I think there's been a murder on our street. I type sitting on the fire escape of the apartment building to try and get a better look. There are police cars all over the road, forensic types in white and lots of men in uniform standing hands on hips scowling. Monkey tried to hit them up for information on his way to work this morning but they were tight lipped. And they haven't done any door-to-door, annoyingly, and I simply cannot leave the flat when I'm this jet-lagged. Dubai to Los Angeles is a fucking long way, people. It may well be anywhere between ten o'clock at night and three in the afternoon, my body simply couldn't begin to hazard a guess.
Of course, what I should be doing, but what I am not doing, nor really have any intention of doing, is looking at bridal magazines. I have, as it transpires, no idea how to plan a wedding. My idea of a wedding is a ceremony with no more than ten guests then a pub and maybe a long weekend in Paris afterwards, but this apparently this is simply unthinkable. I wanted to do it somewhere abroad - Monkey's brigade are from Dallas, my father is in Los Angeles, my mother is mostly in Oxfordshire but London is my home...so I quite wanted to marry quietly in, say, the Caribbean or a small Indian Ocean island and without any family at all, thanks all the same. But this isn't allowed either.
It doesn't help that until a matter of weeks ago I was actually single. I mean, mostly single. To clarify: my life had become a little bit like season 9 of The X-Files, in which I'm Scully, Monkey is Mulder and various Possibles are Doggett. To the effect of: I quite liked various Doggetts. I even went on dates with the Doggetts. But although Monkey was gone in a very real sense, in many also literal senses he wasn't - he would swing by whenever he was in London, he would ring me up, he would, in short, like Mulder, keep re-appearing unexpectedly before disappearing, and each time might be the last time, and although the Doggetts were really nice, ultimately, none of them were Mulder so any relationship other than friendship was doomed because every time Mulder came back from the dead I just fell on his hospital bed weeping - metaphorically speaking. I explained this to Cecile one night over chardonnay and she rather curtly pointed out that Monkey isn't exactly David Duchovny either, and, unfortunately, this is true. She was also a bit offended that she might be Monica, although for the record, I don't think Monica was QUITE as bad as people say, although her arrival really heralded the end of the series as in any way a satisfying entity, but that was probably more Mulder's departure than her arrival, and as such she is the victim of an unfortunate coincidence. But ANYWAY. The X Files actaully have nothing to do with my sudden engagement.
On Valentine's Day I had fallen asleep on my bed with my six-year-old niece, having been reading her The Once and Future King, and trying to work out how my stepfather had managed to so skillfully skip over the ickier bits of it when he read it to me as a small child. We are now up to the incest bit, including a helpful family tree just to clarify that yes, Arthur did knock up his sister, and I was getting increasingly worried that my ex-sister-in-law would come around and beat me up, for truly she is scary. Then helpfully my little niece, rather than being scandalized, fell asleep, so I did too.
I was woken by the sound of Gary Barlow warbling that he wanted me back for good. An iPod and speakers had been put through my door and I opened it, to find Monkey sitting on his backpack in the landing. "Yo," he said. I won't forget that for a long time. I looked grim, all rumpled and still dressed from the night before.
I asked him what he was doing. He said "proposing" and pushed past me to go and make himself a cup of tea. I followed him, my niece came out and was thrilled to see him, and I said "what would you have done if I was out?"
He said, "asked one of your neighbours to marry me instead" and, satisfied that he had thought this plan through carefully, I said "yes, all right then".
And that's that. I have no idea where we're going to live - LA, I guess, it'll have to be - or even for certain when the wedding is (at a guess, next year, there isn't a lot to organise, even if my mother wants to advertise it in Tatler) - but that's that and I think I echo a lot of my dearest friends when I say - THANK GOD.
3 months ago