I inherit my friend Lucy's boyfriend Piers when she moves on to someone else. I am in ecstasy - I've had a secret crush on him for ages; actually it probably wasn't such a secret as I am one of life's blushers and he may have noticed my rapid change of colour whenever he appears. He has dark hair, crinkly eyes and a thin top lip that I find both strangely repulsing and enticing at the same time. The only fault I can find with him is that he is very attached to his tambourine and carries it around at all times - he is musical so I suppose this eccentricity can be forgiven, but in retrospect I can't decide if he was more Liam Gallagher or Linda McCartney
To be honest, although delighted to be the Chosen One, I feel that Piers is totally out of my league and can't understand why I am honoured with his attentions. He says he likes me because I am funny and make him laugh (Note to those looking for lurve - it is OK to tell a woman she is funny, but start with something a little more romantic - it will be appreciated). This is not what I want him to say, but I decide to work on improving my traditional girlfriend qualities.
One Saturday afternoon we go back to his school (he is a boarder). His study is full of lads who have been invited to meet me (great - a mass inspection - just what a girl needs for a confidence boost).
Piers says: 'Come on Renka - say something funny. I've told everyone you're the funniest girl I've ever gone out with' (See what I mean - that 'funniest girl' doesn't have the same ring as 'nicest', 'sexiest', 'loveliest' does it?)
This, I feel, also says a fair amount about his former girlfriends (and him) as I am not exactly Dorothy Parker, more Lady Penelope's Parker.
I'm not saying I'm Scheherazade -but I'm beginning to see how she must have felt - performing to order. Achieving the ultimate prize isn't exactly what I thought it would be and has a detrimental effect on my sense of humour. When I'm with Piers I can hardly speak, my throat constricts and my tongue turns to cardboard; I feel undeserving and hence can think of nothing to say. After a few weeks of this he dumps me (kindly - as he is a nice person); initially devastated I survive and decide to seek boyfriends who can make me laugh.
I was reminded of this episode when rummaging through my jewellery box recently and came across the silver charm bracelet I always wore as a teenager. Inside the miniature Aladdin's lamp was a piece of cotton from one of his shirts, it had got snagged on my bracelet and I had kept it like a piece of some saint's thigh bone in a tiny religious reliquary.