What Did Ella Have To Say About It?

I don’t think I have introduced Ella to you yet.  Ella and her husband Dean were living in the same flat as Jack and I and two other flatmates.

Ella was a great flatmate.  She was bubbly and cheerful and very popular.  She made huge pizzas and loved having lots of friends over to eat and play table football.  She had four brothers, so she was used to being around lots of male company.  I could never have lived in a flat with four men without Ella being there.  They respected Ella.

She also worked in the same complex of offices and studios and huge storage areas as our flatmate Jack and so she saw him frequently each day around their work site.  I knew she heard what was being said in the foyer, the canteen and throughout the offices.  She had told me once or twice about some news about Jack and I had spread like wildfire through the departments.  Very wisely, she did not tell me anything until I specifically asked her to.

I tried hard not to let rumours or comments from friends affect my behaviour towards my flatmate (we are calling him Jack Barnes, in case you missed that). When I did briefly see him at home in our flat, he was only lovely to me, asking me how my day had been, what were my plans for the weekend, offering me a drink, complimenting me on my dress or hair in his rather clumsy fashion.

It felt like he was really trying hard to maintain the new good will that had developed. There was no hint of anything he’d want to hide from me. He was cheerful, affable, gregarious.  Nothing to indicate that behind my back he was contributing to rumours about him and I.

I was upset, but I hid it from him. I did not feel hearing rumours from others outside the flat was a reason to authorize me to treat Jack any differently. Yet what I had heard that week had made me tense. I arranged to be out every evening so that I did not see Jack, that way I would not become provoked.

Over the next few days, I heard more rumours and saw more photos and comments that others showed me on their social media sites. I also received many enquiries everyday, every single day, from friends and workmates, some kindly expressed, as to whether there was any any truth in the rumours they were hearing.  I could understand some of my friends and workmates asking. It was the sheer number of enquiries that made the situation intense, in addition to people I hardly knew, or had never spoken to before, bounding up and asking me if I was going out with Jack.

I was very careful with my words.  I told everyone who deserved some sort of answer, “Jack and I sat down to talk about the unhappy atmosphere that we have had in our flat, which had all been due to the pressure we both felt because of rumours about the two of us. We are both trying to ignore what is being said about us and try to make sure there is a better atmosphere in the flat. There is nothing more to tell.”

Close friends continued to report to me that Jack was enjoying the speculation and public attention he was receiving because people thought that he and I were now “together”.

On the Friday evening, six days after Jack and I had talked openly over a cup of tea, Ella and I were in the flat alone. The boys were all out. Whilst sipping mojitos, we chatted about everything that had been happening. Ella declared how glad she was now that Jack and I were friends because what was happening between us was affecting the whole flat.

Now I had the opportunity to question Ella to gain an insight into how Jack was dealing with the rumours that were flourishing due to our new found easiness with each other. I decided to ask Ella if she had heard rumours at work during the past week suggesting that Jack and I were now involved romantically.

Ella shrugged her shoulders, “Men say such stupid things Mel.  I ignore most of what they say. They have been talking about the two of you since before Jack moved in here. They are stupid. As soon as he moved in, most of the guys started to bet on how long it would take before the two of you started sleeping together. I’ve been telling them they are all losers and that he has no chance with you.

Ella, what about him? What does he say? Does he try to stop this?

Ha! He is not going to try to stop it. He absolutely loves it! He loves attention. He is flattered that everyone thinks you like him. He loves being the main topic of conversation day after day.”

woman cryingI was not expecting that. Tears started to trickle immediately down my face. Ella was clearly not comfortable with my tears.

You know he is a complete idiot. But he is an idiot who is kind of insecure, that’s why he needs attention. He would absolutely love to be loved by a woman like you. He knows that he does not deserve you, that you are out of his league. But it makes him feel great that people connect the two of you together. He wished there were some truth in these rumours, which is why he keeps lapping them up while they are popular.”

I tried to stop my tears and absorb everything she had said to me. “So, people are actually betting on how long it will take me to sleep with him. That is truly pathetic.”

Ella’s expression suddenly became very serious, “Mel, you need to know something. Do you know where Jack is tonight?

I think he said he was going out for drinks with some friends from work.

Yes, but it’s bad. I mean you are really not going to like this. Hugh Sanders – you know what Hugh is like – claimed to have won the bet. He took the money which everyone had put in a jar or tin and they were keeping in one of the kitchens. I don’t know how much there was exactly, but well over £100. He is using it to buy drinks for any of the guys who wanted to go out tonight.”

