I don't believe in ghosts or the supernatural. And I am not a particularly superstitious person. But what I do believe in is the magical power of exes. In fact, I sometimes feel like Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, with all these apparitions from a previous life popping up, trying to hurl a message my way.
Let me explain. Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Manchester with my best friend, Tam, who has just had her second child. When she had the first baby it was obvious that life as we'd known it would change; with the second, it has become rapidly apparent that our previous life was no longer even slightly viable. I walked into her house and entered a biblical scene – the suckling baby, the whirlwind infant, the poo on the carpet...
My friend – the amazing idiot I ran around London being silly with in my twenties – is now this divine goddess, bathed in light. I'm her willing disciple – scrubbing said poo from the carpet, cooking chaotic breakfasts with her three-year-old, and collapsing into bed at 10, the same time as the exhausted mum. It's a wonderful experience, but Jesus, how? When? What? I can't compute this profound new life.
Then it came – the sign. We'd managed to get out of the house to go to the "cafe" (pub). The baby is asleep in his manger (car seat), the three-year-old is reading the Bible (Peppa Pig magazine), and Tam and I are doing something together that is vaguely recognisable – drinking. I glance to the left of me and there he is. Could it really be?
I rub my eyes and refocus: surely it can't be? Can it? "Look over there," I whisper to Tam. "Is that who I think it is…?" She looks – and the expression on her face is a mix of utter shock and sheer, unadulterated joy. "What the hell?!" We both laugh without moving a muscle, so as not to attract attention. At least 10 years ago, Tam and I attended a fancy dress party in Brighton dressed as "wayward nuns". We accessorised the habit and veil with Ray-Ban Wayfarers, bright red lipstick and mischievous behaviour.
I was a very naughty nun, because I copped off with "Jesus" in the box room. Now he's here, and boy is he a blessing. The hair is still long and flowing, the face a vision (I'll never forget those chiselled cheeks), but the crown of thorns is gone. And just like that, the "holy ghost" has reunited me and Tam with our shared past – and it feels miraculous.Reuse content