It was a depressingly long, hot summer. Kendra spent the bulk of it going to work and coming straight home. She went to the big summer opera, Annah Nicole at the Royal Opera House, with Annah and Robert. Kendra enjoyed it which was saying something because she had enjoyed very little all summer.

She spent weekends with her mum and Fred. To distract her from her depressing Asra thoughts there was always “a lovely young man” who pitched up unrepentantly. So far she had Kyle, the chiropractor/fruitarian, who cried actual tears when she ate a salad that had chicken in it. A man named Branch, who was a Druid, apparently, and had devised his own personal language. The day was spent going through the dictionary he made for it. The only slightly hopeful one was Bradley. He had a job that earned money, ate normal foods, lived in a flat as opposed to a wig-wam (Kyle) and liked cats. The only problem was his hobby- he was a bird watcher. Bianca laughed for a solid ten minutes when Kendra told her how he had taken out a small book he kept in his pocket in which he ticked off every bird he’d ever seen in his life. Kendra didn’t find it very odd, but Bianca assured her it was a sure sign that he was a “serious wanker”.

The thing that really occupied a lot of Kendra’s summer was thinking about Asra. She wondered if he’d already moved on, if he now had a fabulous girlfriend and if he’d completely forgot up flaky, useless Kendra. Kendra who was so pathetic she couldn’t stop thinking about her even more pathetic ex boyfriend to such an extent that she’d lost The Fantastic Asra. She thought if him like that now- The Fantastic Asra (TFA).

She wrote lists of all of the ways messing up things with TFA had ruined her life. Throughout the summer she kept reaching for the phone. All she wanted was to hear his voice, to tell him how stupid she’d been how she was so completely over Will- but she didn’t. She locked his phone number in an old diary and then pretended she didn’t know where the key was so that she wouldn’t phone him. But she knew it wasn’t fair. Asra was incredible, perfect even she thought sometimes, and he didn’t deserve to be treated so badly. She’d already done her share of that and would stop herself from inflicting any more pain. Whatever else, she would not be dishonest to him. She would wait until she was positive she was ready to move on with her life. She would wait until she felt free and clear of Will even if it meant she’d be too late and Asra would be gone forever. The Fantastic Asra deserved that.

So she kept to herself as much as she could. She even started seeing a therapist to try and deal with her anger about Will lying to her, about him cheating on her. She told the therapist what happened with Asra and the therapist said Asra was a wise man to have taken such a bold step. She was right, she couldn’t love someone else until she was done loving Will and there was no use to start a relationship on such shaky footing. Sensible people didn’t do that. And one thing Kendra was trying very hard to be was a very sensible person.

Nevertheless Kendra couldn’t stop thinking about the times when she and Asra were together. That incredible kiss in Egypt, the dancing in Soho, the walking along the Thames, making out on the bonnet of his car at the birthday party like two school kids. She would slowly play through each scene, each feeling, each word he spoke. It was a terrible kind of torture but she did it anyway. It was all she had of Asra now and she didn’t want to lose anything so tried her best to keep the memories crisp and fresh by going over and over them. She was sure sensible people didn’t do that, so she never told the therapist about it.