Hearing those words made me shudder with disbelief, “I have not slept with him. Ella, I sat down and had a cup of tea with him.”

I didn’t think you had Mel, although even if you had, that’s none of our business really. We just want you both to be happy. The point is there are a lot, a lot of people who think that the two of you are sleeping together now that you are acting like you are best friends outside of the flat.”

But we haven’t spent much time together at all.”

smiling (2)Enough time for scores of photos to appear of the two of you together Mel. I know you are just trying to be nice to each other, but the two of you are in all these photos full of smiles towards each other. Of course everyone is getting excited.”

I was feeling rather sick but knew that Ella was right, “But why has Jack allowed Hugh Sanders and others believe that I have slept with him?

Jack didn’t want to lose face in front of everyone. Hugh was winding him up so much, Jack didn’t say anything at all, but Hugh took that as confirmation.”

I felt really angry.  This was so so wrong.

couple and jealousyHugh is mad with jealousy. He has been winding Jack up for weeks. Hugh has fancied you for a couple of years, but knows you are not interested in him. He hates seeing you and Jack happy together.”

Hugh Sanders had asked me out a couple of times actually. I only said no because I was convinced it would be disastrous and he would forever make fun of me after it all went sour. My reasons were solid. I had been at parties and at dinner with groups of friends with him and it was obvious he had a soft spot for me. The reason I did not respond to him was that I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of his sarcasm and the critical tone he used when talking about everyone else. I like a bit of gentle sarcasm, I have grown up in Liverpool on a solid diet of sarcasm, but not the type that destroys another person’s confidence. If I had spent time with him, I would have withered up. He would have despised me because I would have recoiled from him.

Do you have any idea how confused I was hearing all this about Jack and Hugh and their workmates?

sharing tea.jpgMy flatmate Jack – on his own, was undeniably “my cup of tea” and he had the potential to make me extremely happy.  I knew I could very easily fall in love with him, if only I was allowed by the rest of the world to actually spend some time with him.  On paper, he was everything I admired and felt attracted to.

But in the context of what he either said about me or allowed to be said about me in order to receive attention from his colleagues and fans, he had the potential to crush me.

If it was not for everything I had heard during that week that followed, maybe that cup of tea with Jack would have very much led to me falling in love with him.

All of this was playing on my mind, and emotions were burning within me. Emotions that caused me to do something rather strange during the weekend at the end of that week. What did I do? I will tell you in another post.

Well…we have come quite a way…

Catch up with Jack and Caramel at your leisure:



When October Goes

Maple, Maple Leaves, Emerge

It’s the end of October already. I have never been as ready to hibernate for the rest of autumn and winter! I would miss all the new on hysteria surrounding the American election. I would miss dark cold wet months. I would be curled up in a little ball under my big winter duvet.

What will the rest of this year have in store? I dread to think! My fear is more shoplifting. More families going into debt because they feel obliged to spend money they don’t have. Retailers bemoaning their losses, declaring they have no choice but to close stores and make redundancies.

Whereas the real plight is of those who are losing hope, those who are overwhelmed with stress, those who are in anguish as they sense foreboding but do not know who has the solution to a diseased corrupt world political economical system.

But there are others who know what is happening and why. Still, I imagine even they have times when they would like to hibernate through what is ahead.

At Rest

I have a week long holiday ahead! Isn’t that great!

I have been working hard you know!!! It is so great to be able to go to sleep without setting my alarms for the next day.

Morning Girl, Woman, Bed, Tee, Morning

Normally mornings are hard because of the head pain I have. So a whole week of being able to cooperate with my head, instead of bullying it is so appreciated.

There are a long list of things I want to catch up with this week. But right at the top of that list is: REST!

If You Treat Me Right

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: TREAT

Adult, Bride, Dress, Girl, Groom, Love

I have wanted to feature this song for some time, for two reasons, first of all because it is fun, and secondly because Jack and I keep having little chats…only those little chats are becoming longer chats.

This is a special weekend for me. I met Goldfinch three years ago on the last full weekend of October, the night the clocks went back one hour. He helped me go from brokenhearted to being able to love and trust a man. What I did not realize is that the man I would up with would be Jack!

