I can pretty much guarantee you won’t have noticed but, lately, I have been absent from the internet. And absent from real life. And (mentally) absent from any conversation that doesn’t give me the chance to slip in the name of the man I am now seeing. Who is called David, by the way. Because I now have a David.
It began on a Friday, fifty two days ago. My work mates and I were in The Crown & Shuttle – a trendy Shoreditch boozer with cheesey chips and a garden – attempting to escape literary discussions with mind numbingly boring men who had girlfriends, but would ‘love it if we’d critique their writing,’ when we accidentally involved ourselves in the work party of a company that we don’t work for.Fairly standard night out, then.As is the way when drinking in East London and avoiding tortured creative types/crashing events, the wine was flowing. My vision was blurring. Jo was talking at a guy with a beard and Alice was chatting to a tall handsome northerner as I amused myself in the greatest way I know how – by playing ‘this is my beer now.’
A short explanation: ‘This Is My Beer Now’ is a product of my drunken imagination. TIMBN involves team effort as well as solitary workmanship. It is a challenge. It is an art. An art of stealing beer whilst maintaining challenging eye contact with the person you’re stealing from. And it is also, predictably, extremely short lived, as eventually player two (the beer bearer) will reach the point of wanting to physically hurt player one (me, in this case) should said player continue to silently remove and replace bottles from his pre-paid cooler without even the hint of a smile. Some people are real killjoys.
Anyway. Having sensed that I was about to be defeated, my attention left TIMBN in the dust, as I began taking note of what my friends were doing. This is the point I saw Alice’s friendly northerner sneaking glances at me and when I, my brain cells drowning in rosé wine as they were, openly stared at him in a way he later described as ‘standoffish,’ but which I thought more of as ‘trying to focus.’ Still, I must have done something right because it wasn’t long before we were all engaged in conversation. Which was when he began repeating a confusing sentence: “I’m on the 13th floor!”
Blank faces all around.
“I’m on the 13th floor! Of the building!”
Startled, I said: “What are you talking about?” – as I’ve mentioned, we were in The Crown & Shuttle. The Crown & Shuttle has, at most, 4 floors.
“The 13th floor!” he shouted again before, head tilted: “You don’t work in my building do you?”
We shook our heads. We considered backing away slowly. But the man had dimples to die for and the most beautiful face I’d ever seen, so I stuck around, Alice firmly pushed off the scene (she wasn’t into him, we’re cool) until an Australian girl tapped him on the shoulder, and he was gone. I figured that was the end of our banter (or #bantilolz, let’s make it happen) and was considering another round of TIMBN, when David put his hand on my arm and said he’d be right back. Nothing to lose, I stood and waited, and within minutes found myself being pulled away from my friends to a quieter section of the bar, where he got me some water, showed me photos of his cats (be still my beating heart), and gave me three options:
Option #1. We go somewhere now and get to know each other
Option #2. I give him my number and we do something next week. He was free Tuesday and Thursday.
Option #3. We call it a day
Throwing the dating ban out of the window, I chose option two. We arranged to meet on Thursday, and I kissed him goodbye and returned to my friends. On our way out, I found him for another kiss goodbye, which he followed up with a “mark your territory!” text, to which I responded “I’m outside if you want to say goodbye again,” to which he appeared by my side for the sort of passionate making out that would have drunken idiots everywhere rejoicing. We’ve had trouble keeping away from each other since. (Don’t hate me, I’m in lust, I know not what I do.)
Following a week of none stop whatsapping, our first date was a success. We walked up and down the Southbank as I educated him on things such as where Big Ben was situated (honestly, northerners) and he educated me with random facts he’d picked up about the city’s bridges. We drank a bit and kissed a bit and watched some buskers (the bagpiper that thought D was speaking in Spanish when he shouted Star Wars being a particular highlight) and we took a ride on the London Eye, where we kissed more than a bit. We followed this up with dinner, where things got a bit intense (Him: “I want 5 kids and a farmhouse.” Me: “Oh.”) and then he walked me home. The next morning I was greeted with the words “I like you a lot. I want to see you again.” And it has escalated from there.
Evidence of escalation: Following our first date, it was approximately 16 hours before we were hanging out again, after which he ended up staying with me for three days, attending my house party and meeting the majority of my nearest and dearest in one fell swoop. The next official date came the day after his departure from my home, after he’d fully integrated himself into the fold/the affections of the cats – we went to an Oh Sister gig in a basement. We’ve been on many more dates since – dinners, outdoor cinema, cool cocktail bars and walks around Eltham Palace and places of similar interest. We send kisses and heart emojis, and have conversations that assume we’re set to live happily ever after.
In our seven weeks and a few days, David and I have spent every other night together, chatting and listening to music and generally acting like lovesick teenagers that want nothing more than to share pieces of their lives with each other. Not too long ago, as he played me Einaudi in the single bed he, at that time, rented in a room affectionately known as ‘the hovel’ (he has since moved to a bigger room, which resulted in an ill advised decision to buy a bedspread with dogs in headphones on it after we’d shared a bottle of wine. He’s 29.) and I got a bit emotional at how beautiful the music was (#TotesEmosh) he said the following words: “I want you to be my girlfriend.” To which I said: “OK. I want to be your girlfriend.”
And, so, I am now David’s girlfriend. And David is my boyfriend. We have our own shelves in each other’s bedrooms. This weekend I’m meeting his parents. And I completely adore everything about him – from his height to his eyes to the way he calls me ‘sweetie’ and the serious tone he adopts when I ask him for advice. As if all that wasn’t enough evidence of sickening devotion, I baked brownies for him this weekend – BROWNIES – and today he messaged me to say “you’re my favourite thing that I’ve discovered in London.”
There are no more words.
*Annoyingly happy sigh.*
…I’ll let myself out, shall I?