I have The Wanderer sleeping in my bed but my heart yearns for The One whom I am yet to find. At the beginning of the year I bought tickets to two pop concerts as acts of unbridled optimism. I believed that by the end of the year I would have found Her and treating Her to artists we both liked would be a nice way to end the year and share our first Winter together. I love the build-up to Christmas in England. There’s a muted buzz in the air as the winds from Siberia arrive, darkness descends earlier each day and Christmas decorations appear everywhere. It’s the perfect time to be in love.
Alas, my plans have not worked out and I have these tickets. Cat Lady and I have sporadically swapped messages via Facebook and WhatsApp, but I think we both know that we’re not meant for each other. She’s still stinging from her last relationship and I’ve realized that I am too, but for different reasons. My trust issues run deep and I’ve recently discovered that I was played by a psychopath. I have little confidence in my ability to assess a woman correctly, hence my little tests and games that I’ve played on some of my dates. They were a crutch for my hobbled ability to trust and a patch for my bruised ego, hiding what was really going on inside me.
Cat Lady and I meet on a rainy week-night to see Chris Rea at the Royal Albert Hall. She’s unfashionably late and Chris is into his routine as we squeeze into our seats. I hate being late because it seems rude to me, but sometimes it can’t be helped. People around us make it known that they don’t appreciate our disruption. Cat Lady whips her phone out and starts taking photos of everything around us; she even photographs the ceiling. A steward comes over to ask her to desist because of the flash. She apologizes, but no sooner is he gone than she continues photographing. If I was thinking this to be a date then I would be very unimpressed. However, I know that this venue and outing is new to her and she’s seeing it all through tourist eyes.
Irritated patrons around us tut-tut and I ask Cat Lady to put her phone away. She fiddles with it, disables the flash and continues photographing the architecture of this historic building. Her pig-headedness is breath-taking and it just reinforces my belief that we would not get along in the long-term. She’s just too stubborn with a bit of selfishness and inconsideration thrown in to make it extra annoying for any man involved with her. This might be a reason why she’s still single in her early forties, never really having had a long-term relationship.
After the show I walk Cat Lady to her Tube station and we make polite small-talk. I do find her easy to talk to and having a common additional language gives us another sense of humour that we can share. At the Tube station I try to kiss her good-night on a cheek, but she moves her head quickly and kisses me on my lips. I’m surprised and give off a laugh. We look at each other, blink and then kiss again, this time deliberately we go for each other’s lips. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing for me and felt like harmless fun.
“Damn, you’re a good kisser,” she says with big eyes as I pull away from her.
I say nothing, she smiles at me and then spins around and disappears into the station. I laugh to myself, wondering what that was about. She is just a friend who likes how I kiss, that’s how I perceive her. Could there be more between us? I don’t think so.
A few nights later and it’s Saturday. I take The Wanderer to go see The Simple Minds at the old Millennium Dome. She’s been a little depressed, she’s tried to hide it, but I can see it. I’m hoping that a night out will lift her spirits. The Wanderer is impressed by the spectacle of shops and restaurants that are inside the dome, so it’s off to a good start. The warm-up act is Ultravox and seeing as we’re both fans of 80s music it comes as a pleasant surprise. The Simple Minds take to the stage and kick the show off with a spectacular lighting display and deafening rendition of one of their famous hits. As is the norm at such events, everyone is standing, which is fine by me because I’m over six foot tall, but The Wanderer is petite and it isn’t long before she is sitting.
She makes for a sad figure and I feel very sorry for her. Life hasn’t been kind to her and I was part of her recent disappointments, something that I feel bad about. I don’t like letting people down. I’ve realized that I should have been even more choosy about my dates earlier in the year, but I told myself that profiles rarely capture what a person is about. If I had been pickier and stuck to my stipulation that single mothers were a no-no for me, then I wouldn’t have met The Wanderer and I wouldn’t have ended up hurting her. I am to blame.
I can’t just leave her sitting there like that, so I sit down too and give her the best smile that I can. The Wanderer feigns a smile. We’re both feeling low. It’s the strangest thing, feeling alone in a crowd. She complains of back-pain, which I believe to be psycho-somatic; her mind is poisoning her body. She’s in a negative spiral that I can’t help reverse.
