Trip 5, day 1

Travelling makes you patient. That’s my new revelation.

I’m sat waiting for my flight. I’ve seen the gate number on the Ryanair app but it hasn’t yet appeared on the notice board. There are a handful of people here and I’ve bagged a great seat next to an industrial fan.

Boarding doesn’t close for another 45 minutes. Soon the rush of people will be here.

There is a marked difference in the airport this time – now Covid has apparently departed, people are travelling again. I was lucky enough to travel last year and can see and feel the difference. Despite the bad press, this London Airport was smooth and efficient. Too efficient really- I was through security in a blink. What I will say is, it’s clear some people have forgotten the rules of travel: there were lots of people who were sent away to repack.

I need patience. I’ve realised how much I can be impatient and how this is a trigger for my anxiety. I automatically think the worst.

I’ve got two weeks with Wildcard. I can’t wait. I also can’t deny that something has shifted and I’m not sure what.

However, I was really really happy last night when he told me that he has taken 9 days off. Actions speak louder than words – I’ve said this before – he is choosing to use his holidays to be with me.

After a major wobble the other week, I had an enlightening conversation with my Facebook friend, one of two who are in serious relationships with men from Wildcard’s County. This wonderful lady has been a rock for me and has helped me navigate many a relationship stress. She’s talked me through this one, and made me realise how some of my behaviour has put pressure on him around my visits.

She’s an expert. Her husband is living with her and they have two small children. She’s lived this life and whilst she acknowledges the difficulties, she’s happy.

She helped me put a new perspective on some of his recent behaviours. She’s honest and highlights the good and bad in this life we lead. She says I’ve helped her as much as she’s helped me. It’s funny how we find people like that, when we need them.

And so to patience. Here are my trip pledges:

I am patient and understanding.

I am reflective of how others feel, not just me.

I’m committed to relax, laugh and enjoy.

I will not apply pressure to myself or him. It helps no one.

And now, to wait patiently.

Trip 4: day 2, travel and arrival

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know that I commented upon the challenges of a long distance relationship and the sheer amount of organisation needed.

Mistake me not, he is worth every second. Barring the first trip, Covid has been ever present in our relationship. Multiple tests, multiple heath forms… this week’s trip pales in comparison. But I will say it again, he is worth it.

I’m on the plane now. I’m tired but comfortable. I started to question myself and my feelings, wondering at the changes I feel and what that actually means. My conclusion is that the absence is not excitement but fear. I’m not nervous or scared. Ok, my connecting flight bothers me a little, but in general there is no anxiety at all. That has to be a good thing.

In a way, its kind of left a void. An empty space not filled with any emotion right now.

******

It’s two hours later. I’m still on my flight but we are starting to descend. I then need to check-in for my second flight and wait for the final hour’s journey to be with him.

As we have got closer, I feel like I’m slowly awakening…unfurling like a rose bud. My heart and body and soul are calling out to him and waiting for his answer. I need to touch his skin, look into those deep brown eyes with all their mischief and…love. Yes, love.

No number of hours on video calls can compare with being 5 minutes in his company.

I’ve listened to my music on replay and have been reading my book. I’m now bored and impatient. I want him.

*****

I’ve seen his face. Yes, still on a screen but I’m so much closer now. I could see that little twinkle in his eye and know he is excited too, no matter how much he teases me otherwise.

Considering my anxiety, the stop off at this airport was relatively stress free. I didn’t know where I was going and neither did a few of the staff, but check in and security was easy. I’m about half an hour from boarding my last flight. I can’t wait.

What I want

I’ve heard some hard truths over the last few days.

That I’m being too patient, too nice. My belief that he is too good for me is clouding my judgement.

I’m a simple person. I’ve never desired riches or designer brands or fancy cars. I believe in working hard, family and showing/sharing love.

In a relationship, fancy restaurants and expensive gifts whilst gratefully received are not the be-all. Something simple which shows thought is much more valuable.

I’m well aware of my flaws. I can wish I was more beautiful or thin or intelligent and I will work to be the best I can be. But I know that I am just an average girl. It is who I am.

I want someone who sees the beauty in me, who will tell me I am beautiful even when I wear no make up and need a shower.

I want someone who will give me the gifts of love and care and respect and forgiveness. To feel loved and wanted every day, no matter what I’ve done wrong or what mistakes I’ve made. To make me feel appreciated and needed.

The only man who has even got close to showing me that much love is my dad. And my dad is gone.

Life is so unfair.

I can’t remember the last time Wildcard told me I was beautiful. I can’t remember the last time he said he wanted me or missed me without me asking.

In being angry with me, in sulking with me, he took away the only thing I’ve asked for: his love.

