Grazia's weekly columnist, Laura Jane Williams, is looking for love - and she's not afraid to say it...
I haven't been entirely straight with you. I didn't know how to be as I'm worried you'll judge me - and badly.
Just before Christmas I mentioned 'The Ghost' - a man of years gone by who didn't treat me very well, but who'd been in touch and whom I was contemplating giving a second chance. The short version of our history is this: four years ago I was in a year-long vow of celibacy because my ex-boyfriend had left me to marry my best friend. Following that, I'd been a bit promiscuous and wild, and a year out of dating is just what I needed. I lasted 11 months, two weeks and three days. Then I met a man at a work event and took him home.
I called him 'The Ghost' in my last column, but in my book, Becoming, his name is 'The Peacock'. He's a show-off, an egomaniac with, infuriatingly, the intellect, wit and charisma to justify it. Then, a month into dating, he slut-shamed me. One morning in bed together, he inferred my perceived sexual history made me shaggable, but not girlfriend material. I got up and left, and hadn't seen or spoken to him since.
Part of me wanted him to know what I'd turned his asshole behaviour into my creative property
So, back to present day. His face popped up on Bumble two days after The Sexy Geek declared we should just be friends. And it made me laugh, seeing him, because enough time had passed that I remembered more of the good than the final bad. His bio reminded me of how damned cheeky he'd been, and part of me wanted him to know I'd written about him. That I'd turned his asshole behaviour into my creative property. Basically, that I'd 'won'.
We matched immediately, and so I said, 'Do you remember me? Because I remember you...'
'It's you!' he replied. 'Wow.'
He had no recollection of the slut-shaming, and was, he wrote, absolutely mortified at his 26-year-old behaviour. 'I've grown up a lot,' he promised me. 'I am so very sorry if I ever made you feel less than you are.' I believed him. I've grown up a lot since then, too. We agreed to meet.
'I'm booking a table for cocktails, and then a place for dinner,' he told me over the phone. That was something he did - call. 'I'm so happy you're giving me another chance.' Most of what he said was 'right'. What I needed to hear. But I was sceptical, too. Held back. Well. Held back a little. Because late one night we started talking about how well-matched we'd been in bed together.
'You told me no man could make you orgasm through penetration alone,' he said. 'But then I did...'
'Oh, I remember,' I said. 'It's not a regular occurrence...'
'Well, why don't I book a brunch spot for the morning after our date?' he suggested.
I told him that was an interesting idea. 'Maybe,' I replied.
Read Laura Jane's column each week in Grazia magazine
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