I initiated the next get-together at my favourite champagne bar in a classic old hotel. It was cold by now and the fireplace was blazing as Careergirl and I sipped and gossiped and once again confirmed that Beautiful Boy was sexy and charming and always laughing and that I really thought Careergirl should seriously consider the option. See, I was over it?
I was still waiting to hear from the man in question whether he’d be joining us and couldn’t explain my excitement when a message came through saying he’s on his way. It must’ve been the bubbles?
Beautiful Boy and friends turned up and a lovely time was had by all. By 1 am everyone with early mornings started leaving. Exotic friend, who was then not yet a friend of mine, let it slip that she really hoped to see me engaged by the end of the weekend. I froze. While there was a weekend away planned with Boyfriend, I very much doubted that diamond rings were involved, but couldn’t think of any reply except “thanks”. Beautiful Boy gave me a strange look and we ordered another round. Once again, we were the last ones remaining.
We were settling back in our seats, when everything changed.
The Beautiful Boy looked at me with a total straight face, no smile, no laugh and said: “If you’re not married or engaged by the time I move back here next year, I’m asking you out for drinks.” Without hesitation or hint of playful flirtation I replied: “If I’m not married or engaged by the time you move back here next year, I’ll say yes”.
For the next hour we enjoyed a very sober conversation about our situation and the fact that we ‘really liked each other’. Then it was time to go home and I didn’t have my car there. Beautiful Boy gallantly offered to take me home. We were a block away when I heard myself say, “I don’t want to go home yet”. He looked at me for a second, then decisively turned the car around and drove us to a little cigar bar downtown.