When Alex told me over coffee he had to move, I was filled with horror. What if he meant really move? Like, out of London? Leave for America? Forever? We needed to have crunch talks. Where are you thinking of going? He cant tell me because he doesnt even know. Maybe Brighton? Brighton. I had to act.
Even the thought of him leaving Notting Hill and its environs sent me into a headspin. I might never see him again? It was then that a light bulb went off in my head: was it divine intervention or luck? My sister had a flat off the Portobello Road and was moving to Brazil for six months to try to write a novel. Her flat would be empty. 
I didnt hang about with the flat matchmaking. This could be a win-win for all of us, I thought, as I took him over there the next afternoon to meet her. I told my sister to play it down when she met Alex and pretend that she hadnt heard much about him even though she was clearly sick of the sound of his name.
Even the night before, when I was ranting on and on about him, she stopped abruptly and said: Hang on a minute, you sound like Cathy in Wuthering Heights. She started reciting the bit when she tells Nelly, I am Heathcliff!. Hes always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. I had to agree there were some similarities in her depth of feeling. 
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Download now