When I was 21 I met an artist named Ralph. We had our first date at Evil Eye in York and spent 10 months together before he broke up with me. It was 2am and we were taking a bath together and afterwards I had no choice but to spend the night, which would have been more awkward except that there was nothing unkind in his actions – only truthfulness.
What happened next was less kind – lashing out, on his part, bitter words between both and a rapid fading of good will. And then I moved away, as I was always going to do, less than 4 months later, to Falmouth and university and another then-unknown person who would eventually turn out to be the right answer to the wrong question.
Imagine my surprise when, not one month ago, Ralph came back into my life – suddenly and unexpectedly. He posted a nude photo of me on Facebook! I was covered in his artwork, inked with pen, and my body was blurred in the appropriate places, but the sight of my naked self on social media was both strange and shocking. I got in touch immediately to request the photo be removed. Two days later and we’re drinking coffee in the Arts Café in Leeds. He’s taller than I remember. Calmer. Just as handsome. His eyes the same luminous shade of blue.
He takes me to see an art piece he’s working on. Anamorphism – it’s a new word for me, but this is his life now. His art has taken off – I knew this already, because I’d ‘liked’ his art page on Facebook, but the extent to which he’d gained notoriety was impressive. We swapped stories. He still had the house. I wasn’t planning on moving away any time soon. We met up again to see a band. I let the last train leave the station, without me. I woke up by his side.
I’m 27 now, and I think we may be in love.