Am I not worthy of that? I ask for so little but even that is too much.

Time and time again I am let down by men who take my love for granted. Men who fail to see, until it is too late, that just because what I want is free and simple to give, it still requires effort.

And this is why I don’t feel good enough.

He is probably 98% back to normal now but there is still a lingering tension in the air.

My friend is adamant I’m giving too much, forgiving too much. But I don’t know any other way to be. This is who I am.

Happy?

I forced myself into action yesterday. In cartoonesque fashion, I pictured a numbing bubble coming from my solar plexus and consuming me, anaesthetising my pain and fears.

Of course there were ripples of hurt which threatened to pop said bubble. But I didn’t allow myself to dwell.

Instead, I sat with my legend planner – the new one I bought when I first realised I had issues at work – and planned how I was going to work on my house in the next 8 weeks.

For, I realised, with or without him my life will go on. That’s a fact.

I had my union meeting yesterday too and things are moving along. My settlement should be completed in the next few weeks. I will paid until Christmas but officially leave their employment at the end of August. This means that I can start a new job in September. I just need to find one.

So, I reasoned, that gave me eight weeks to spend time with my family and get my house sorted. There is tidying, cleaning and decorating to be done. As seems to be the annual tradition, the kids want to swap rooms. There’s plenty to do.

My numbing-bubble visualisation got me through the day. I thoroughly cleaned the lounge and made dinner. I didn’t allow myself to go back to bed. As I said, I can’t pretend that my hurt didn’t threaten to overwhelm me. I just didn’t let it.

Wildcard called me as much as usual yesterday. He was a little more chatty. The slow thaw continues. I even got a kiss goodnight. I actually plucked up the courage to tell him what my ex had said. I could see him thinking and processing that, and I know that he will need time to do so.

Later, I spoke to my London friend about her upcoming trip to see her boyfriend and we discussed Wildcard’s continued sulkiness. She advised that I be normal now and don’t bring it up again. She was surprised he was still moody- over nothing – but said it showed his jealousy. I took her advice on board.

So this morning, I chose to be happy. I put my makeup on before he called. I sent a lovely good morning message. And when he called before work, I was bright and cheerful.

“Why are you happy this day?”

“Because I love you.”

He pulled his usual face in attempt to tease me. His parents got in the car because they wanted taking somewhere, and Wildcard kept me on the phone the whole journey. Once they had left he asked me again:

“Why are you happy?”

I told him that I had spent the week crying and not sleeping and feeling sick. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was choosing to be happy.

He said little but again I could see this running through his mind.

As he parked up at work, I said my customary goodbye whilst he said his sulky one. But as I showered him with phone kisses and I love yous, there was a little amusement there which he tried to hide.

He is still sulking. I am still nervous. But there is nothing more I can do. I’ve apologised and cried till I couldn’t breathe. I’ve not slept and panicked and ruminated. I’ve tried to explain, ignore and now I choose to be happy. Not because I am, but because that is what I need to do.

Maybe I should have done things differently. Maybe he is overreacting. But I still love him. This will need discussing at some point but when he is ready.

In regards to my August trip- well, that remains to be seen. I could cancel, rearrange or…and here is a thought…actually go. I’ve looked at some hotels which aren’t too expensive. I have a week to make a decision. Let’s see what the next few days hold.

Power

I’m lying in bed and I have tears streaming down my face. Some are through pain and some through laughter.

Wildcard is definitely moody. But he won’t talk about it.

So I’m not sure if it is the fact my ex (and my daughter) drove me home or the fact that he thought my sister had, and now knows she didn’t. It is probably both.

He is still calling me at the usual times. There is an awkward atmosphere occasionally. Other times he talks as normal; I swear until he remembers he is supposed to be annoyed. He won’t tell me he loves me though, or kiss me goodbye. I expect that now, as after 18 months I know his m.o. when he is annoyed with me. Yesterday I managed relatively comfortably with it, somewhat secure that it will probably pass with time.

Today has been a little different.

I was heart warmed when he messaged me first thing with ‘Good morning my love.’ I hoped this signalled he had got over it and would be back to himself. He had quite a stressful day on today which I know had been bothering him so I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t respond to my reply for a while.

His contact today has been limited though. He eventually called me at lunch when he was at a restaurant with his parents. The call was brief and he had no headphones so couldn’t talk much. As requested, he did call me back to show me what they were eating- and I had asked for a picture because it was something traditional I had not seen before. But still, no love you, no kisses and no response when I questioned it.

Since then my mood has dipped. I’m already anxious about this relationship and things like this don’t help. I took myself off to bed and wept a little.

