Against all of the odds – and I’m really not a betting man – inexplicably my long divorced parents are still conducting their rekindled love-in. In fact, they flew to Dubai for a holiday today. This will mean sitting next to each other on a plane for more than seven straight hours and then spending every waking moment (and I assume every sleeping moment) together. If you’d asked me twelve months ago about the likelihood of that ever happening I’d have laughed out loud and said there was more chance of Trump and Kim Jong-un slapping one another on the back. So, what do I know?
”Life’s full of surprising twists and turns,” said Guido tonight whilst serving up a great big pasta dinner.
The cafe was shut but tantalisingly the lights were still on. Every so often there’d be a tap tap tap on the window by someone looking desperate, gesticulating wildly, and then mouthing the words – ARE YOU STILL OPEN?. I’d mouth the words right back – NO SORRY WE’RE SHUT – and then provocatively suck up a long buttery strand of spaghetti. If looks could kill, I’d be a dead man.
”Maybe your parents will tie the knot again,” Guido said swirling his fork. I let out a groan.
”Urgh,” I said, “Can you imagine it?”
That would elevate my parents into the same marriage category as twice wed Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And, co-incidentally, my abiding memory of their union the first time around was like living through a groundhog day of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. They’d slug it out, night after night, like a couple of mud wrestlers. Trust me. No one swings a frying pan like my mother, Cruella, and no one ducks his head faster than my father. Honestly, I’m surprised I’ve turned out as well adjusted and balanced as I have.
You can stop laughing.
”Well, sometimes two people are just meant to be together. Time, maturity and the realisation that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” mused Guido.
He opened a bottle of Rioja with a pop.
I stopped chewing.
“Thank you Dr Ruth,” I said. “Though I suppose the upside would be I’d finally get to fulfil my childhood ambition to be a bridesmaid, and, you could lay on a fish inspired bridal finger buffet.”
Weirdly my thoughts strayed to a mental image of my mother in a cream organza dress with Guido tossing a calamari.
”My father actually owns a blue velvet wedding suit. No really he does,” I said.
He really does. Apparently he bought it for his first marriage to my mother and then wore it to his next three ceremonies. I should know, because I’ve seen it. I’ve been ring bearer, best man and, a hopeful witness. I swear if he threw that suit through the church doors it would probably walk up the aisle all by itself and say, I do.
”Don’t be mean,” said Guido, “some people just aren’t meant to be alone.”
I heard a tap tap rap sound. I mouthed the words – NO SORRY WE’RE SHUT – and sucked loudly.
Later in bed I lay staring at the ceiling wondering if my parents’ plane had landed and if they’d tried to kill each other yet.
Of all of life’s emotions, love, is still definitely my favourite.