“Thank you for coming to see me,” I say to Seb. He’s here, he’s actually here in my flat. He’s been to visit a university and his train brought him back to Euston and now here he is – the best surprise visitor there could possibly be.
“That’s quite alright,” he says, smiling at me, taking a puff of his new electronic device. It’s a long glass tube that resembles a thermometer and glows blue.
He looks gorgeous, as always: the sleeves of his white and blue striped shirt rolled up almost to the elbow. Even in old faded jeans and trainers so elderly that I can’t define their colour he looks fresh and clean.
“Let’s go in the nest,” I say, and we clamber in there, pulling one furry blanket across underneath us and the other one on top, over our legs.
“I’m reading this book, you’d like it actually,” he says, taking a book out of his bag. “It’s about Rewilding and…”
“Yes! I like that,” I say. “Chris Packham talked about it when he came to talk to us in the village. He thinks that reintroducing wolves would be a problem because they’d kill livestock but lynx could work – they’re very secretive and wouldn’t be any trouble and…are you going to contact that chap with the big estate in Scotland?”
Seb smiles. “I’m going to go and see him,” he says.
“That’s so exciting,” I say. Seb has decided to study Conservation and Ecology and it’s brilliant for him, of course it is, but it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and we could do it together but I’m too ill. Must be supportive, I remind myself. Must not whimper about him doing it without me.
It has long been my dream to live in the wild studying animals and now he’s going to do it without me. Life is cruel, I think.
We decide to watch Nowhere Boy. We enjoy the acting and the look of the film but the depiction of John’s mother as a manic depressive who couldn’t look after him is very upsetting.
Close to tears for much of the film, I grasp Seb’s hand and rest my head on his shoulder.
“He’s great, this young chap,” Seb says. He used to be an actor and has relaxed some of his rules, now he’s been out of the monastery for a while. He’s not meant to watch films but he does so now.
“Yeah, he’s nineteen here,” I say. “The director, Sam Taylor Wood, married him and they’ve had two children now. She was about forty.”
“Extraordinary,” Seb says.
“He’s lovely isn’t he?” I say. “I bet John Lennon didn’t really have such big arm muscles.”
The film gets even more horrible and by the end I’m quite shaken.
“I’ve got an episode of that series about Yellowstone recorded,” I say.
“Let’s watch that,” Seb says.
It’s winter in Yellowstone and the elk are rutting. Beavers are building dams, wolves are hunting. Ahhhhh this is better. Holding Seb’s hand, resting my head on his shoulder, I feel happy.
“Tanya, I have to go, it’s getting late,” he says, at the end of the programme. Climbing on top of him, I bend my head down and then we’re snogging and we have an intense snogging session for a good ten minutes or so before I let him go. He seems to have relaxed the no-sexual-misconduct rule too. The rutting stags have had the desired effect on him, I think…