All Jen said was that we found it really difficult getting out of bed when we were on holiday, we were so exhausted, and it was true too, we were like teenagers again, lying in till midday. But the moment she said it I saw the look on Gareth’s face, and he might as well have raised an eyebrow, smirked and put finger quotes around difficult: you were in bed, right, sleeping, finding it ‘difficult’ to get out. Sure, Jen could’ve worded it differently – we slept a lot on holiday – but her words were innocent enough, so I made a mental note – Gareth’s still a dick – and ignored him. I wasn’t going to let him frustrate me anymore.
But the next time I saw him, at a barbecue at Rachel and Kevin’s, the first thing he said after saying hello was, sleep well last night?
I said, what do you mean? I saw raised eyebrows, smirks, finger quotes, but he just said, what do you mean, what do you mean? I said, come on. Why are you asking how I slept? He said, just making conversation. I said, and that’s your opening gambit? Sleep well last night? Not what’ve you been up to? Not how’s Jen? He said, all right, calm down. I was only asking.
Only asking? I said. Why? Is my sleep important to you?
No, he said. I felt like asking, you know. You said you’d been sleeping a lot, didn’t you, last time I saw you.
I saw the smirk again, the eyebrow, the finger quotes.
Fuck off, Gareth. Sometimes sleeping is just that – sleeping.
He said, I know, what’s up with you, and raised his hands like he was the innocent one, but all I saw were finger quotes.
I punched him and left.
On the way home Jen asked why I’d done it, so I told her about his innuendo, his eyebrows and smirks and finger quotes. She said, but that’s exactly what we were doing. I know, I said, but I didn’t want him to know, did I?