I was tired. I dragged myself there. My friend the Poet was one of the artists exhibiting; Anna-mouse was happily ensconced with her favourite playdate playmate, and the Bim was all lined up to pick her up, so I had no excuse not to go.
I sighed and gave myself a team-talk as I neared the place: Come on, Liv, you can do it... Arriving at social events alone is never the nicest.
I kept my eyes peeled for the Poet and found him glowing and happy in suit and purple tie. I relaxed, and was handed a non-alcoholic beer. And then someone was walking towards me with a huge smile, as if we were old friends, and I thought yes, I met you once, I've no idea where, but I'll play along. He knew who I was, though, and we simply began to talk.
What can I tell you? How shall I put it? Surpisingly, utterly unexpectedly and in an utterly unlooked for way, this person changed the picture. The life picture. My life picture. Just by standing there and talking and appearing to be interested in what I was saying, and wanting to know more.
At one point the Poet asked me to say hello to his wife at the other end of the gallery, as they were about to leave. Reluctantly I did as I was told, and I left my coat there saying I was coming back, and when I looked some ten minutes later, there he was, waiting for me, and I returned to the same spot as before, and with a Hello again the conversation resumed.
Eventually, I had to leave. I was supposed to be cooking Anna-m's supper. I could only think she must be very hungry, but it wasn't worrying me like it normally would.
I said I had to go. I said his name and said what a pleasure it had been talking to him. I wondered how we would say goodbye. He made it easy by stepping into a brief hug. I thought, I like the way his body feels.
Driving home, stopped at the traffic lights, I burst into sad-happy tears.