Anyway…I am getting carried away…here is Meghan Trainor, singing “Dear Future Husband”…

“if you treat me right
I’ll be the perfect wife”

Dear future husband
Here’s a few things
You need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life

Take me on a date
I deserve it, babe
And don’t forget the flowers every anniversary
‘Cause if you treat me right
I’ll be the perfect wife
Buying groceries
Buy-buying what you need

You got that “9 to 5”
But, baby, so do I
So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies
I never learned to cook
But I can write a hook
Sing along with me
Sing-sing along with me

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright

Dear future husband,
Here’s a few things
You’ll need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life
Dear future husband,
If you wanna get that special lovin’
Tell me I’m beautiful each and every night

After every fight
Just apologize
And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right
Even if I was wrong
You know I’m never wrong
Why disagree?
Why, why disagree?

If you gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright

Dear future husband,
Here’s a few things
You need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life
(Hey, baby)
Dear future husband,
Make time for me
Don’t leave me lonely
And know we’ll never see your family more than mine

I’ll be sleeping on the left side of the bed
Open doors for me and you might get some kisses
Don’t have a dirty mind
Just be a classy guy
Buy me a ring
Buy-buy me a ring, babe

You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright

Dear future husband
Here’s a few things
You need to know if you wanna be
My one and only all my life
Dear future husband,
If you wanna get that special loving
Tell me I’m beautiful each and every night

That’s right!

Future husband, better love me right

Written by: Writer(s): Kevin Paul Kadish and Meghan Elizabeth Trainor

How I Used My Extra Hour Last Year

This is another one of my 2018 posts, but it is special. I met Goldfinch the night the clocks went back an hour, the last Saturday in October 2017. This post celebrates very happy memories of a man who came into my life during a troubling time for me.

Nope…I won’t ever forget him!

extra hour.jpgOn the last Saturday night of October each year the clocks fall back one hour here in England. Well, I think the official time is 2am which technically makes it Sunday morning. But for most of us, we know that it is Saturday night that we feel we have an extra hour sleep and wake up on Sunday feeling far more refreshed than normally. This time last year (October 2017), one year ago, I was away from London.  I had a week off work and was visiting friends, first in the Midlands and then in the Bristol area.

Sometimes we ask each other, “how did you spend your extra hour?” and most of us will answer “sleeping of course!” Last year, I remember how I spent my extra hour. I was wide awake, not asleep at all! I remember it a year later, and I have a feeling I will remember how I spent my extra hour for the rest of my life.

I had a bit of a disappointment while I was in the Midlands on the Friday evening a year ago. Some bad news about a male friend who was, well, he was bad news himself really. Sometimes, I wonder why I didn’t see how much of a negative impact he was having on me before that night. That night ended the connection I had with him. He has a lot to think about before he makes promises to anyone else. I tried so hard to make it work with him, but he was such a disappointment. I realized how terribly wrong we were for each other. Terribly terribly wrong for each other. It was like the Princess and the Peahead!…Anyway, moving on swiftly from that miserable page in the life of Caramel….

Not to be put off enjoying my break from work I was still determined to enjoy myself. On the Saturday I was shopping and site-seeing with friends and then we went out for dinner and drinks afterwards. As the night was still young, there was a big discussion over whether to explore the nightlife in that part of the Midlands or to opt for a more relaxing end to the evening at the cinema. I remember the only film that caught anyone’s eyes was called “Breathe”. I was tired. I had been working for over fifty hours a week all year and this was the first time I had been absent from work. I was not eager to explore Midlands nightlife. However, that was the night I met Goldfinch.

It took less than five minutes for me to feel comfortable with him. He was the brave one, approaching a stranger. He said hello and asked me some perfectly appropriate formal/friendly questions. He gave me plenty of space. I think he understood that I had my guard up. I answered his questions without imparting any information about myself and I was not particularly friendly, more matter-of-fact, nonchalant. I thought he was just some bloke who was out to enjoy himself (I was not interested in that) but I humoured him because he was not guilty of anything inappropriate or offensive. In fact he was effortlessly gentlemanlike. He naturally knew how to behave, how to conduct himself, how to make a woman feel at ease with him.

What made me warm to him was when two young men who were being boisterous and inconsiderate were nearby, Goldfinch was gracious and considerate with me and he kind of shielded me from them. He sat a little nearer to me, but still allowed enough space for probably two people to have sat down in between us. We were having this conversation with plenty of physical space between us, so I did not feel uncomfortable for one minute. Then he sat a little closer, but he asked me first if that was alright. By that point I would have been happy sitting on his lap. I was utterly smitten by him.