If she felt about me that the way I felt about Baltic Babe and Krazy Girl, then it can’t be easy sleeping in the same bed as me. To her credit she has behaved herself, whereas I don’t think I could have with the two aforementioned young ladies. Being with me has probably been a mixed blessing for her in that she has a place to stay for a while, but she has had to watch me sit at my computer and swap emails with women on dating sites. If I’ve had to speak to a prospective date on the phone I have always gone to another room. I wouldn’t be surprised if she can’t wait to get the hell away from me.
We’re amongst the first to leave the concert. Once on the train The Wanderer snuggles up to my shoulder and falls asleep until we get to my town. I know that I can only be friends with her and I want it to stay that way. A younger, less-experienced me would have made love to her by now for very silly reasons that I would have regretted the next day. I am growing up after all.
My thoughts turn to the women I’ll be meeting in the next weeks. It’s going to be a busy time for me, which is exciting, but I find myself doubting my being ready for a serious relationship. If I do find Her, then that question is likely to evaporate.
My next date will be number forty. Forty! The common denominator with all these dates is me. There must be something wrong with me. What is it? I need to figure it out quickly because I’m running out of enthusiasm for this dating scene. How much longer do I need to walk on this lonely highway? I’m starting to feel like a desperate hitch-hiker under a desolate sky, hoping that the lights slowing down for me will be someone friendly, interesting and safe.
When will I find Her? Maybe tomorrow? I have a date set up that I’m looking forward to. Maybe tomorrow…
An Autumnal drizzle is trying to douse the embers of anger in my being as I arrive at The Irish Cougar’s friend’s home. I’m helping The Irish Cougar move today to her rich friend’s pad in central London. I’ve driven in motorway traffic during rush-hour for well over an hour. I’ve pre-paid the London Congestion Charge of £11, a toll-charge for driving through the centre of London on a weekday; she better not change her mind or not have the keys for her new place.
Again her friend greets me at the door and as I enter I see boxes crowding the hallway. Good, today’s move seems to be happening. Again the friend ushers me into the kitchen and makes me a coffee. After a few minutes of banter The Irish Cougar joins us and we kiss each other hello on the lips, which makes the friend smile.
Within minutes I’m carrying boxes out to my car in the rain while The Irish Cougar finishes up a few loose ends. Not once does she come out in the rain as I single-handedly pack my car to the gills. I’m a little disappointed in her lack of offering to help me. This serves to feed the seething sensation I have inside me.
We say goodbye to the friend and I squeeze The Irish Cougar into my heavily-laden car. She’s overly chatty and I guess it must be because she’s moving onto a place more private. After almost two hours of dealing with London traffic on a rainy day we arrive at the millionaire’s apartment overlooking Hyde Park. We eventually find a parking spot near the property and I begin unloading the car while The Irish Cougar goes to check the property out, to make sure it is as she expected and that no unwelcome surprises await us.
All is in order and I load as many boxes and whatnot into the lift, unloading again when we get to the upper floor where the three-bedroom apartment is. The Irish Cougar starts unpacking in the apartment while I go off to make another trip with the lift. I really am starting to feel like a hired hand being used for my body. My seething becomes simmering.
Parking in the area is by resident’s permit only so I drive a few miles to go park at a friend’s place. I’m counting on my car being there overnight, because tonight I intend to fuck this woman. Her deceit and selfishness typifies what I feel I have been enduring at the hands of women for years now. I feel justified in exacting a revenge that might just appease my overwhelming sense of outrage that I am beginning to feel towards women.
I catch a bus back to the apartment and that journey takes an hour, so by the time I see The Irish Cougar again she has pretty much finished unpacking. She gives me a tour of this apartment that is easily worth more than a million Pounds, possibly twice that. The lounge alone is bigger than my apartment and it has a raised ceiling, so there’s an impressive feeling of space. The furnishings are new, tasteful contemporary and obviously expensive. The centrepiece is the biggest television I’ve ever seen mounted into a wall and an enormous, plush tan sofa faces it. The adjoining open-plan kitchen is filled with expensive integrated mod-cons that I can only dream of having. Everything is shiny, new and white. The two large bathrooms are floor to ceiling Italian marble, each having a bath big enough for two adults as well as a large shower cubicle. A third smaller bathroom leads off from the main bedroom. The two “smaller” bedrooms are bigger than my bedroom; each has a kingsize bed with built-in wardrobes and ample space for two people to get dressed and not be able to touch each other. The main bedroom has a super-kingsize bed and enough space around it to play a game of badminton. That’s not the game that I have in mind for later though.
