The first time I met your mother, she was on the checkout at Booth’s Supermarket and she served me as I bought Blue Nun, breath mints and a 12pack of condoms.
“Want to join me?” I said, going for hilarious, sexy and the right amount of earnest.
“ID?” she said.
The second time I met your mother, I didn’t recognize her in the crowd. I fancied my chances with her all over again, earlier memories of a blonde checkout girl blurred by Guinness and the thrill of the chase.
“Hey,” I said.
“What time's your mum picking you up?” she said.
The third time I met your mother, we were both collecting our children from the school gate. Your brother Jamie played in the sandpit with my Lucy nearly every day. Sometimes they played shops. She sold him plastic potatoes and he would cook her dinner.
The next time I met your mother, she had taken Jamie to live in a flat above a shop without telling her husband where she was. I was flat hunting too, somewhere with room for Lucy to visit at weekends.
The best time I met your mother, she was struggling upstairs at the Housing Office, shopping in one hand and Jamie’s balled up fist in the other. The handle of a carrier bag broke and tins tumbled over the landing as I hurried past to a meeting. I chased the beans Jamie had kicked down the stairs and helped repack the bags.
I met your mother for coffee next day and then most days after. I met Jamie – properly – and she met Lucy in the ball pit at McDonalds. The estate agent met us at the house, but one at a time as we took turns to babysit.
We met you together.