“We will have a house meeting every Saturday Morning,” you told me the evening I moved in.
“That way we’ll air our issues.”
I told you that would be great and such a good idea. I would have said anything to get in and settled in your spare room. You were newly divorced, I was newly single and both of us needed a soft place to fall. Because you were further ahead in your healing, you set yourself up as the core person. That was fine by me. I wasn’t fit to set myself a tea tray so I answered “whatever” to any suggestion you had taken the time to think through and pin to the notice board.
So you said you’d buy the tea bags if I bought the kitchen tissues. But you never did, but I said nothing. Put them on my shopping list and began to enjoy our home. You were so busy it didn’t matter.
Made redundant a month before, you needed a job, you began to tell me about the interviews you were going for and, bless you, and you spent every available moment gaining skills to add to your C.V.
I continued to get on with getting on and made my room cosier as the weeks crept by. I got a great bargain in a writing desk and armchair for my room and, boosted by the good luck, I bought some flowers that set off the curtains perfectly.
You said “great!” when I told you about them and added: “I’ll check them out when I’ve replied to this email.”
But you never did.
And that was okay because you had just received news that one of your interviews was successful. Trained as a journalist you were now the proud possessor of the title ‘War Correspondent’ for our leading Newspaper. You couldn’t wait to report on the happenings abroad. Your reports were excellent. I read and kept them all. I was so proud of you and happy to keep the house warm and cosy for you when you came back with your well-worn zip up case, sound equipment and an armload of off air stories.
We had another house meeting, our second! This time you asked me if I would take the girlie things out of the communal areas of the house and I asked that when you were walking past the post-box at the gate, would you, now and again think of opening it and bringing in the post. You said you most certainly would.
But you never did.
That’s was okay though. I knew your heart was in the right place and I also knew you intended to be a better housemate and life got in the way. You wiped me out with your ambition and your ideas and your grand plans. You made me smile and laugh as much as you made me livid. When I would become shirty with you, you’d pull a face and we’d both end up laughing. Remember?
I was thinking about that today, when I was searching in the wardrobe for a hat to go with my black coat. How trivial it all seems now. I’m glad I didn’t make an issue of it. You remembered it though and you sent a text to me. It read ‘Forgot to buy tea bags, forgot to have a look at the changes you have made to your room. I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting things; I will sort out when we have our third house meeting, when I get back from the Ukraine’
You never did.