As we talked, I realized there was a lot to talk about, things we had in common, points that were of great interest to me. Because it became so noisy, he moved a little closer. I felt so glad that he did. I started to feel excited. I don’t know whether it was me or him, but suddenly we were holding hands while we were talking. Before I could tell what was happening, I was completely enchanted by a complete stranger. But I have never had a moment’s regret that I fell for him so quickly.

We spent hours together talking. It was so exciting to me. I was holding hands with a man I had only just met and I felt so incredibly comfortable with him. I loved how easy it was to talk to him. It was hours, but the time flew and it felt like minutes. It is amazing to me that we had an extra hour that night because the clocks had gone back one hour.  My extra hour was spent holding Goldfinch’s hand and getting to know him. That has to be the best and most memorable way I have ever spent my “extra hour”!

Breakfast, Food, Dish, English BreakfastWe carried on the conversation when we went for breakfast (a full English – vegetarian version for me) on the Sunday morning. I remember wearing a blue dress of mine I love. I wanted to look pretty for him. He then had to leave. He already had plans for the day with friends. He asked if he could come back and see me again later that evening. My heart leapt. He said he would call or send a message to say what time he was able to return to see me.

Throughout that day, I felt doubtful that he would come back again. I went shopping and out for coffee with friends. I didn’t think he would call, I didn’t think he would come. But he did. It was so wonderful. He asked if he could visit me in London the following weekend. I was thrilled.

I remember the following weekend we carried on talking, I asked him a million questions in my earnest desire to get to know him. We walked through the woods nearby the little nest. I told him all about my memories of high school friendships for some strange reason. I loved that we had been holding hands throughout our time together.

love birds.jpgI think he realized I was already becoming very sentimental in my new found enthusiasm for him. He reminded me of what he had told me the week before, he is in England on a temporary basis for work. I tried to reassure him not to worry about me. I understood completely. All I wanted was to enjoy whatever time he had available before he left.

I hope Goldfinch has enjoyed himself even half as much as I have. I have been so happy, so content, so full of love and affection. I sometimes wonder if he has any idea how much of a blessing and bonus to my life he has been.

I cannot ask or expect him to change his plans or the course of his life for me. I know he has to go back to Australia as he said all along.

However, I have realized for some time, that he is one of the few men, perhaps the only man, for whom I would be willing to change my plans, or the course of my life for. But what do you do? What do I do? Sometimes, the turbulence within our own heart makes it so hard to think clearly. What I think I should do is sleep on it.

Woman in bed turning off alarm clock, When Good Habits Go BadThis year I should use my extra hour sleeping, catching up on all the late nights and early mornings with Goldfinch and wake up tomorrow morning refreshed and hopefully with a clear mind.

One thing I have said to him several times is that if he is ever ill…he must call me so I can go over and be his carer (he likes the idea of me being his naughty nurse!) and devote myself to his every need. I do mean it. And to be honest, I can see that for the present, Goldfinch needs and wants his freedom to fly wherever he wants at any moment. The only way he would ever want the permanence I so desire is if his wings were broken. I think then he would be glad and grateful of my steadfast devotion. After working so long in palliative care…I know I have it in me to give him love on a scale he may never have imagined.

I am never going to forget my Goldfinch. He is going to be a part of me for the rest of my existence.

Rachel Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

I am trying to emit sunshine rays….but the block editor is making it hard for me to be all sunshiny! Why is it such a pain? I think these longer posts are especially taxing. A lot of time, patience, frustration and wine went into the production of this post!

Most of you will know Racheal, the creator of Racheal’s Novels, as a great fiction writer (I have a review of one of her books coming up soon). Well, she has also nominated me for THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD, aso you can see from her post below:



The Rules…

  • Thank your nominator.
  • Link or ping the post back to them.
  • Display the picture on your post.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Provide questions for the nominated people you choose.

Questions From Rachel

What was your favourite toy as a young child?

If your house was on fire, which three items would you save?

I think the one I would go for immediately is my grab bag.

My father has prepared us for the possibility of an emergency or unexpected serious event like a natural disaster.  He has always warned us we have no idea how quickly a serious event can develop, weather it be a natural disaster or some kind of political uproar that became inflamed into violent conflict.  We all have grab-bags, which is of course one of the things I would hope to be able to take with me if I have to evacuate home because of a natural disaster.

