‘Hey. I always see you here, picking up your coffee. I’m just gonna go for it, what about a coffee together?’
I was taken off guard a little and said yes without thinking.
Which is what I do.
I do not think. I am impulsive. And I don’t know how to say no.
We made a date, not for coffee but for a glass of wine, and the next night I headed out to meet him. He had seemed nice but I kind of already knew, he wasn’t the man for me.
‘I’ve made a booking,’ he said, indicating the corner table. ‘Figured we should eat too.’
I was nervous. I get nervous over dinner dates. Especially when the tables have white tablecloths and there are candles and oh god romance.
But I did not know how to say no.
‘Cool,’ I replied.
And we had dinner and it was kind of okay and a little bit excruciating and mostly I was relieved when I got home.
The next day he invited me to a book reading. I didn’t reply immediately and when I did I said I had a headache.
I did not have a headache. It was the no thing.
A few days later, another invite. I didn’t reply.
One more invite. Sorry, no reply.
And then I bumped him in the coffee shop last week and he pretended not to see me and it was awkward and horrible and I felt pretty bad.
Until last night when he arrived at my door with a wife and a baby and they needed somewhere to sleep so I let them in and said ‘sorry it’s a bit of a mess’ because there were DEAD PILES OF BIRDS ALL OVER MY LIVING ROOM FLOOR and they got down on their hands and knees and cleaned and scrubbed and then just kind of disappeared because thank god it was just a bad dream and when I woke up I thought fuck fuck fuck what I did to him was terrible.
I should have replied. I should have said thanks for dinner. I should have said hey it was good to meet you but let’s leave it at that. I should have said something goddammit but instead I didn’t say anything.
It’s a horrible thing to ghost someone.
I know because men have done it to me. And I hate them all.
I am about to send him a note of apology.
I do not want to have another nightmare.
I cannot deal with any more dead birds.
And I do need to learn to be honest.
N.B. I just read this.