Not the best breakup in the whole world

There’s good reason I’ve given up chasing people that I take a fancy to. If you have to convince someone to fall for you, I don’t think that’s a very good sign that it’s going to stay that way for any length-of time. If someone’s going to find me attractive, I want them to think of it first, and not have me tell them to. And if they refuse you, you’ll look like a fool. and if they don’t refuse you, they’re probably married.

I’ve not had a very nice history with boys. I suppose I chased Jack, or rather I wasn’t very hard to get. Or rather, I didn’t run in the opposite direction quite as fast as I should have done.

He was an actor, appearing at the theatre where I worked backstage. We all would go out, and drink too much, and dance and sing and revel until the wee small hours, and I ended up … one of the actors – Jack – with surprising regularity, and being very smug and pleased with myself about it too.
We’d see each other at work, in the darkened hall while the play was

on, and sit and whisper and giggle on the stairs, share a cigarette, or a coffee. Generally be cute. You get the idea.

One day, at work, somewhere around Act 2, Scene 3, he found me in my favourite smoking spot (the stairs near stage door) and asked if we could talk. We had, at this point, been seeing each other for about five weeks. He looked serious. I was guarded… He: Do you want to sit down?

He: I think you should.
She: I’d rather not.
He: Anna, I don’t want to upset you too much…

She: You won’t.
He: But I’m not sure how else to say this…
She: mhm…
He: My wife…
She: What wife?
He: My wife… she’s in labour.
She: …
He: …Anna? …
She: What, Now?
He: As we speak.
She: I see. I don’t think I want to talk to you any more.

And that, as they say, was that. His daughter—his second child, please note—was born 10 minutes later. I’ve never felt so bad in all my life. But was I to blame? How could I be when I didn’t know?

Am I supposed to double check at the beginning of each flirtation? “So, tell me again, let me get this straight, You are a: not married, and b: do not presently have a bun in someone-else’s oven.” Perhaps may sound a little paranoid, no?

The loud American boy is coming back to the island tonight, with other friends, and people I shall be glad to see, and when they leave tomorrow I shall go back with them to the outdoor centre where they work—Camas, about three miles away from here, on Mull—and hide there for a couple of days.

I shan’t be updating this while I’m there; they haven’t any electricity, so it would be hard. But I’ll try and come back again tonight or tomorrow before I go…