Life with Luis is a rollercoaster ride, and last week I decided it was time to jump off. The reason: he did not call me once while I was in the UK for a week and even though I returned last Saturday, by Friday there had been not a single sighting of him. He has also gone AWOL on a number of occasions, failing to show up when he said he would - none of which augurs well.
And so I had come to the conclusion that living him would be like inviting a big Bengali tiger into your home, and expecting it to curl up peacefully on your knee every night.
But on Saturday afternoon I returned from lunch with a friend to the sound of Brazilian samba music blaring out from half way down my road; and in the distance I could see Luis's white car parked outside my house.
As I put the key in the lock he appeared at my side and all previous resolve slipped away like a silk robe to the floor.
‘Where have you been?’ he asked. ‘I have heard nothing from you for weeks. I ask myself why haven’t you called? Et ca m'énerve beaucoup.’
‘I was asking myself the same question,’ I replied. ‘Where exactly have you been hiding? I have been back a week and I have not seen you once.’
‘Écoute une chose,’ he replies, kissing me on the forehead. ‘I have been leaving home at 5.00am and returning at midnight - sometimes 4.30am - working on a job in the Vendée. I have been working all the time. And I have had to switch my mobile as the old one has problems, so I no longer have your number. That's why I was hoping you would call.’
He produces an ancient mobile that he has borrowed from a friend, to prove his point.
'Tu es difficile,' I say.
'Et toi aussi chérie,' he says, his green eyes flashing me a wicked smile.
As I open the door, I find a note that has pushed through the letterbox saying ‘Je t’aime cherrie [sic]’ in childish scrawl with a picture of two hearts. And against my better instincts I invite him in.