Right so here's what happened when I had it stop by for tea and nibbles.
I had his favourite tea because I'm lovely that way.
I made the fish and prawn pastie thing he loved so much. Once again because I'm really lovely.
The kids were playing. We sat outside at the small table in the garden.
And I took a deep breath and spoke.
"Martin," I said. "I think we should talk.
"Oh," he said. "I....I'm sorry I don't think we should."
I was confused.
"I just have a feeling you're going to talk about couples therapy and maybe trying to get back together and I'll always love you 'Manda, but..."
"No! That's not....what? No!"
"Oh?" He gave me this dumb look of confusion which made him look dumb and not handsome and I wanted to take his silly little ascot off and toss it to the ground for his presumptuous assholery....dick. "It's just that you got me the good tea and made the pasties."
"What? I was just being lovely...which is a thing I often am!"
He gave me a blank look. Asshole.
"Well," He said. "Thank....you?"
"Ugh!" I sat back in my chair and stared at him for a second.
Why was I trying to be nice to my ex again? Why was I trying to help him find a new someone?
He sat back too and he had this little look on his face which he did with one of the roles once. I can't recall one as they often blend together. Was it Hector or John who did the weird smile thing? I started to run through the various roles he's played and I wound around to Fargo and Lester. I remembered how they picked on poor Lester in that scene. When I watched it with him I got so upset. Poor Lester being picked on reminded me of poor little Martin being picked on. I never told him exactly why because I didn't want to bring that up and also I didn't want to face what it might mean for us then...we were already so on edge. But Martin was picked on when he was a child. From the time he was little boy up on. He never went too far into what they said or how they said it save one time where he told me about him and a friend. He and this little boy were really good friends who played with each other every day. And then one day when they were 12 Martin realised he wanted to kiss the little boy so he did one day after school. The little boy said nothing. So Martin went home thinking nothing of it. But the next day he came to school and all the teasing started. And it didn't end for years. He found a way around it in many ways, but it stayed with him. It STILL stays with him. I sighed. That's why...that's why I'm helping him.
I looked over at him.
"Hmm," he said without over at me. Just focusing out on the new flowers I just replanted.... EXPERTLY replanted and ignore anyone who said they're already dying.
He turned to look at me, but I couldn't look back so I just stared at my not dying flowers instead. I was going to do this. I didn't have to look at him while I was doing this.
"He's...I dunno," Martin said. "Why do you ask?"
I took a breath. "I think he's in love with you, Martin."
"What?" He kept looking at me, eyes narrowed. I kept looking at the possibly not quite alive flowers.
I bit my lip and soldiered on. "And I think....I think you have feelings for him."
I had never said this aloud before.
I had never said this in therapy.
I had never truly admitted it until that moment.
But it was the truth.
He slumped back in the chair and stared ahead. He didn't say anything for a long while. He gave a sigh. His phone chimed. Mine did as well. We both ignored them.
One minute rolled into another and another. The kids trod over my flowers. I considered yelling at them, but realised this meant I could say it was their fault the flowers died and definitely not my great gardening skills. So I smiled and remained silent...waiting. Which is very hard for me. I'm chatty. I talk. But he needed this and I needed to be the one to give it to him.
And if you want to call me a saint then...okay yeah sure you're probably right. I am a saint. A fucking super amazing fucking saint. Francis and Teresa and all those other saints...nothing like this. Super Saint Me.
Then he cleared his throat twice.
This is one of his many tells.
When Martin Freeman clears his throat twice it means he's about to say something important and truthful.
He sat up straight, placed his hands on the table as if ground himself, then looked at me.
"He's married and I'm....an old man."
I looked at him.
I didn't know what to say to that.
Ben is married.
Martin is old.
Yes he's still hot, but he is old.
Saying he's old could mean a lot of things, but I think he meant that he's set in his ways and a bit scared to do things differently.
What would it even mean if things somehow worked out with them?
They both come out of the closet as what? Bi? No matter what people will call them gay and their careers....who knows.
Would Ben leave Sophie? He seems to really like having a wife.
Would Martin become the wife while Ben goes off making movies?
I get it.
It's a hard situation to figure out.
He had to leave soon after so we didn't go further into it. The kids needed things and that always takes priority. I had to go learn lines for an audition.
And I suppose that's that for now.