It was after our appearance at the next Xmas Party, a full year after we began our mock dating, that we had The Conversation.
I call it ‘The Conversation’ because it was the most significant.
We were in a coffee shop, having escaped 90 minutes after entering the Party. We were dawdling over our cups, not wanting to go anywhere, and that is when Patrick softly admitted he had been involved with a woman who died, and that he could never love again.
With far less discomfort than I expected, I told him my truth.
We looked at each other with different eyes and realised then that we needed someone in our lives who didn’t expect love. Someone who would be the ‘partner’ and enable us to survive the myriad functions we had to attend and the questions from family and friends.
Patrick told me; “Jennifer, I care about you, but I can never love you,because …” and he couldn’t go on.
I had not needed him to scrap out his soul so said;
“Patrick, I feel the same. You hold your pain, I hold mine. We can marry and no longer be the ‘singletons’.”
He looked at me carefully. When he realised that we were on the same page, he nodded.