I approached today with extreme caution. For today I dined with Alison. I had no diamond earrings to proffer, and in many ways I felt she wouldn’t find my story about my failure to buy her an engagement ring quite as engaging as I might. She might, quite reasonably, take it as a sign that I don’t care about her and that I hate certain bits of her, quite specifically, her earring baring lobes.
But when I met her she put me entirely off kilter as she beamed back at me.
“Stephie,” she said which being my name was entirely fair enough, “Stephie, why didn’t you tell me?”
I stopped in my tracks, I paused, the little besticked monkey who drums in my chest seemed to have temporarily gone on strike. Had Roger told her my part in all this, but she didn’t mind and I was off the hook? I allowed a smile to not exactly play, but more limber up with the intention of a swift game, on the lower echelons of my visage.
“What didn’t I tell you,” I asked?
“Why didn’t you tell me that being wooed was so wonderful? I’ve never been wooed before, and now both of them are at it, it’s absolutely the best. Why didn’t you tell me? I suppose you’re getting woo-ed so often that it’s rather become old hat to you, but for me it’s still got all a refreshing freshness to it for me.”
“Not me,” I said, “you must have the wrong person.”
“Oh they woo you Stephie, you just ignore them is all.”
“But you,” I said, “I understand it from Roger, but you’re not telling me Anthony is spouting verse at the sight of you?”
“He is, it’s practically cross-garters at dawn.”
“Well this I have to see.”
“You must Stephie, it’s wonderful, its tickled me rotten. Tomorrow take Anthony and me to dinner, and on Friday to yours with Roger.”
I finally let that smile arrive. I had done wrong, and I hadn’t come clean with her about my feelings, but aiming Roger at her had clearly pepped them all up.
“Of course Alison, please consider the invites issued.”