearing a suit and tie on a match day, not to mention the name, rank and photo ID badge, tends to give him away.


In the end, he has trouble finding me. When I pick my phone out of my bag to answer his call, I see his text. And then he materialises beside me and gives me the biggest hug imaginable. Two of them, in fact. Somehow my arm remains around his waist, but we disengage, and find a quiet place to talk business. And club gossip, of course. And share the stories of our respective weekends.


We need to photocopy something for the notice board and I decide, rather naughtily – and only for naughtiness’ sake – to invade his personal space quite significantly as we do it. He doesn’t handle this very well and our goodbye hug is a stiff formality.


Oh, the tedious detail of each small action! But that is how your mind works in the early stages of a flirtation; as though it doesn’t want to miss a trick, and wants to replay, analyse and evaluate every tiny nuance. And, of course, blow the whole thing out of all proportion.

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