What do we have in our grab bags?

  • Photocopies of important documents like a passport, birth certificate, driver’s license
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food. (Every year we check the food in our grab-bags is still in date)
  • First aid kit
  • Wind-up torch
  • Wind-up radio (not to listen to my favourite tines)
  • Some cash
  • A list of important contact details and phone-numbers
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Several pairs of clean underwear
  • A little purse with a fold away toothbrush and toothpaste and soap in it
  • A tiny fold up microfiber towel that opens up to be the size of a bath-sheet

So I hope that my grab-bag counts as one item (despite everything that is inside it).

Hiker, Hiking, Backpacker, Backpacking

That allows me two other things.


I am normally a bit of a technophobe.  I have one of these little Alcatel phones at the moment – mainly it stays in the bottom of my handbag for safety reasons. But in all honesty, I think it might be a useful thing to grab.  At least so I could let my family know where I was etc.

I would probably want to grab my hiking boots. I don’t want to find myself stuck without a home without some decent footwear.

How tall are you?

I am five foot eight inches tall.

Fashion, Woman, Clothing, Female

What are your biggest fears?

I think my biggest fears relate not to me but to those I love. I know have been through some of my worst nightmares and come through the other side remarkably well. But I fear somebody I love experiencing intense stress or trials and doing something drastic.

Woman, Despair, Loss, Cover, Sadness

Communicating with your loved ones regularly is important. I think that loved ones should know that if they were ever in trouble, you would be there for them. I want them to know that if ever they faced overwhelming stress, I don’t want them to feel alone.

That is especially important to me because for some bizarre reason I held back from telling my family about how much stress I was under due to the malicious gossip that was being spread about me. They knew a little of what was happening. They knew there was some tension between Jack and I. But they did not know the scale of the torment I received because of him. I don’t know why I let myself become isolated, which made my suffering worse. I knew my family loved me. But for some reason telling them that people I knew and complete strangers were labelling me a slut, a whore, and worse was something I could not do.

I don’t want any of my loved ones go through something like. I want to be there for my loved ones whenever they are in need.

Are you more introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert. I love singing, dancing, laughing, jumping, skipping, splashing in waves.

I am only ever quiet because I love people and I to encourage them to join in the fun! As an extrovert, I have had to learn to let other people flourish and make sure I do not let my exuberance and energy make other people withdraw. A party is not a party unless everyone is having fun!

What was your first pet?

Cat, Tabby, Kitten, Animal, Pet, Paw

The first pet I really remember was our tabby cat. I know we had others (my brother had birds, I believe we had a rabbit) but I was too young to remember them. But I remember our little tabby cat very well.

She was actually our next door neighbour’s cat. They moved away and left her behind. So my parents started feeding her and she moved in with us. She was so small, throughout her life. But she was also very effective huntress.

We adored her – we really really did!

Who is your role model?

I have many. My parents primarily – they are wonderful. So balanced, so wise, so sweet and kind, so cheerful and fun-loving, so hard working and energetic.

Family, Vacations, Together, Leisure

But I have other role models too. Since I began working with charities I have met some incredible people. Many of them have given up lucrative careers to work on an unpaid basis for charities. I have always found their joy and practical wisdom inspiring. They are a continual reminder to me that life is not about what you as a person possess…it’s more about what you give.

Who is your closest friend, and what do you love about them?

Jack has become my closest friend, especially during the course of this year.

If you have been paying attention to anything I have written about Jack and myself, you may realize that nobody else has made quite such a massive impact on my life (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but after everything we have been through, my relationship with him is wholehearted.

My Jack – my heart is full. I feel as if for the past year we have been becoming intricately woven together.

So many of my other friends who I am close to I have not seen for many months. We have kept in touch on the phone and via email, but it is strange.

My best friend Marta moved abroad a couple of years ago. I miss her immensely. But because of Brexit, the company her husband worked for relocated.

What is your favourite quote?

There are lots of quotes I can think of that I like. I like them for different reasons. Some of them I find personally meaningful. Others because I think they are clever. Others because they conjure up such a vivid picture, they are hard to forget.

A friend of ours said on the phone last week: IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS.