My ex is angry I’m with Wildcard. Wildcard is angry I got a ride with my ex. My daughter would have been upset if I had got a hotel. I can’t win.

I lay in bed feeling the despair of uncertainty all over again. No news from the union. No call from Wildcard. No sign of any decent jobs.

And so I prayed. I thanked for the life I did have: my family and friends, the opportunities I’ve had, my health. But then I asked for help. I asked for strength. I asked that I could stop worrying and be happy and enjoy my relationship. I asked for guidance.

I swear to you, within minutes Wildcard called. He was visiting family. The call was brief but at least he called. He messaged then to say he was tired, it was very hot and we would talk later.

I lay back down and thought. He must have seen that I looked a little upset. But at least he called. I could see he was tired after a stressful day and a lot of travelling so now was not the time to air grievances. I felt a little better but was still anxious to move on.

As my eyes began to close again, and considering this was only five minutes after Wildcard’s call, the phone rang again.

This time it was test and trace. They’ve called every day. I wasn’t in the mood but knew I had to answer. A youngish male voice answered and started his spiel. I interrupted and asked if I was going to be called every day. He replied yes, and that I would probably know the script better than him by now and should he continue at speed?

I told him to continue, I would listen and I.knew he was only doing his job. He then proceeded to speak as quickly as he could, meaning I was laughing hysterically down the phone. He paused, asked if I was crying or laughing, then started again. Amidst laughing, I answered his questions. He retorted that he could tell I was at home from the echo of the room – was I residing in a Palace? Did I have any further questions?

I replied no, but asked if he could call me tomorrow as that had been the best call I’d had so far from Test and Trace.

He said it was probably the worst then told me he would say the next part slowly so I could hear him properly. He then proceeded to read at speed again, and I was laughing once more.

He finished the he wished me a good day and said he hoped he would get to speak to me again.

The call ended with a smile and I thanked the power of prayer and laughter.

Return to the doghouse, or, rejection.

I’ve been home a few days now. I did start to write a post about my final day but didn’t know how to finish it.

I slept the majority of the two days I’ve been home so far. I don’t know why. Sure, travel tires you but I don’t normally feel this tired. I hurt my neck in the journey home- my back pack was far too heavy and I felt it pull. Since then I have limited motion to the right and felt sick with the pain. Maybe that’s what is wrong.

And maybe it is a lot of things.

Perhaps it is the state of the house. I left my 17 year old, seemingly mature daughter to take care of the pets. She had friends round and her Dad and aunties checked on her. The house was a mess. Think: sour milk that never got to the fridge, pizza boxes with mouldy pizza in and enough empty soft drink bottles to make a raft. Oh and she hasn’t washed a towel in two weeks. However, the pets are all well and alive so that is something. I’ve never left her alone before so maybe this is typical.

Maybe it is that I now need to think seriously about my future. I need to find a job or start my business. My hope of coming home with a sense of the future was dashed – I know that I must plan for myself alone.

Maybe it is the fact that my ex is barely speaking to me for going to see Wildcard and Wildcard is now barely speaking to me because he found out that my ex and daughter ended up getting me from the airport when my sister let me down. Yep, figure that one out.

And then this morning I was woken by my nearly 50 year old half sister – the one I haven’t spoken to for three years – at 6.30am crying and hammering on the door. She was drunk, in distress, and had fallen out with my even more aggressive half brother who had pushed her over. I have lots and lots of bad history with her, but I have good also. She is very much alone – a fact she is aware of as much as her blame for that. My Dad would be heartbroken to see her like that. She is involved with a man who is no good and as I sat there and watched her I just felt awful. She has told me some of the things he has said to her, apparently in jest, and I could see how this has made her change her appearance. His drinking and drug use have clearly increased her own drinking. But most of all, I just saw someone who was lost. Missing her Dad (she has no mum) and just craving love and attention to the point of changing herself. I saw me. And I didn’t like it.

How much of what I feel for Wildcard comes from that loneliness, that desperation for love and acceptance? I have lived a life rejected by my half siblings, simply for being born. In turn they have marginalised me from the rest of my dad’s family- only the ones who don’t get on with them, get on with me.

However much they chased me afterwards, my ex husband, my first boyfriend and Lost Soul played with my feelings enough and let me down to the point of rejection. I forgave and accepted and tried, but in the end gave up on them. Once I’d given all I had, there was no more going back – regardless of their promises and pain and love.

I’ve had issues with friends – the one who rejected me because of my relationship with Wildcard for example. And now there is work. Rejection if ever I’ve felt it. I’m not wanted.

