24: A blind date. He had steak, She had something made of Tofu and made cooing sounds when it arrived. He thought it looked disgusting. He finished with cheese, She loathed cheese. “Mmmm Roquefort” He teased, waving it at Her. She was Green, He was Labour. She wanted a puppy when She had a proper house. He pretended to like kittens to make safe conversation but She hated them. “All fur and no fun” She said. But they both liked red wine. He had sex and She made love but they did it together, it wasn’t much good. They didn’t keep in touch and retreated back into the shadows of each other’s consciousness.
39: it took a few minutes for them to remember and recognise. Then She made an announcement to the whole dinner party “Everybody listen! This man and I had the worst sex ever on a blind date 15 years ago and haven’t seen each other since!!” She’d recently got divorced and was drunk in celebration. His wife, sitting beside him, went frosty.
She was now Plaid Cymru and was intending to vote for them despite living in Hendon. She sang the Welsh National Anthem whilst standing to attention on her chair. He hadn’t even picked up her accent before. He was still Labour. She ate ratatouille, He, ox cheek. After a nudge from his wife, He made excuses “Must free the babysitter”. He swiped some manchego on the way. They smiled at each other as He passed. The host then called Her a taxi. She passed out in it.
At home, He had sex to demonstrate to His wife how little he could remember the “hysterical, drunk woman who smelled of puppies”. There was something of Her scent and memory in it. She meanwhile, somehow made it into Her own bed and indulged in a masturbatory fantasy about the dinner party host, a handsome, sociopathic doctor, before puking on the floor. The next day they mildly regretted not taking each other’s numbers.
54: A cheese stall in Borough Market, She tapped him on the shoulder, He was happy to see her and avoid instinctive purchase. They went somewhere less smelly and talked to each other excitedly. She had a small dog (a wire wool terrier). He was now a Labour councillor, She was RSPB with Lib Dem lapses. He wasn’t supposed to eat cheese because of his furry arteries and was sadly “largely plant-based these days”. She was eating a suspiciously meaty looking hot dog. His kids were grown up. She had none, in fact as he told his wife, “She’s some kind of polyamorous cheese-hating Lesbian now!”
A year or so later they stay in touch on facebook and have met twice more. Once She brought him a refuge kitten for his birthday. He had to refuse it. His wife was allergic and besides He didn’t like kittens. “You used to love them!” She said, looking crestfallen. Overall, they are amazed to know each other and only bring up their youthful sex to joke about it. “The most mismatched couple of all time!” and “What were we thinking?”
And sometimes that’s it! The only and best happy ending possible is the magic of becoming two old friends who like, respect and can tease each other.