AS Noel coos over Harry, sleeping in Emma’s arms, I take Gwenllian – yes, I got my way with their names after all – from Gabriella and collapse onto the sofa, resting my feet on the coffee table in front of me. Gwenllian snuggles into me.
I call Nick. “I’m sitting here with your Goddaughter in my arms,” I say.
“Oh,” he replies.
“Is that ’oh, I’d be delighted to be her Godfather’, or ‘oh, I’m horrified’?” I chuckle.
“Just, oh, I haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“Sorry Nick. It’s been crazy here. I know you called a couple of weeks ago. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you. Right in the middle of a transaction as well.”
“Yes,” says Nick, inexpressively.
“Have I caught you at a bad time? You with someone?” I ask.
“Actually Dave, I’m in a business meeting… Looks like my business is going bust.”
“Oh…” I reply. I take my feet from the coffee table and sit up.
“Yeah. Quite. So you can see why I'm not all 'oh, I'd be delighted.'"
“Wait. There must be something you can do. You should have called.” As I say this, I realise that Nick had called. Three times. And I hadn’t called him back.
Gwenllian stirs. “Shhh.” On the coffee table I see the huge hamper from the bank; teas – although not Nick’s – champagne, foie gras, cheeses, chocolate truffles and a heap of other luxury items we won’t have time for any time soon. And next to it, the handmade card from Emma’s class of eight year olds.
“Nick?” Silence. “Can we meet?” I open the card. The names of all the children in Emma’s class.
“What’s the point?” Nick says, full of spite. “What can you do? It’s not your bank pulling the finance.”
City Dad will be continued next Tuesday. For previous episodes, see www.cityam.com