A new Two Voices piece here about falling in love, or almost. The first woman’s story (about watching a jacket fall off a chair in a café), didn’t really play out as I thought it would, but I wanted to share the second woman’s, so am going ahead with a single voice here – and her memory of a story.
Okay. God, this is like ten years ago. So I’d seen him around at work for ages, but nothing like special or any real contact, as such. Until this one time we were both on this same development workshop thing – and him and me got paired up to do some coaching role-play… exercise. Part of it was one of you had to share a story, and I can’t remember what it was supposed to be related to, but anyway he told this story about how he once knew a girl who told him that a boy at her school was dying to go out with her and that at some point she’d happened to mention about liking vinegar on her chips. And so as this really big romantic gesture the boy – who really fancied her – had left a huge, like, catering bottle of Sarson’s vinegar on her doorstep – like on her family’s doorstep – with a red bow around the neck. And I don’t know where the story was supposed to be going, but he told it in such a funny way, and I did my usual embarrassing snorty laugh thing, and then we were laughing about that – and… And it was just so nice to listen to him tell this daft story that wasn’t really about anything. And then I remember I looked back up at him – we were sort of sitting opposite each other – and he was sitting very straight up in his chair, and looking over to one side, like out of the window, but just like with his head turned, not his body. And he was quite slim and very… poised. And he made this kind of ‘phoof!’ noise, ‘fooof!’ like a sigh or a really high-sounding breath, like you’re trying to recover after a really manic laughing fit – and I felt this feeling like I could just completely fall for him. I didn’t. I mean I did think about him a lot after – and for ages whenever I saw like a vinegar bottle I would remember the story and about him telling it. He left soon after that – I mean left the company. Yeah. So, that, really.