The week passed quickly and unfortunately she didn’t see David after Valentine’s day. Soon came the day she had to go back to LA for two more months of shooting.
On her first day back she found out about the ‘Whatsonstage’ Award, which made her say what she was truly feeling “If I knew I’d start getting recognized by my stage work I wouldn’t have come”. She loved doing The Office, but she loved being on stage more and she loved David…
“Don’t even go there, Catherine Ford.” she said to herself.
Only David could get her to believe in silly love songs and romance. David who was a married man with a baby girl that was not even one year old yet.
The days passed by slowly, and the two – supposedly best friends – shared a few e-mails and an odd phone call and Catherine could feel them drifting apart.
She tried to remember how long that has been going on. How long has she been falling in love with him? Did she do anything to stop it? Could she do anything if she realized it before? Would she?
David and Georgia were having a quiet dinner for the first time in a while.
“Are you sure Olive is ok? She is too quiet.”
“I’m sure she is ok, I left her with my mum. We need this, David.” she smiled and held his hand over the table and he wanted to cry. “Are you ok?” she asked, realizing something was off.
“I’m so sorry.”
“What happened?” she stood up to hug him, but he felt dirty. Even though he’d fallen in love with Catherine without any thought put into it, he made a promise to Georgia. “You cheated on me didn’t you?” she said with a tone in her voice he’d never heard coming from anyone. It was deep and sad with a little of a conformity he didn’t understand. “I just, I just knew it would happen one day…” she sat on the chair, her shoulders feeling too heavy for her to stay up.
“I didn’t sleep with anyone. I, I didn’t…” he didn’t even know what to say. Every thing nowadays glamourized cheating so much, but he felt terrible and given how apart him and Catherine were from each other emotionally, she didn’t feel right either.
“Falling in love is also cheating, kissing and dreaming about a future with someone that’s not me is cheating.” she took a shaky breath trying not to cry. “Is it Catherine?” There was a long silence between them after that question and she gave him a sad smile. “You two are perfect for each other. I just kept waiting for the day that would happen. My mother told me to keep an eye open for Billie, but I know you so well…” her voice broke in the end of the sentence.
She wanted to beg for something she couldn’t define what was, tell him to stay. He wasn’t saying he was leaving, he wasn’t packing up bags and leaving her, except he was. He said ‘I do’ already in love with someone else and not even noticing the damage he could cause. She wanted to make him chose, but knew she would lose, she kept looking for something to say until she had nothing in her mind but a broken heart.
At this point he was crying too; his feelings all over the place, he had the impression they could permanently stain the carpet and the walls.
“When…?” she half-asked, she was afraid of the answer but something within her needed to know.
“We really didn’t have sex…”
“I don’t care, just tell me when!” she sounded desperate, but controlled. She wouldn’t scream, she wouldn’t give a show. Not her.
“Valentine’s day.” he whispered, he felt like he owned her the answer but still didn’t want to say.
She gave out a dry laugh and started to neatly fold the napkins on the table.
“Georgia, talk to me.” he pleaded.
“The worst part is that I really believed we would grow old together, it seems silly now, doesn’t it?”
She stood up and left. Just needing to drive somewhere and put her thoughts in place.
And David stayed in the same place he was when it all started, trying to finish one quiet dinner.
She had started writing the e-mail at least ten times now. They all ended up sounding childish and selfish and they all in some part had ‘I heard what happened between you and Georgia’, but that sounded shallow like a gossip, made her feel like a teenager whose crush was finally single.
Someone knocked on the door of the flat and she prayed it was Simon (Pegg), because she needed an old friend right now. And she almost stopped breathing when she saw who it was.
“Hey.” she said.
“Hey” he answered without looking at her in the eyes.
“Are you here to take me to a romantic dinner in a posh restaurant with Andrea Bocelli playing in the background while the credits roll in this movie?” she said impulsively.
“Aren’t you the woman who hates love songs and romantic comedies?” he asked finally looking at her.
“Are you ok?”
“Not really, but definitely better now.” he smiled for the first time in a while and she had to push him a little before moving so he could go in.
“Do you believe we have a choice in who we fall in love with?” he sat in the couch and she bit back an answer she had ready for this, so she decided to be honest.
“I think it is partially a choice, you choose to stay close to people, you don’t maintain a relationship with everyone you meet. I don’t believe in love at first sight because I believe love is a process; you fall in love with little actions, little facts, things in common, things that make you different from each other. I believe that when you love someone, the more you know the person, the more you love them. But that doesn’t mean you will indulge their every step, there is always some little quirk that will drive you mental, but loving is knowing those little things are just that, little things in the big picture.” she was never one to drink alcoholic beverages, but she in that moment she understood why some people kept that bad habit.
He looked at her wanting to talk about what happened in that doomed dinner but he felt there was more in the definition of love on the Catherine Tate dictionary. “Go on. I know you want to say something else. I know you.”
“There is…” she bit her lip trying to think of a way of finishing her thoughts without making her feelings too known, too obvious. “Love is friendship, you can’t fall for someone you don’t trust, someone you don’t want to be around of just for the sake of it. When you love you just want to be near, even if it’s just to watch a rented movie and eat take outs. Love is demanding, but of really small things; it just needs time and acceptance, and a good dose of trust and good humor. You need to be able to laugh at life together and know that through thick or thin you are together, you are not alone…” she took a deep breath. “Maybe that’s why is so easy to fall in love with your best friend.” There, she said it.
“I love you too.” he said after a few long minutes of silence.
She wanted to be bold enough to stand up and kiss the daylights out of him, but she had the presence of mind to know he was hurting.
“You could take me to that dinner with Andrea Bocelli playing in the background once we are back to London.” she said making him smile. Only after she got him to smile that she asked “What are you even doing here? By the way.”
“I missed you and didn’t know when you were going back…”
“Have we got that apart?” she breathed the question out.
“It does seem that way.” he said sadly.
“I go back tomorrow, you idiot.” he groaned when she said that.
“I will have to be on a plane that soon?”
“It does seem that way.” she answered with a cheeky grin.
He leaned back on the couch almost laying down. “I’m tired.”
“That would be nice.”
They talked for hours about everything, David told her about the talk he had with Georgia, they talked about work projects and how the last few weeks had been.
“When we get to London I want to talk to Georgia, ok?” she said snuggling on his shoulder.
“Never let anything stop us from talking, please?” he said when she was almost falling asleep on the couch.
“Of course, love. But why are you saying that now?” she said sleepily.
“I guess I’ve grown accustomed to your face.” he said in the most sweet voice he could muster.
She laughed and started singing between yawns “I’ve grown accustomed to her face. She almost makes the day begin…”
“Could you not sing and let me sleep?”
“I was the one almost sleeping and I let you finish your song that day…” she said putting a hand on his chest. “I’ve grown accustomed to the tune she whistles night and noon. Her smiles, her frowns, her ups and downs…” her voice started trail off and David would never admit how much he loved when she sang, or how much that song reminded him of her since he could remember. For when they were together just laughing and being, that was second nature to them now. He looked down and saw her sleeping, he kissed the tip of her nose and put a peck on her lips and very gently to not wake her up he laid her down so he could spoon on her on the big couch.
“Like breathing out and breathing in” he whispered before kissing her shoulder and falling asleep.