I’m there, “A lot of girls did.” I know it’s wrong, but I’m suddenly remembering how much I actually enjoyed being single.
“We used to practically stalk you, though. You were a really amazing player.”
“And what I’d say in response to that analysis is that I enjoyed my rugby.”
Her next question comes, like, totally out of left field. “So are you, like, with anyone these days? As in, like, with with?”
It’s weird, roysh. I automatically look over my shoulder for Sorcha, even though she’s at home with Honor. This is the first major test of my, I suppose, commitment to her? My answer here is going to say a lot about my character.
“You seem suddenly interested in my status?” I go, deciding to keep it vague. It’s better than a straight, No, I’m single. I think that shows signs of definite emotional growth.
“I’m just asking,” she goes. “I know you were married, to that girl – was she, like, head girl or deputy head girl in Mount Anville?”
I check over my shoulder again. The survival instinct is strong in me. “Yeah, no, look,” I go, “I’m going to be honest with you, I am still technically married. We did break up but we’ve decided to give it another crack. Sorcha happens to be the girl’s name.”
“Sorcha! That was it. Oh my God, she was a great debater.”
“She still is,” I go. “She still is.”
She laughs again. I’ve always said that sense of humour is a really, really important quality – and she genuinely seems to love mine.
At the same time, roysh, I’m thinking, this is actually typical. I’m remembering some of the eye broccoli I ended up with when I was unattached. We’re talking serious horse-beasts. Now I’m back with my wife and this is what’s coming at me.
“The vibe I’m getting from you,” I go, “is that you’re interested.”
She’s like, “I am. Very.”
“Unfortunately,” I go, “I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise what me and Sorcha have got,” but, after I’ve said it, I can feel my mouth suddenly forming into an O. There’s nothing I can do to stop it. I’m like, “087...” And that’s when I hear the laughter behind me. It’s, like, Oisinn, Christian and JP. I’ve been stitched up in a big time way.
I go, “Did they put you up to this?”
“So all that stuff you said was bullshit. Including the bit about me being an amazing rugby player?”
“Yeah,” she goes. “Sorry.”
There’s, like a burst of laughter. I push the door of the toilet. The thing is, roysh, I’m laughing myself? Because I realise that I possibly haven’t changed after all. And then I realise something else. I go back out. “By the way,” I shout over to the goys, “Declan Kidney doesn’t know what the fock he’s doing!”
ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE