So, here's the very last piece to be written, which actually appears quite early in the book, in Trip's second letter. When I was at Lampeter there really was a student production of The Fiddler on the Roof, but I have to say they did it far more traditionally and successfully than Trip and Ruth.
I remember the first time I said “I love you”. You've spent most of your life trying to erase it from your memory. Our final year at Lampeter. Our moment in the spotlight as the director and star of Fiddler on the Roof. Which even now seems a startlingly original version. What with the Russian Jews becoming teepee-dwelling hippies in Wales. And all the male parts being played by women and vice versa. And you were great in the Topol role. I loved “If I was a Rich Girl”. All those lyrical changes we had to make. You loved all that. And guaranteed to offend just about everyone.
We poured ourselves into that for weeks, didn't we? All for one glorious night, capped by a wonderfully improvised climax. When the Fiddler fell off the Roof. Once we were sure I hadn't broken any bones and the curtain had come down on us, literally, we were the only ones left. You were tending to me.
“You know if we ever make another musical together...” I said.
“Promise me, we won't.”
“Well, if we ever do, there's gonna be a few changes.”
“No sheep, for starters.” We laughed. Well, I laughed. You had tears in your eyes. ”You know Ruth, it really wasn't that bad. No-one walked out. They laughed all the way through. In the wrong places, admittedly. But you were great. Really. I was so proud”
And then I said it. First time ever. To anyone.