Year 1 of Being In Love With Ollie starts on a bleary September day.
"My name is Ollie Plimsolls," says the tiny man on the stage, "and I'm directing this production. I am also the leading - well, I am the only actor."
He pushes his glasses back up his nose and stares into the audience expectantly. A few pub guests clap politely.
Phil stares at Ollie's jumper, a vomit yellow monstrosity that is at least 3 sizes too big for him.
Ollie bows a bit.
"Today I will be performing a play about the kaleidoscope of human emotions in all their complexi-"
"Get fucking going," exclaims a mildly intoxicated gentleman in the first row.
Ollie throws a dirty look in his direction.
"Curtain, please," he shouts.
A single white towel slowly sinks down from the ceiling. Ollie stares at it for a bit.
"Sorry, mate. It was the only thing we could find," says the bar man.
"Right," says Ollie.
He takes a step forward and clears his throat.
It's loud, it's mildly terrifying and it convinces Phil that Ollie Plimsolls has completely and utterly lost his marbles, if he ever had any in the first place.
It also makes Phil want to take him home and do very kaleidoscopic and complex things to him on his couch.
And that is precisely why he's standing before him an hour later, extending a hand.
"Hi," he says. "I'm Phil and I'm an actor."
"I love you," says Ollie.
"I love you, too," says Linda with a smile on her face.
"I hate my life," says Phil and takes another swig from the wine bottle.
He had seen it coming ever since Ollie introduced her in their dingy rehearsal room a few months ago.
"This is Linda” he'd said and Phil's face had broken into a wide, automatic smile.
And now they're slowly swaying back and forth to the ticking of the big clock on the marketplace while Phil sits in the middle of the street and drinks his weight in wine.
"I hate my life," he repeats for good measure.
He stares ahead in solemn desperation as the fireworks skyrocket around them while Ollie stands on his toes and kisses her. Phil finishes the wine bottle in a few large gulps.
Then he throws up.
This is the start of Year 2 of Being In Love With Ollie.
"I'm getting married," says Ollie during Year 3 of Being In Love With Ollie.
"Excuse me for a moment," says Phil.
He goes to his room and calmly takes his old baseball bat from behind the bed. He then starts beating said bed with said old baseball bat, calmly, for a few minutes.
Ollie is staring at him when he comes back out.
"Mosquito," says Phil.
"I spent your next wage on her ring," says Ollie.
Phil contemplates using his baseball bat on him.
Later, during a very silent evening meal, Ollie touches Phil’s hand softly.
"Will you be my best man?" he asks. His voice is shaky.
Phil draws in a very deep breath.
"Yes," he says. "Yes, of course."
"You may now kiss the bride," says the vicar.
"For better or for worse, 'til death has mercy on my soul and do us part," mumbles Phil.
Dave elbows him in the side. Phil stands up and claps.
"Four fucking years," he slurs an hour later at the party where he expects Dave's ear to be.
"Write a book on it," says Dave.
"Maybe I will," says Phil.
"4 Years of Being In Love With Ollie: How I Didn't Survive."
Dave buys him another beer.
During Year 5 of Being In Love With Ollie Linda leaves him.
"She said I wasn't manly enough for her," scoffs Ollie with tears running down his face.
He breaks a pencil to demonstrate his manliness. Phil practices his impressed face that he needs for Ollie's current production 'Balls, Balls & Fannies' (a play about gender roles in football) and pats his back helplessly.
They spend the rest of the night watching Bridget Jones while Ollie stuffs his face with ice cream. Phil manages to withhold any comments, even though they're directing a small French revolution in his head.
After 5 Years of Being In Love With Ollie Phil decides that enough is enough.
"I'm starting an anti-Ollie-therapy," he tells Dave on a bleary September day. "I'll just stop talking to him or looking at him."
"You live with him, Phil," says Dave. "And he's your boss."
Phil had a feeling there was a flaw in his plan somewhere.
"I'm going to kill him and bury him under my floorboards," he tells Dave a few hours later.
Dave adds some more coffee to his mug of sugar and stirs it leisurely.
"You have my full permission," he says.
Phil spends the evening reading up on murder charges and decides that maybe he should use less permanent measures.
"This has to work. I have the perfect plan," he tells Dave on the next day.
"I'm sure you do," says Dave and turns a page of his newspaper.
"There's no reason why it shouldn't work. It's simple, yet genius. I don't know why I never thought of it before. I'll just stop being in love with him."
The newspaper makes a rustling noise as Dave turns another page.
"Good luck with that," he says and Phil decides that it could be seen as branding applause and praise if you stood on your head and squinted a bit.
And thus starts Week 1 of Not Being In Love With Ollie.
During Week 8 of Not Being In Love With Ollie, Phil ends up on his knees in front of him, trying to open his fly with fumbling fingers.
"What the fuck am I doing," says Ollie and grabs the edge of the table.
"Shh," says Phil and pulls his pants down.
Admittedly the current situation is a bit of a throwback concerning his brilliant plan but Phil is confident that it shouldn't really interfere with the Not Being In Love thing.
Ollie grabs a fistful of Phil's hair and makes a noise that sounds a lot like a helpless kitten.
Phil decides that Ollie is making Not Being In Love unecessarily difficult.
"Oh my god, I'm gay," is the first thing Ollie says after his brain stops dribbling out of his ears.
"Who ou'd a'e ough," says Phil and raises his eyebrows.
"What," says Ollie.
Phil spits discreetly into a handkerchief.
"Who would have thought," he repeats, his eyebrows travelling even higher.
"Please stop being sarcastic, Phil. I'm trying to have a Sexual Identity Crisis," says Ollie and tries to will his face into looking disapproving.
Phil feels smug.
At the beginning of Week 9 of Not Being In Love With Ollie, Phil sets his facebook relationship status to "It's complicated".
"What's so complicated about that," Ollie pants between rhythmic thrusts that send Phil on a sliding adventure through their kitchen.
Phil finds that Ollie is right, but it doesn't really count because he would have agreed to anything in that moment.
During Week 17 of Not Being In Love With Ollie, Phil decides that despite the fact that their facebook is set to "In a relationship" he is definitely still Not In Love With Ollie. He made a promise to himself after all.
"I'm not in love with you," he tells him over the breakfast table.
"I can't believe they cut the budget of state theatres short again!" shouts Ollie, waving the newspaper around wildly with pages flying around everywhere, glasses slipping off his nose and hanging from one ear in an odd angle.
Phil's heart does a little flutter.
He stares morosely at the PM's face currently being soaked by the butter on Phil's toast and hates himself a little.
"6 years," says Ollie during Week 60 of Not Being In Love With Ollie.
"Yeah," says Phil and stares at the TV.
"Why didn't you say anything?" asks Ollie, his voice quiet.
"Well, what was I supposed to say," says Phil a little angrily, "congratulations on your engagement and oh, by the way, I'm in love with you?"
Ollie doesn't say anything.
They meet Linda on a bleary September day, in the middle of Tesco.
"Nice weather isn't it?" she says, looking at the grey sky outside.
"Yeah," says Ollie.
They stand and stare at each other for a few moments while Phil studies a box of eggplants intently.
"Well," says Linda.
"It was nice to see you," says Ollie.
She looks up and her expression is very, very soft.
"Yes. Yes it was," she says, and somehow she sounds sad.
Phil touches Ollie's shoulder when they're back outside.
"Are you okay?" he asks.
Ollie bites his lips. "Yes. Yes, I think I am," he says.
Phil's fingers slide down Ollie's arm until they curl around his small hand.
"I'm sorry," says Phil.
"I love you," says Ollie. Then: "Let's go home."
Phil stops counting.