It made me laugh because we were discussing some of the plans we have had to put on hold for training volunteers until we work out more details. Basically, lots of volunteers can tune in to a training session remotely, via zoom etx. However, some of older volunteers and others do not have the internet or electronic devices. So, we are looking for a safe venue where we can invite them, assign them seats spread out from each other etc.

We are planning on using a lot of older volunteers in the training program They will share some of their wisdom with younger volunteers about how to keep life simple materially and how to enjoy life in stressful times. There is also going to be some comedy in the program, something Jack is working on with some of his close colleagues.

Video Conference, Skype, Webinar, Video

Anyway…we thought we had found somewhere suitable, but because government guidelines were tweaked again we had to find an alternative location. It’s a headache.

Anyway, we had a conference call about this headache of trying to organize this training session (the headache is organising a safe venue for the volunteers who are not connected to the internet) and suddenly one of our colleagues said: “IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL THE FAT LADY SINGS”. Jack immediately responded, “Melody isn’t fat, she is cuddly”.

He made his own cups of tea for the rest of that day!

Do you have a garden?

It’s not my garden, but there is a garden here at the property where I live that I am allowed to enjoy. I usually do that when the family are away though. I would not want to become annoying to the family by encroaching on their enjoyment of their space.


I have a sweet little courtyard with a table and chairs that I am very content with.

What makes you feel happy?

Lots of things make me happy…creation, family, friends, the volunteers we work with, food, music, ironing, beautiful days with people I love…aaaaah! I’d be happy if I could perfect collages in the new block editor…but still no!

Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees

Dianna Gunn

Dianna Gunn – Spoonie Authors Network

Angela Umphers Rueger

Angela Umphers Rueger – The Abundant Heart


ginnybartolone – Maybe there will be cupcakes…

Phil Wayne

Phil Wayne – The Movie-Addicted Librarian


Kat – NakedPea


mdletshenqobile – LIFE IS ART


micheletrutyDelightfully – Quirky

Greg Forrester

Greg Forrester – Bandit Fiction


Marcosolotravels – My travel diaries


jessepfrancis – Far Far Away

What Did Marta Have To Say About It?

I have a very close friend named Marta. We shared a flat together when I first moved to London along with two other girls. She is one of the people I have been most open with about everything. I opened my heart to her. I love and her trusted her deeply.

Marta has been a huge support to me since I was the victim of a crime in a London park. Prior to that, we had been like best friends for almost five years. I ought to tell you more about Marta in another post because she really is a fascinating person, and has helped people overcome astonishing situations.

She is a very strong woman – mentally strong I mean. That is very important because she works with some very severe cases of mental health.  So, she has been a great listening ear to me since I was attacked and she has helped me hold myself together emotionally and keep my mental balance.

I know that Marta is deeply fond of me.  She loves me to the bones.  She has gone to great lengths to help me since I was attacked.

But leading up to that night, Marta sometimes confused me when it came to how perplexed I was about the challenges with my ex-flatmate, who we are calling Jack Barnes, if you remember from my post:

You see, Marta did not like Jack at all!  She did acknowledge his hard work on behalf of charities she herself felt passionately about.  She approved of his using his influence in a positive way and encouraging young people to get involved with voluntary projects.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fdusigsfdu.pngHowever, Marta was not at all keen on Jack in person.  She did not enjoy his company as she said he always wanted to be the centre of attention.  Marta said Jack was a show-off. For example, Jack spoke several languages fluently, at least eight languages.  He would seize any and every opportunity to use his languages.  So if he met anyone, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Greek, Romanian, German or Polish, he would start chattering away in their language to practice his conversation skills. Marta thought this was pretentious. Marta herself spoke four languages fluently. I did always wonder whether there was a tiny bit of envy on Marta’s side. I don’t know?

Marta was there the first morning I met Jack. We were having breakfast with some friends and he arrived late and he sat opposite me. It appeared that the way I tucked into my stack of pancakes had the ability to captivate him. She always said she had noticed the way he was looking at me and she knew he was going to chase me.

As time went by, she commented more and more on the way Jack and I behaved at parties. She said we both loved to socialize and get involved in dancing and chatting with as many people as possible and we both jumped at the chance to sing. She said she thought he and I could get on very well. However, she also declared that I would be bad for his boastful nature, because I would make him feel even more special, if I responded to his interest.