“I’m starving. Let’s go have an early dinner,” Irish Cougar squeaks.
Only then do I realize that it’s mid-afternoon; we’ve both been on the go all day. Must keep my energy level up for later I tell myself. The Irish Cougar and I walk along a street that runs parallel with bustling Oxford Street so as to avoid the mindless crowds. As we wait to cross a street I feel that someone is looking at me and my eyes meet a pretty face that I recognize. The woman staring at me is someone I’ve swapped messages with on a dating site but she couldn’t bring herself to actually meet face-to-face. Maybe when I’m done with The Irish Cougar I’ll contact her again. We cross the street and give each other knowing looks and suppressed smiles.
The Irish Cougar wants Italian food so we end up in a little-known side-street littered with quaint eateries and pricey clothing boutiques. It’s after the lunchtime rush and before the evening stampede, so we have the place to ourselves. As she starts telling me more about her friends who have loaned her this amazing property free of charge, it dawns on me that not once today has she said thank you for anything that I’ve done for her.
A small fire of anger sparks in me and it glows while she talks. I’m now not much in the mood for talking. She’s very talkative so she doesn’t notice that I’ve gone quiet. Anybody who truly knows me will tell you that if I go quiet, well, something’s going to happen.
Dessert ends and she asks for the bill. Ah, this must be how she’s going to say thank you, by buying me a meal. It’s the least she can do, right? After all, I laid on a vehicle, petrol, paid the congestion charge, did all the carrying, drove elsewhere to park my car for the night and caught a bus back. I could have spent my day doing other things.
The bill lay on the table, like a piece of shit that nobody wanted to acknowledge. It felt like a showdown between us as to who would blink first, like in a stand-off scene out of a spaghetti Western. The Irish Cougar’s green eyes occasionally peek at the bill from under her dusty sombrero. I chew on a piece of invisible straw, trying to keep my hand away from my wallet that is my side-arm. Shoppers scurry away and a tense silence descends. A plastic bag rolls by like a tumble-weed. A waiter raises his eyes from behind a counter to see if a card has been presented, then slowly lowers his head.
Like that we sit for several minutes, not speaking, barely making eye contact. Nothing and nobody around us is moving. The forlorn bill must feel as welcome as a fart in a space-suit.
She’s a fucking Taker!
Why did I not spot this sooner? How did I miss this? My mind races and I realize that all along I’ve been paying for almost everything. Even if someone might have money problems, it’s just a common courtesy to at least say “thank you”.
I decide to end the stand-off, to move the day along, so I pull my wallet out and pay with a credit card. As the waiter leaves The Irish Cougar becomes chatty again. Bitch. That’s what resonates in my mind. Bitch. Shall I say something? Before I get a chance she speaks.
“Can we quickly pop into a Marks and Spencer’s to get some groceries?” she asks.
“There’s also a Tesco nearby,” I respond, testing for any budgetary issue. Tesco is almost half-price by comparison.
“Oh no. I don’t shop at places like that,” she says as we stand and leave.
Places like that? What the hell does that mean? That you’re a snob to boot?
We find the local Marks and Spencer’s and I carry the basket for her. As we go around the store not once does The Irish Cougar ask me if there is anything that I would like. It is my understanding that I’ll be spending the night, so a little breakfast might be called for? Nope, she’s only shopping for herself. As I carry the three little carrier bags that came to seventy Pounds, it occurs to me this is more than the meal I just paid for. The meal I paid for? Hang on, she didn’t say thank you for that either!
Selfish fucking bitch.
It dawns on me that I have felt exactly this way before. It was with Country Girl. I wined and dined her, took her to a concert and she didn’t say thank you either. I should have taken Country Girl back to my place and fucked her. At least then I would have got something for my efforts and money.
Hmm, I’m learning. Fucking an ungrateful bitch is exactly what I’m going to do now. The Irish Cougar has shown me scant respect, consideration and appreciation. I’m going to give her the same. I’m going to do exactly what I want with her. She deserves it.
We pack her groceries away and I start to wonder if The Irish Cougar’s now going to show me the door. After all, she’s done with me now; my purpose for today is served. It has been implied that I’d be spending the night but now I’m not so sure given that I know for certain that she’s a Taker.
