I ended up meeting him. He seemed fine. Relaxed, well-groomed and happy to see me. It was a bit weird to be honest. I mean, it was just a joke. A prank. I hadn’t actually expected him to show up. But there he was, as real as me and in the flesh. Firm handshake, white teeth, welcoming smile with a look that said “Can you believe this?”
Only I couldn’t because it never happened.
The reason we were there was false. The idea that we knew each other just a work of fiction. Created by me.
“Hey man, it’s me…remember we met up in Ibiza last year? We should hook up for the laugh”.
I don’t know why I wrote that. Just flicking through pictures of friends and friends of friends and there he was; with Caroline, at a bar, sun setting on the horizon, cocktails, tans and a busy beach.
Two weeks later: “Hey man, yeah let’s do that. I remember you well”.
So there we were. In the front bar of the Shearton Hotel. Him reminiscing about the two of us in Ibiza the summer before – who we saw, what we did, where we went. Only I hadn’t been there. Have never been there.
Should I tell him? How do I tell him? ‘Hey listen man, sorry about this but I was drunk that night and just did that for the laugh’.
So I did. I said that. He looked blankly at me as if the words hadn’t reached him.
“No, no. I remember you. It was great”.
But…I hadn’t been there. Why was he saying that?
I told Caroline.
She showed me her pictures of that holiday last year.
Her, him and me.