Marta became engaged to Pedro and when she was planning her wedding she repeatedly asked me if I wanted her to invite Jack, and then seat us together at the wedding reception, because she was sure Jack would be my future husband.

Now, that might sound a bit odd, but sometimes Marta said rather odd things. I never could quite work out her motivation. She thinks outside of the box all the time, she has to working in mental health. For example, she decided she wanted to cure me of my vegetarianism (I have not eaten meat or fish since I was six years old). The way she went about doing this was so bizarre. If we were at dinner and everyone was eating beef, she would moooooo into my ear. If everyone was eating lamb, she would baa baaaa into my ear. Why would making animal noises make me want to start eating meat?

So, I was never really sure if she was trying some kind of reverse psychology on me with what she said about Jack. Was she playing mind games? I could never tell if she wanted to encourage me or discourage me. She has been known on more than one occasion to pontificate about all sorts of subjects and her opinions sometimes knocked me over with the forcefulness they were expressed with. I knew she did not like him. But she kept on saying that he was undoubtedly in love with me.

Can you see why, even though she was my best friend, I didn’t feel I could rely on Marta while I was dealing with the challenges involving my flatmate Jack?

Whispering secretsI had dinner with Marta and her husband Pedro during the week that followed Jack and I sitting down over a cup of tea and Jack saying wonderful things to me. Marta asked me many questions about Jack. She liked to analyse things.

I admitted I was delighted with him and hoped that he was genuine and that now things would be different. I also mentioned that I was a bit worried that there seemed to have been an increase of rumours and it could spoil things again.  Marta had already given me a lot of support already regarding the gossip I was made a subject of and had actively tried to stamp out rumours.  Now as Marta could be very strong with her words, I was not sure how much I could believe what she told me next:

Mel, you do realize that he is the one that started all these rumours and he keeps on feeding them – it’s all his fault!

I glanced at Pedro who seemed to have been studying my reaction.  Pedro nodded with an apologetic look.

Pedro, tell Mel what he was telling everyone at lunch on Monday.

Pedro looked anxious, “I don’t think you really want to know Mel.

Marta objected, “Tell her.  She needs to know.  She thinks he is wonderful, but she needs to know what he is really saying.

Tie, Necktie, Adjust, Adjusting, ManPedro readjusted his tie uncomfortably as if he would prefer not to be getting involved at all, “He was talking rubbish. He told a group during a business lunch that you had sent him a love letter, that you are obsessed with him, that you think you are married to him.”

I could not help a flush of embarrassment colouring my face, “I sent him a thank you card.” I started to wish that I had not of course.

There’s more Mel, tell her Pedro.”

Pedro was more firm in his response.  He stated emphatically, “I do not believe it is going to help Mel.”

Marta raised her eyebrows at Pedro and turned to me and said, “He gave them the impression that you had thrown yourself at him. He said you have expressed your passion for him, and that since he is a man he thought he may as well make the most of it and let you.”

What! What does that mean Marta? Express my passion? Is that what he actually said?

Marta nodded, while Pedro shook his head, “No, he didn’t say that. Mel, you know what a bunch of guys can be like. It was the other guys who were teasing him. They were saying stuff like you have been harbouring a secret passion for him all the time you have been living together in the same flat. Someone said he should be scared that one night he will walk into his room and find you waiting for him in his bed. Someone else started pushing him to admit that something must have already happened between you and him. A few of the guys were saying some pretty crude stuff, I am not going to upset you Mel – you know what guys can be like when they have had a pint of beer.”

My head was reeling a little envisioning the scene Pedro had just described. I felt provoked but in my determination to see Jack in a positive light I asked Pedro, “What I want to know is what did he say? Did he make sure they knew nothing has happened?

Mel, he tried to stop them once he realized they were going too far and being pretty insulting. But as soon as he tried to shut it down, someone pulled out their phone and started showing everyone a photo someone had posted on a Whatsapp group of you and him together, where you are letting him feel your behind. Jack just tried to laugh it off.


I felt emotions start to flow like lava within me. The happiness my flatmate Jack had elicited within me during our chat over a cup of tea, was now draining out of me like fast flowing water disappearing down a plughole. All sorts of words went through my mind, words that my mother would never let me say out loud.

Marta saw that I had finally had enough. Tears were starting to brim. She sat close to me and gave me one of her huge hugs.

Just in case you are new to my posts, this is going to make a bit more sense once you read:



via PONTIFICATE — Word of the Day Challenge