“How about we have a bath together?” she says with a naughty look in her eyes.
Game on! It’s playtime!
The Irish Cougar starts running a bath but the water isn’t hot because, as I discover, the hot water cylinder had been switched off. It was going to be a while before the water heated. It’s already dark outside and nightlife in London has started. I’m tired of wasting time, it’s time for action.
I’m standing behind her in the bathroom and pull her towards me, resting her back against my stomach. I start slowly running my hands up and down her body as she tilts her head back and rests it against a shoulder. An earlobe is in easy reach so I kiss it, then lightly suck it, but I resist the urge to give it a little nibble; too early for that, she needs to be more turned on.
I woke up a few minutes after 5am. It was still dark and Musician Gal was sound asleep. My mind immediately starting an endless sprint of images, memories and feelings from the previous day. My psyche was disturbed because I had high hopes of having a relationship with Musician Gal. I convinced myself that perhaps I was being too harsh and should give her another day. Perhaps it would be better later this day. There was much to look forward to. The farmer’s market, a lunch of exotic meats and a drive in the country could make it all so much better. She might relax and perhaps even apologize for her tactlessness. Telling myself this eased my troubled mind and I went back to sleep.
9am and I’m awake again, ready and cautiously optimistic that today would be better, remembering my inner dialogue from earlier in the morning. Musician Gal was doing her imitation of a corpse, lying almost in the exact position that I had last seen her in before I switched the light out. When I’m awake, I’m awake. I didn’t want to lie there, fidgeting or tossing and turning, only to irritate her and get the day off to a bad start. I got up as gingerly as I could and quietly made my way to the kitchen. I closed the two doors between the bedroom and kitchen so that any noise I made didn’t disturb her. The kettle boiled unusually loudly while I found the honey and soya milk for her tea. I made myself a regular cuppa of redbush tea and got a pack of milk chocolate hobnobs from the shelf reserved for my stash of them. I tidied the kitchen a bit from the previous night’s cooking and eating, trying to make it a bit more tidy as I didn’t want it looking like a dump when she entered it.
A mug of tea in each hand and a pack of hobnobs nestled under an arm, I carefully and quietly made my way back to the bedroom, using my feet to open doors. I was still naked and must have made for quite a sight. Putting her tea by her bedside without spilling, bumping or dropping anything was a small achievement. Safely positioning my tea and the biscuits by my bedside, I slid back in to the warm bed. It was a chilly morning and my morning glory had deflated by the time I got to the kitchen. Lying next to Musician Gal I could feel my blood warming again and the thought of Sunday morning sex, one of my favourite thoughts, appeared simultaneously in my two heads.
She started to stir from her slumber, finally moving and rolling slowly on to her back. As she turned I got a good view, despite the low lighting, of her left breast, just the shape and outline of it. I wanted to suck on it, take as much of it as I could in to my mouth and then twirl my tongue around the nipple. Women seem to love that move and it seems to turn them on. She still had her nightmask on and I thought that keeping it on during sex would heighten her other sensations. I was horny and hoped that she was too, having played all coy for a day and a half, building the sexual tension. The disappointments of the previous day were now forgotten and I wanted to have my way with her, see what she liked, how she reacted to my cock, see what she liked to do and have done to her. It was time.
I started caressing the side of her body, being careful not to immediately touch her breasts or anywhere sensitive like under her armpits, just keeping to the neutral bits. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. I keep moving my hands over her body, slowly with just the lightest touch, over her belly, along her sides, up the ribcage towards her arms but never getting there, reversing direction instead. This was only happening for a matter of about half a minute, all the while neither of us spoke. I was about to cup one of her breasts, nipple erect, visible through her nightie when she suddenly promptly rolled over on to her belly, denying me the opportunity. Was she playing hard to get or just disinterested?
Wanting to find out, I slipped my hand under her chest and cupped her left breast. It felt a good size and of a good density. Almost instantly her left elbow came down hard on my forearm. She wasn’t interested.
I rolled away, not sure what to think. I knew that she wasn’t a morning person, so I wasn’t too upset. I was just trying my luck. Two thoughts came to mind. If she wanted to make love with me, then now was the time. But she didn’t, so she didn’t. If she’s not a morning person, then perhaps we have a massive difference between us already. I love mornings. I like the promise of a new day, the calm before the storm and all those other clichés which I believe in. Maybe we’re just not compatible.
