When Senor Boldon ended our relationship I unravelled. It took me a while to pick myself up, the fact that I was teaching helped me, gave me a purpose and reason to get out of bed. I still heard from YT on occasion, and eventually, in a moment of weakness I agreed to meet him for a date. It was in May, Spring Bank Holiday week, and we were to meet outside Durham Cathedral.
Unfortunately, the day of my date my Aunty Daisy died. She had been very poorly in hospital. I was the last one to see her the night before, I remember the visit well, she kept trying to give me something, she said it was a rose. She made no sense really, her words were garbled and confused. She reminded me of that Eric Morecambe/ Andre Previn sketch: they were all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order. It was a peaceful visit though. The hospital room was golden in the evening sun, Aunty Daisy was smiling to herself and chattering. I nodded at everything she said, which seemed to please her.
When I heard about her death I didn't know what to do about the date. I had YTs mobile number, and thought of cancelling, but I am slightly phobic of phones and didn't dare call him. He was travelling up to Durham on the train and could have already set off for all I knew. I decided it would be best to simply turn up. I could explain and he would surely understand if I wanted to cut the date short.
We met outside the cathedral. I told him what had happened and asked if he would mind calling inside, as I wanted to light a candle for Aunty Daisy. He agreed. We went into the hushed, candlelit gloom of the cathedral. YT bounded up the aisle like an Andrex puppy on acid, jabbering excitedly all the way. The candles were 50p. I rummaged through my purse and found I had no change at all. I asked YT if he had 50p. He emptied his pockets and chirpily announced 'No, sorry. I've only got pound coins. What a shame, shall we go then?' The miserly cove was too stingy to give me a £1 coin for a candle for my dead aunty!!! I think the look on my face must have communicated my horror and disgust, and he finally stutteringly relented.
Later we stopped off for some tea and cake. The bill lay on the table for an eternity, long after our plates had been cleared. It occurred to me that he considered it was 'my turn', as he had paid for the candle. I paid the bill and told him I would have to be going. When we parted I was praying he wouldn't try to kiss me. I was relieved when he simply held out his hand for me to shake. It was a trick though, for once my hand was in his he lunged at me like an amorous chimpanzee. Needless to say, I chose not to see YT again.