It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I’ve been playing Joni Mitchell, baking and chatting to my neighbour across the garden wall.
We spoke about the sunshine, recipes and the delicious smell of freshly baked cake wafting from my kitchen.
Gonna taste fantastic, he said.
Yip, I said proudly, I do make a fine chocolate cake.
And then he fucked it all up.
How come you’re still single?
What. Excuse me?
I found myself getting all defensive, like, I quite like being single and fuck you for even asking and goddammit, I said, you cannot ask questions like that. You cannot.
I went to check my cake.
When I came back he was still leaning over the wall.
It’s just, I haven’t seen you in a long term relationship. Men have come, men have gone, I think there was a woman, but – nothing permanent. What’s that about? Are you difficult? Do you get lonely?
Jesus. Did this guy not know when to stop.
Next he would be telling me I looked tired and had gained weight.
There are some things you just don’t say to people.
Maybe I am difficult, I said. Maybe it’s also none of your fucking business.
I don’t know why I was so cross. I do like being single but dammit I also want to fall in love.
And I’m not lonely now, but I am a bit scared of being lonely when I’m older.
So yeah, he struck a chord.
Except – It is a choice. A for now choice.
I would never think of questioning his choices. He was rude and presumptuous and then he kept sending me messages, feeling bad, saying sorry, but also asking for some cake.
No way. I replied, no fucking way.
There are some things you just steer clear of. Failed relationships, for one.
I’m eating the cake alone.
And don’t you dare ask me if I’ve gained a little weight.