The wintery weather brought Liverpool to a standstill yesterday, so I challenged my hairdresser to a snowball fight down the beach. Little did I know she was about to drop a bombshell. This is what happened:
Doorbell rings twice in quick succession. She's 15 minutes early. Obviously desperate to see me.
Emma looks cute in layers. Think she's wearing two pairs of jeans. Imagine myself ripping them off. It's been a while since I undressed a woman - today I might do it twice. Just hope she hasn't doubled up on bras.
Our wellies crunch into the fresh snow as we stride carefully down the street. My date crouches to prepare a snowball but her aim is well off.
"You throw like a girl," I yell.
"It's not my fault - you're too small a target," she responds.
"I'll have you know I'm average height for a man."
"You're only 5'8 - that's not average, Fishy."
"Worldwide it is. I'd be tall in Japan."
She humours me with a chuckle before scampering on to the beach. Her footprints expose brown sand beneath the snow like coffee in a cappuccino.
A lonely snowman stares out to sea. Emma attempts to down him with a dropkick but this fella has been built to last.
Snot drips from my nostrils as we slide down a dune. Flick away the remaining slime with an index finger while my girl isn't looking.
"Last time it snowed like this I'd just started going out with Chris's dad," she reveals.
"How long ago was that?" I enquire.
"You started seeing him when you were 13?"
"And how long were you together?"
"Well, actually, almost 14 years. We only split up two months ago."
I step back but remain silent. It's Emma who speaks next, telling me she's going to stay with her auntie in the Isle of Wight for a week or two. Clear her head.
"And when you get back - will I see you?" I ask.
"The thing is, I'm not really…"
"Ready for a relationship?"
"I think I need to be single for a while."
"So why did you go on a date with me?"
"Because you asked and because we got on - we get on."
An ageing Rottweiler limps past, ignoring calls from his teenage owner in the distance.
"Guess I'm not going to get those free haircuts, then?" I joke.
"Is that the only reason you asked me out?"
"Worked out I'd save £96 a year."
Emma's smile is bracketed by blonde strands of hair protruding from her bobble hat.
Decide it's best to head back, though we chat easily while walking through the marina. I've always been good at break-ups - even difficult ones like this.
Take in her perfume through my runny nostrils as we embrace for the final time.
"I'll see you for your next cut, then?" she says.
With that, after three dates and one bathroom indiscretion, Emma is gone.