You wouldn’t believe how guilty it made you feel to have the girls’ night at his flat. You urged all the sisters-in-crime to help, to move faster. Throwing the windows wide open you flap tea towels madly, giggling nervously, frantic to expunge all whiffs of reefers, coconut oil and alcohol. And heat.
Colin would be home soon.
But your face was beaming, smiles were wide, white teeth gleaming, belly laughs loud. You remembered how puffer jackets, striped beanies and scarves were cast aside as all the heating was turned up. High as.
‘Make it hot-hot like Sa’a, eh.’
Flamboyant sarongs in red, orange, green and yellow wrapped around cheeky hips sashaying to dreamy island music. It made you all so homesick.
When you first arrived in this foreign land, lost and shivering, Colin took you under his wing. Caring. Protective. He showed you how to live in this cold climate.
‘Just add another layer of wool,’ he said. Wool, when all you had were skinny garments and no money till you got the job.
Colin was a serious ‘greenie’. His belief was passionate, not pale green or eau de nile but intense forest green. His mantra was simple. Conserve power. Turn off the heating. Buy sustainably produced goods. No meat only lentils, chick peas, mung beans.
But you craved spit roasted pig.
Slippery spinach in coconut cream.
And hot-hot rooms.
Like a biddi biddi he seemed now, inside your sock. Not obvious, but irritating.
The decision came to you suddenly.
You were brown – would never be green.
And a biddi biddi was easily prised off.