"I won't lie to you" I said "I haven't got any coffee. I don't even like the stuff. I only asked you up here for some so that I could sex with you. Clearly this is already a relationship founded on lies, one which could never become anything meaningful. You can either cut your losses and get a taxi home or come into my room and have sex with me right now, but at this time of night you'd be lucky to find a cab before sunrise." I didn't expect the line to work, I'd have been happy with a handjob, but she said she'd take the sex. I should have known right then that this girl was trouble.
What should have been a typically depressing one night stand turned into a summer love, but without the love and most of the good weather. We were spending pretty much every night together. It wasn't like I even needed the sex. Before I'd met Kate I was having so much sex I barely had time for sex, but there was something about sex with Kate that was different to other girls. You couldn't say you enjoyed it. It was too intense for any modern man to truly enjoy, but you'd cut off your right arm and drill a hole in your head to stop anyone else getting their hands on it. It was like having a terrible drug addiction, but without all the fun that comes from taking drugs.
When I met Kate she was the head of a massive HR company in the City. She'd come home from a busy day at work, sit on the sofa and unwind by drinking a can of Red Bull. Sometimes she wouldn't even sit down. That's the kind of girl she was. Between work and all the fucking we were lucky get three hours sleep a night, but I'm not sure if she slept at all. I'd often wake up to find her standing at the window with a pen and notepad in her hand, but I was too scared to ask her what she was doing. Most nights she stayed at my place, even though it added an extra forty minutes to her journey to work the next day.
By Christmas we were more or less living together, but I honestly couldn't tell if she liked me or not. She never said that she did and my gut told me that she didn't, but I was willing to play along, if only because she wasn't the kind of girl who'd let you break up with her without your house burning down afterwards.
My parents really liked her, even though they didn't know the real Kate, she didn't even use her real accent when she spoke to them. The four of us would go for drinks at least once a month. Kate thought it was important that I spent time with my family. "Family's important" she'd say. She always made sure that we went somewhere that served ridiculous cocktails, just to be able to laugh with my mum and dad at the names of the drinks. She didn't even find the names funny, but she knew that listening to fully grown adults laughing at the word orgasm in public made me cringe.
She was always doing little things like that to make me feel uncomfortable. She'd flirt with my friends just to make them feel sorry for me. There was no way that she wasn't cheating on me, but I think she liked me enough to not sleep with my closest friends. Even though we barely spent any time apart I knew that she must have been having several affairs. She was too much for one man. It would have been a crime against the world for me to expect to have her all to myself. Kate was the kind of woman that wars were started over in ancient times, and probably a couple of South American countries today.
About eighteen months into our relationship I started to notice some changes. She started making obscure references to German films from the 1930s, films I'd never heard of. I thought we'd reached the beginning of the end and she'd leave me for a film buff, but I woke up one morning and found a note on my bed. She'd asked me to marry her. She didn't have time to ask me in person, because she had an early meeting that morning. It was an important meeting. I'd never really thought about marriage. I think she'd have been insulted if I'd proposed, so it was only natural that she was the one to ask. I thought about sending her a text to say yes, but I thought it would be a safer to play it romantic and wait until she came home. We didn't have time to throw and engagement party, because she had an announcement to make, as a result of her meeting that morning she had to go to Berlin the next day for six months. Berlin, Germany.
After she'd been away for a two weeks I got an e-mail from Kate telling me that as of that moment we were officially on a break, but the wedding would still go ahead as planned on the day she returned to Britain. I was free to see other women, but she would consider it a great insult if I did.
Five and a half months later she landed at Heathrow, but she wasn't alone. Whilst in Berlin she'd adopted a child. His name was Zeng. Five hours later we were man and wife, but the honeymoon was postponed until Zeng had time to settle in. He never did. It's not that I didn't want children and it's not that I'm in the slightest bit racist, but I'd always assumed that when I had kids they'd be my own and wouldn't be Chinese. Every time I tried to talk to Kate about Zeng she cut me down. "You can't complain" she'd say "We were on a break when I adopted him" I guess she was right.
Sandy, Milton Keynes.
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