So what if, my desperation for a life with Wildcard comes from that? He has shown me undue attention in two years. He is deliciously handsome and funny and knows me like no other. What if my desire to run away from the rejection here is a key incentive in my commitment to him? I would be lying if I told you I hadn’t thought of starting a new life there.

And he does hurt me, from time to time. He says things to make me nervous. He can be childish and maybe even a little spiteful – he’s angry with me now (even though he says he isnt) so his response to my ‘I love you’ is ‘I know’. Oddly, it hasn’t affected me like it usually does. I know him well enough to know why this has put him on edge. I know how he behaves when he feels this way. And I know, usually, it will blow over. He is still calling me and answering my calls and texts. He will stew, he may discuss, he will forget. Maybe.

But no matter which way you look at it, I was desiring more ‘finality’ in our relationship than he was. And that feels like rejection too. Maybe he isn’t ready. Maybe it is finances. Maybe he wants to meet my children. Maybe it is too soon for his parents. Maybe my behaviour freaked him out. Maybe I want too much, too soon. Maybe it is not meant to be.

And this, then, is my problem. I’ve lost all faith in my own judgement and thinking. The more I think, the less I know. The more I think, the more possibilities my stupid brain comes up with. So many, that I can reject and accept everyone with no clear decision on which is most likely.

So, I’m in the doghouse. And I’ve a feeling that I am the only one who can get myself out.

Day 14 and 15 –

I’m in the airport. I’ve had a morning of tears, anxiety induced stomach ache and near panic attacks. I’ve frightened the life out of Wildcard and his family.

But first, a recount of yesterday.

After laughing over breakfast, because he saw how well his mother looks after me in comparison to him, we had a lazy morning.

In the afternoon though, with a picnic packed, we travelled to a local reservoir beauty spot. Finding a parasol shading table, Wildcard negotiated with the owner and went off to get fresh fish with his mum.

I sat with his dad and admired the views, the sun beating down and the wind blowing a warm breeze beneath the canopy. The reservoir stretched out, surrounding my mountains so dry and arid they looked like sand dunes. I could picture myself living there in the lakeside villa – horses and chickens, olive trees and herbs, my handsome husband and little children running around in the sun.

Wildcard returned and handed over the fish to the man who prepared and cooked it over fire. His mum had brought bread, salad, noodle salad and chicken. The fish came on a platter, covered in onions and tomatoes and spices. As before, Wildcard delicately de-boned my fish for me in a gallant gesture.

After eating, Wildcard decided to swim. He was nervous about me joining him but felt this was safer than the beach last week. His Dad however panicked as I stepped into the water and his mum ended up wading in with me until I reached Wildcard. Please be assured that despite being treated like a princess, I am sturdy and capable of swimming. The level of care they gave me the whole trip was astounding. They are a wonderful family.

We laughed and splashed and enjoyed the bath like water. I loved every second and wished only that I could have wrapped myself around him like the fountain scene in Cocktail.

We dried off in the sun then made our way over to his city. A mix of ancient and new, I absolutely loved it, although the driving and traffic scares the life out of me. His parents bought me a gift from the market, despite my protestations not to, and then we went to the local scenic spot to take in the panorama of the city. I was happy, so happy.

We had a very late tea, showers then retired to bed. Without a doubt we had the best love-making we had ever had. It is amazing how two people learn about each other’s bodies over even such a short time. I didn’t want him to leave but of course he had to. And even the epic sex couldn’t turn off my brain.

I wrote him four letters over the course of the night and morning. I wasn’t satisfied with any of them and they actually got more succinct each time. I thanked him for the holiday, told him that I loved him and his family. And then I told him that I felt that we wanted different things. I was sorry that I wasn’t what he wanted but I would always love him and wished a happy life for him.

Dramatic – possibly. Honest – definitely.

I didn’t give him any of them. This morning he came to my room as always and we had amazing love-making round 2. I swear he was trying to make my heart explode with love.

We had breakfast with his parents, and whilst I listened to the rhythmic sounds of their talking, my brain battled on in its determination to self sabotage or self preserve – I don’t know which.

The line comes from the fact that there has still been no conversation. I tried to instigate one a couple of times, and whilst he always reassured me of his love and want to be with me, there was nothing concrete. No plan, no conditions to be met. I don’t expect plain-sailing but I am a control freak who has absolutely no control at the moment.

I started to weep, a lump in my throat and my breakfast churning in my stomach. I excused myself as subtly as I could and dried my eyes, breathing in deeply in an attempt to gain control.

When I returned I fought to maintain that control. But I was questioned and as soon as his mum asked, concerned they had done something wrong, I burst into tears and hugged her. She told me again and again, in broken English and her own language, how I was always welcome and that she loved me being there which made me cry more.

