Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and that can mean only one thing. Half of Imperial will be burning through their student loans in order to pay for an unforgettable night of passion with their respective beau or paramour. The other half will be watching Love Actually in the dark with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s – totally sarcastically, of course. After my last relationship, I’ve regretfully resigned myself to the latter category.
We first met in Starbucks. Forsaking the cornucopia of caffeine of the baristas, I opted for a healthy bottle of water. However, the next customer in line took offence at this, being as he was the Insanely Wired Coffee Wizard. I trembled in fear as I stared into his crazy, bloodshot eyes. Buzzing with rage, he thrust me against the sandwich shelf and unscrewed the lid of his Thermos of Doom. I had disrespected his beverage once; I wouldn’t live to do so again.
But amidst the sea of frightened coffee-shop patrons, my saviour arose. The coffee around me was as black as night, before a sudden almighty crash! The Coffee Wizard crumpled to the floor, crumbs cascading down his greasy locks. Behind him, holding the broken remains of a three-day-old panino, stood Breakfast-Spread Girl. Yes, Breakfast-Spread Girl – jamming up the toaster of evil with her butterknife of justice! Despite narrowly avoiding a caffeinated fate, my heart began to race and I began to sweat. I wasn’t high on coffee, I was high on love.
After a manly bout of swooning, I woke up in the firm but graceful arms of Breakfast-Spread Girl. Fearing for my blood sugar, she immediately offered me an emergency dollop of honey. As I took it, our hands touched, our eyes met and there were three heaped teaspoons of magic in the air.
Breakfast-Spread Girl might not be the prettiest superhero – indeed, she couldn’t hold a candle to the more attractive (albeit rather ineffectual) Glamour Woman – but she had a quiet sexiness about her, in a junior librarian kind of way. No, like a butter-laden crumpet, her true beauty lay within. She was smart and funny and had a wit you could cut cheese with. Also, her hair smelt like cinnamon. Whenever I saw her, my legs went weaker than cottage cheese on crackers.
And for a time, things were like golden syrup. I was stuck on her and she was so sweet on me. My housemates were naturally jealous, saying how jammy I was to be dating a superhero – it drove them nutella!
But life is short and these sticky entanglements are all too fleeting. At first, it was just the small things. I fancied raspberry jam, she favoured strawberry. Then I wanted to switch to margarine and she would hear none of it. I knew we were having problems when we were fighting over which bread was superlative. Wholemeal was better for you, I argued – but white tastes nice toasted, she countered. But foolishly I dismissed these as the differences that endear couples to each other. How wrong I was.We were watching a movie one night, The Breakfast Club I think, round her place, bodies close and toast at hand. And then, out of the blue, she said those words that would change our relationship forever.
“I think I’ll have some marmite. Do you want some?” The relationship had landed butter-side down.
I suppose, on reflection, all that sugar wasn’t good for me. Admittedly, my dentist had said so from the start but I think he was just jealous. But Breakfast-Spread Girl was so sweet. She spread sunshine across my life, and wasn’t sparing with the portions either. It pains me to think that she’s out there now, fighting crime, while I’m here alone, buttering my own bread.
But she did teach me that love is out there and, like the peach preserve at the back of the supermarket shelf, you just have to reach for it…
…Even if it leaves crumbs on the sheets.