Christmas is a shit-show. Everything comes out. We spend ages stuffing the lies back into ourselves. Samantha wants to move to a different town. She says our local traditions are ‘enfeebling.’ Our quicksand foot spas. Our seated silent discos. Our in-house pub crawls (just crawling around a pub.) Our shame bracelets. She uses ‘insidious’ five times in one sentence. She says she could love me forever if I ran away with her to somewhere bright with breathable fabrics, without the faces of ex-lovers plastered on all the billboards plus their phone numbers; a place where people are allowed to move on get well, find a different answer to their lives. ‘But I’m your answer,’ I tell her, ‘and you’re mine. Why would you want to find an answer that isn’t me?’ She sighs and says ‘Oh, Caroline’ in that hurt twang like I’m missing the point. I put on ‘Suzanne’ by Leonard Cohen but she kicks the record player shouting ‘No! I will not ‘touch your perfect body with my mind’! I want a nourishing relationship!’ then storms out before I can feed her an orange. I lie beneath the bubbles of my bath all day, breathing through a curly straw. Samantha’s not like the others. She expects something from me. I wish I knew what.