Eventually she sat up in bed, lifting her eye mask and gave me a wry smile. I offered her some biscuits and she took one, perhaps just to be polite. I switched my ipod on and soothing, calm music started playing at just the right volume. I lay on my side, still sporting an erection, facing her, while she lay one her back, wearing her black pyjamas outfit, propped up against the headboard. The duvet came up to my waist and covered her knees. We made mindless small talk – the chemistry just wasn’t there any more. Neither of us made mention of my advance on her.
In my experience, if a woman fancied me, she couldn’t help herself but to lay hands on me in some way. It occurred to me that since she had arrived, Musician Gal had not once touched me out of her own free will. I was always the one to take her hand or arm. I always was the one to put an arm around her shoulder the few times when it seemed appropriate to do so. I was the one to initiate kissing or hugging the few times we had done so. Not once had she made any physical act out of free will that indicated that she any kind of desire for me.
We got up and she showered again. I knew that we would be walking again and I was likely to be all sweaty within minutes of walking. She made disapproving noises about my not showering. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t care less what she had to say.
We went for a walk around my town’s farmer’s market and ended up buying a few pieces of ostrich, zebra and kangaroo from my favourite butcher at the market. I was going to prepare this meat for her, come hell or high water! I was still intent on seeing through the day, ever optimistic that whatever was bothering her would either go away or we would talk about it.
Musician Gal seemed mildly pleased by the farmer’s market. We went back to my place, but neither of us were hungry. I suggested that we go for a drive in the countryside, something that she had spoken about several times. It was all part and parcel of her dream of being married and living in the countryside. She didn’t know this part of the world too well, so I expected that she was looking forward to this drive.
We hopped in my red sports car and whizzed through the town’s streets to where the countryside began, where open road was met by clear open spaces, punctuated by proud trees, the occasional grand home or charming cottage. Where life moved at a slower pace and the rest of the world was a bad rumour. This is what I had been looking forward to showing her, expecting her to show a positive change in demeanour.
What did she do? She took out a nail file and started carefully seeing to her nails! I drove past and through the best countryside this part of my county had to offer, while all the time she sat leaning forward, her legs apart, making sure her filing detritus fell into my car, never raising her gaze.
I was now starting to fume a little. We didn’t speak. She looked up as we were entering a historic town near mine. I suggested that we park and go for a walk. She agreed and it wasn’t long before we were walking along old cobbled streets, marvelling at old wonky buildings. Strangely, all the while we were holding hands, but only until she started to complain that I was too hot. We walked through a scenic park with a large pond filled with an assortment of birdlife, managing to make polite small talk. Inside, I was still fuming a little bit. This was starting to feel like a waste of time and money.
We walked back to my car and the sun was on our backs. For some reason only now I asked her if she had ever smoked. She said that she had tried to when she was younger, but didn’t enjoy it. Then she said something which surprised me. She said that she did enjoy an occasional cigar a few times a year. I found the thought and image of her smoking a cigar disgusting. My interest in her was starting to dig its way to Hell.
Musician Gal then said that she was thirsty, so we found a corner shop for her to buy a bottle of water. She opened the water, drank some, looked at me and then drank some more. She didn’t offer me any. I was visibly perspiring. Her thoughtlessness now became selfishness. My level of fuming had now risen to border on anger.
I kept my cool. A very clear picture of what she was really like was starting to emerge. I didn’t like what I was seeing. Not one little bit. Her public persona was all well and fine, but in private I was getting to see what she was really all about: selfish.
Driving back to my place I made up my mind that she wasn’t for me. I was struggling to see anything about her that I liked. Her behaviour the past two days had been unacceptable and at times downright offensive. I no longer had any desire to have sex with her, I found her that repulsive. After today I never wanted to see her again.
I was contemplating asking her to leave when we got back to my place. Before I could say this, Musician Gal said that she was ready to sample my culinary skills. I was now hungry too and was going to make myself food anyway after I had seen her off. I decided to be a gentleman and make her lunch before giving her her marching orders. I got to work making a barbecue while she set about preparing herself a green salad. Eating assorted countryside has never appealed to me and I have no desire in learning how to prepare rabbit food, so I left her to that.
