Saturday, 12 March 2011

The Bunny Boiler - Chapter 7

    "Did you hear what I said?"
    "Aha," I look down at the half eaten fishcakes on my plate and push them around with my fork.
    "I thought you'd have more to say, that's all,"
    Oh, darling! I have plenty to say, trust me. This is just the calm before the storm.
    "I want you to come with me,"
    "Aha,"
    "Ella?"
    "Yes?"
    "Are you even listening to me?"
    "Of course,"
    "Then say something," Jamie's hand reaches out across the table and faintly touches mine.  He furrows his dark eyebrows, and with a look of worry asks, "What are you thinking?"
    My eyes fling about the room for some form of inspiration, because he's not ready yet for what I'm actually thinking.  I spot a woman with nautical shoes. 
    "I want a boat,"
    "...what?"
    "Nothing big.  Just something to go up and down the Thames in on a Sunday morning,"
    "Umm..."
    "Not a barge though.  I don't like crouching,"
    He starts looking around the tables next to us as if checking if anyone else has spotted my abrupt insanity.
    "And they're always a funny green colour,"
    "Yes.  But let's go back to what we were originally talking ab-"
    "Maybe a yacht.  I quite like the idea of over-sized sunglasses and a beach hat whilst sunbathing.  They did a few fashion pages of that look in last month's Elle,"
    "You want a yacht?"
    "Aha,"
    "Where would you put it?"
    "I live near the Thames,"
    "OK,"
    "I can see a bit of the river from my bedroom window.  I'll just keep an eye on the yacht every now and again,"
    "OK," he takes another mouthful of his food, and I wonder whether now is the best time for my wrath to show. 
    No, I'll let it simmer for a bit longer. 
    I look up at him from my swig of Diet Coke and throw him a bitterly sweet smile. 
    I knew he was going to drop a bombshell on me as soon as he mentioned going out to a nice restaurant.  Jamie was hardly that guy when we were first dating - let alone now that it's been six months.  But I let all these negative thoughts sit at the back of my mind, ignoring the niggling feeling, desperately hoping that I'd be wrong and tonight would just be a regular night out. 
    "When are you buying this boat then?" he asks. 
    "Tomorrow,"
    I see him nod slowly with a faint smile on his face.
    "From where?"
    "Umm...Brighton,"
    "I see.  And with what money?"
    "My money," I say really quickly, sensing the mocking tone in his voice. 
    "You're being silly,"
    "It's not like I'm buying a cruise ship!"
    "Yes, you're right.  It all makes perfect sense now," he raises an eyebrow at me and turns his head away.
    I think it's time to let it all out, don't you!
    "So, you've decided to go to uni in Edinburgh?" I cross my arms and legs and lean back on the chair, waiting for him to answer.
    "Yes,"
    "Isn't that also where Kate is going?" I ask, averting my eyes away from him.  I hear a loud sigh as he leans on the table. 
    "That shouldn't matter," he says softly. "I've asked you to come with me,"
    "Firstly, it matters greatly.  And secondly, I can't just drop the life I've planned just because you've changed your plan so last minute,"
    "I only found out recently I'd been accepted.  I can't turn down that opportunity.  And this has nothing to do with Kate.  She's over me now.  She's with Giles, remember?"
    Of course I remember.  That relationship was all part of me and Mikey's plan, but unfortunately it never really worked.  Despite the fact that Kate is no longer single, you'd be a fool not to realise that she's still madly in love with Jamie.  Those longing looks as he walks past are still apparent, and even though she smiles at me now when I see her, I can tell that inside she's thinking, "Why don't you just spontaneously combust?"
    "Would you be comfortable if my ex went to the same university as me?" I ask him, trying to make my point.
    He sneers a little as he thinks about this, "I don't think I'd care,"
    "Really?" I begin.  "You'd be comfortable with the fact that on nights out drinking, he'll always be around?  That he'd be the one comforting me when I'm missing you, or the one I go to when I don't do so well in an exam?"
    Jamie looks at the floor before flicking his eyes at me.  "I'd be absolutely fine with that," he forces through gritted teeth.
    "You'd be absolutely fine knowing this guy is still in love with your girlfriend and would do anything to get her back?"
    "OK!" he says a little too loudly.  We pause the argument for a bit until all the heads of strangers avert back to minding their own business.  "I hate that thought.  It makes me physically sick," he says, throwing down his napkin as if he's about to storm out.  "But I love you, Ella.  I trust you completely.  And I like to think you trust me too,"
    "Of course I trust you," I say.  "But I don't trust her!"
    He nods his head as if understanding.  It's that thing all guys do - they pretend to sympathise with your feelings, but in reality they won't change their plans, no matter how much it hurts you. 
    "We talked about this, Jamie.  You were supposed to go to Royal Holloway so you'd be near Surrey uni," I tell him as if pleading for him to change his mind.  "And I've seen maps.  Scotland is like another country,"
    He lets his head hang and rubs the back of his neck.  "I've asked you to come with me," he finally says.
    "NO!" I snap.  "I won't re-route my life to suit you!"
    "Well, you still have time to think about it," he says, leaning back on his chair.
    "I'm not coming to Edinburgh, Jamie,"
    "Fine!"
    "FINE!" I snap again and get up to leave the restaurant, furiously searching my phone for Mikey's number.

The blue Ford Focus pulls up along the pavement, one wheel on the kerb.
    "Get in," Mikey mouths from the car, so I rise from the edge of the wall I'm sitting on and wipe the tears from my cheeks.  I climb in, throwing the fluffy cushion sitting comfortably in the front seat, in the back.
    "What on earth is this?" I say, looking at the lilac fluff with confusion.
    "My mum put it in here," he defends.
    "OK," I say, unconvinced. 
    "So you just walked out without paying?" he asks me as the car starts moving.
    "Yes, but I don't feel guilty because I need the money,"
    "What for?"
    "I'm buying a boat tomorrow,"
    "Cool,"

5 comments:

  1. Haaa I've had a similar conversation so many times with boys. I hate that I get a bit bunny boiler-y when it comes to ex's but I think that's a natural thing... also it's usually because if they chose you over her there's always going to be some residual fear that it might go back the other way. Nowadays if I ever feel the BB coming on I back away and realize that it's just the crazy coming out and I need the space to get back to the ground!

    london girl up north

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  2. @Melan

    Haha! Some good advice there. I think there's a bunny boiler lurking in all of us - we just need to keep her under wraps :)

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  3. Haha I know, and when they pretend that they wouldn't care if you saw your ex every day... hmmm likely.

    Awesome, can't wait for more.

    Meg ;)

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