LIZ JONES’S DIARY
I’M ASHAMED. I’m very ashamed. I half expected David not to turn up to my joint birthday dinner with my best friend Sue and her family. I’d not heard a peep, ever since he said yes, he’d love to come. I got to my hotel, Home House, with an hour to wash my hair and trowel on make-up, when I got this:
‘Hi. I know I’m an hour early. Just text when you’re ready.’
Yikes! I put on my make-up, taking just 45 minutes, and staggered Dick Emery-fashion up the curved stone staircase to the bar, where he was waiting with a glass of champagne.
He was wearing jeans and the N Peal cardigan I gave him: a bit too casual for Nobu on Park Lane, but still. I was overdressed as usual: a Stella McCartney T-shirt with embellished collar, Gucci hanky skirt, glittery heels. I placed Sue’s present on the table: a Diptyque candle, gift-wrapped. He placed his gift to her next to mine: it was exactly the same candle. He is obviously trying.
We caught an Uber to Park Lane, and went up to the bar. It was lovely to be out on a hot summer night, with a man. ‘I thought you might have asked HIM tonight,’ he said, obviously miffed. ‘Do you mean the famous one?’ I asked him. ‘No. I don’t really fancy him. He’s even worse than you.’
He laughed. Sue and her family turned up, and I was seated next to her mum, who is lovely. She was fascinated to meet David for the first time. She whispered in my ear: ‘He obviously ADORES you!’ ‘How can you tell?’ ‘It’s the way he keeps looking at you.’ We talked about my actual birthday, in two weeks’ time. ‘I will be in Primrose Hill by then,’ I told them. ‘Maybe we can go to Manna, David?’ ‘OK, it’s a date,’ he said. After a lovely meal, we caught a cab back to my hotel. ‘Oh. Would you like to come up?’ I asked, exactly like Carrie in the last ever episode of Sex and the City. ‘I’ll come in for a drink,’ he said. He hadn’t brought luggage, which would have been a tad presumptuous, but I thought I spied something toothbrush-shaped in his pocket; it could have been anything. We sat on the balcony overlooking the garden; I pointed out a possible stain on the ancient flags from when Mini stayed with me last time. ‘She’s very sensitive,’ I said. ‘We can have breakfast in the garden. I mean, I will.’
He smiled. ‘We, don’t you think?’ He knew he would be coming up. I’d been waxed, Essie Ballet Slippered, so part of me didn’t want to waste all that effort. He trailed me up the many, many stairs to a room overlooking Portman Square. I thought about removing my hearing aids. I haven’t had the opportunity of sex since getting them six months ago, and felt they might get in the way during any nuzzling, although if I were to leave them in they’d avoid him having to talk dirty loudly. ‘In or out?’ I asked him, and he looked puzzled. I took them out. Removed the make-up. Brushed my teeth. Showered. This took some time. Part of me was hoping by the time I emerged he’d be asleep: not through lack of desire, but because I was nervous.
But no, he was wide awake, in his Next pants, on the edge of the bed. I thought I would take the awkwardness out of the equation, and just landed on him, and we wrestled. ‘You know how much I love you,’ he said.
The next morning, when I woke up, he was gone. Charming. I thought he’d sloped home until I realised his phone was still there, his toothbrush. He had just nipped out for a fag. We had breakfast on the terrace. It was like old times; he even moaned about there being no marmalade. It was hot and sunny, like being on holiday.
Anyway, a week or so ago I’d sent him a column I’d written, the one where I realise I love him. He hadn’t even replied. So I asked him. ‘Did you read it?’ ‘Of course I did.’ ‘And?’ ‘I didn’t know what to say.’ Odd. I wonder if he’s found someone else. If so, she won’t be glad to read this missive, will she? As he helped me into a cab, he said, ‘Be kind about me. You know, the review.’
‘‘‘WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME UP?’ I ASKED, EXACTLY LIKE CARRIE IN SEX AND THE CITY ’’