I put some music on my stereo, but after only a few tunes she asked if we could listen to some of her music. The dye was cast and I wasn’t going to make a scene, so I agreed to her request. She connected her phone to a speaker and what she considered music started playing. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t like it. I really can’t find the words to describe the shit that came out of my once pure, unadulterated speakers. Would there be an end to the misery of this day – this woeful weekend?
I couldn’t wait for the fire to settle down to glowing charcoal. I wanted this creature out of my home and out of my life as quickly as possible. She had positioned herself on the sofa and was reading a newspaper. She looked quite comfortable and even somewhat serene as she sat there, oblivious to the turmoil that was stretching my insides, unaware of the harsh words being shouted in the cold, dark, quiet corners of my soul. “Get out! Out!” is what I wanted to scream at her, so hard that my throat would hurt.
I think it is testimony to just how English I had become that I managed to restrain myself and not show on the outside what I was feeling inside. Was this a good thing? I’m not convinced. Does a world of peptic ulcers and hernias await?
I cooked the meat to perfection on the barbecue, doing her pieces medium-rare, just how she claimed to prefer it and everything else was ready on the dining room table. We sat down and she seemed interested in which meat was which and I told her what I knew about each type of meat. It didn’t take too long for Musician Gal to complain that her meat was too rare for her liking. So I put her pieces back on the fire, continued eating my meats while she munched away at her rabbit food, heavily vinaigretted pieces of which were falling on to my white tablecloth. A real rabbit would have been a tidier eater.
After a few minutes I went and retrieved her meat, now more medium than mine. She took a dislike to the zebra and ostrich, gave these to me, but she enjoyed the kangaroo. This suited me just fine. Conversation was awkward and hard to come by. The air was filled by the hideous shrieking that her phone was pumping out through my poor, innocent, labouring speaker. I was now gritting my teeth so much that it actually came in useful in chewing my meat.
I decided to go on the offensive and asked her what she thought of my place. I suspected that my place was a disappointment to her. Her demeanour had changed for the negative within minutes of setting foot in my apartment. I needed to know if that was the cause of her change in attitude. She thought about it for a moment and said “Your home doesn’t match your profile.” I took that to mean that she was disappointed by what she saw. Was this the cause of the demise of our nascent relationship? I think so.
It was now late afternoon and Musician Gal said that she needed to be home soon. I was so relieved to hear those words. I wasn’t looking forward to asking her to leave. I’m not very good with those kinds of situations because I hardly ever find myself in them. She collected her belongings and I made sure that she didn’t leave anything behind. I didn’t want her having an excuse to come back.
I carried her heavy backpack as I walked her to the station. Once there, she bought a ticket at a vending machine and the turnstiles were open, so I went on to the platform with her. The next train was due in only two minutes, something I felt thankful for. Since leaving my apartment I had come up with the words that I wanted to use to say a final goodbye to her.
“Tell me, do you think we’re right for each other?” I asked.
“I’m still making up my mind” she replied.
“Well, I have very serious doubts that we are” I said with a stern face, looking deep in to her eyes.
“Why?” she asked.
I quickly elaborated the reasons why, her tactlessness on Saturday about discrimination, being the primary point. I said that her inability to apologize for her offending me was surprising and disappointing. She tried to debate this issue, but I wasn’t interested – the damage was done. I didn’t go in to all the other things that, albeit small, collectively amounted to a very unpleasant picture for me.
Her train arrived, we stopped talking, she got on board, without any kind of kiss or hug or touch of any kind. I stood on the platform, made eye contact with Musician Gal one last time, waved politely and turned to walk away, not being bothered with waiting for the train to leave. I literally turned my back on her, a sense of relief pervading my being.
When I got home there was a text message from her waiting on my phone.
“Thanks for a lovely weekend, was really good to spend time with you. Perhaps I don’t like to get too close because I got hurt, that isn’t your problem, it’s mine. And apologies, I didn’t mean to offend x”
Ten minutes later another message arrived:
“Oh and thanks for being a total gentleman, you are a rare breed. X”
I have not heard from her since. I did think about writing her an email explaining my view on matters, but thought better of it. It might have provided her with a sense of closure, but would most likely have resulted in a bitter email debate. I have no desire to contact her ever again. It seemed to me that she projected a brilliant disguise for her true self, but could only maintain the pretence for so long until her true colours seeped out.
Lessons learnt: 1) Get a woman to my place (or hers) as soon as possible to see them in a more natural environment, away from the public dating persona that we all have. 2) Not everybody is looking for love.