Soon it was time to leave. My stomach ached with anxiety and grief. I felt sick and exhausted fighting the tears.

Putting on my shoes, Wildcard sat next to me and asked what was wrong. He said that I was acting like it was the last time and had he done something wrong? He told me again that I can come whenever I want.

The journey to the airport was torture. My stomach had spiraled into anxiety induced knots. I tried so hard to be calm but I just couldn’t. My brain surged with thoughts and emotions. I hated that they were so worried and kept trying to reassure them, telling them it was just nerves, which was true.

Just outside the city and airport, we took a detour to a local urban forest. It smelled of jasmine and the short walk gave me some repose from my feelings. I could feel his concern, never mind see it, and he kept telling me that if I was ill I should cancel my flight and rebook. I couldn’t tell him that would make no difference. I suspect I would feel that way no matter when I left.

I took some anxiety meds and something for my stomach and we drove the last ten minutes to the airport.

The whole family walked me to the doors of the airport but only Wildcard walked me through at first. He found us a place to sit, surreptitiously held my hand and asked me to talk.

He kept saying that I was making him nervous, that I was making him feel like I didn’t want to come back. His parents then walked in and took a seat a distance from us. He told me he loved me, those gorgeous dark brown eyes looking into mine, and that he had told me how serious he was about me the very first day I had arrived, over a year ago. He told me to stay if I wanted to stay, come back whenever I wanted.

At this point, I was well past my 2.5 hour entry point to the airport. I told him I would have to go. “So you want to leave me now?” I told him I never wanted to leave him and that was the problem. He said he needed to find a way to ‘kill those donkeys’ in my head, his term for my stupid thoughts.

I’m now sat on the plane. I am calmer than I was. I’m angry at myself for getting in such a state but knowing me, even if he had committed to me in blood I would still have wished not to leave.

Are you wondering if I am missing my children?

I am, but perhaps not as I have in the past. Let me explain.

My children have lived between houses for over three years now. At first, when they started to stay over at their dad’s, I hated it. But over time, my mind has accepted this new way of life. I know my children love me. I know they are safe. And I know I will see them soon.

I’ve called them every day that I was away. I’ve missed kissing my youngest’s cheeks, missed my elder son’s cheeky face when he is wrapping me round his little finger and my daughter’s passionate tirades about one thing or another. But I know they will be there when I return.

I can’t help feel that there is no certainty with Wildcard. Expectation is the fuel of broken dreams. I’ve convinced myself that if he was serious we would have had a conversation. That if he loved me as I loved him, he would be certain and secure.

And so, I fly on the first part of my journey home, heart heavy and soul sore, hoping that this is simply a lost battle with anxiety rather than the beginning of the end.

Day 10 – relax

The last few days I have felt so much more relaxed about everything. It’s like the adrenalin of 19 months of waiting and 2 days of travel, and overall excitement and nerves, have taken this long to ease. I’m glad I chose to spend another week here, despite how my ex feels about it.

I’m sleeping better and I’m less conscious about my body – never completely, but less. Our intimate times are truly that now – passionate, intense and intimate. I could genuinely be happily entwined with him all day long – holding hands, touching lips or legs wrapped round each other. My heart and body and soul misses him when he is not near.

But it is more than that. I love being here and am really enjoying being with his mum too. Today I’ve had more cooking lessons and our communication is coming along great. I’m actually understanding much more of the gist of their language.

I love everything here. The culture, the people, the place. I love the rich terracotta earth and the bluest of skies. I love the focus on sustainable, natural produce and the necessity of family, socialising and rest. I love the smell of spices in the air and the vibrant colours. I’ve never said where Wildcard is from because it is irrelevant, but maybe you can guess a little from that.

And his dad – although I spend more time with his mum – he is lovely. He reminds me of my dad a little – not in personality or looks but just as I suppose two men in later life are. It actually made me weep a little this morning. If Wildcard and I marry, his Dad would be the closest thing I have to a father. I would like that. I want, so much, to be in this family. Today, as the three of us sat for breakfast, Wildcard in work, I looked at what they had prepared for me and I was just overwhelmed. I got up and hugged them both, because I just wanted to. They probably think I am a crazy English woman but I am OK with that. I’m an English woman who is crazily in love with their son, and loves them too.

I still have my second set of flights home booked. They are four days after the earlier flights. I can’t tell you how much I want to stay those extra days. But, I miss my kids and I don’t want to impose any further. However much they say I am family and this is my home, I am still a guest. And a complicated one at that with my gluten problems. Tomorrow I will need to move the flights or risk losing the money.

I’d hoped by now that Wildcard and I would have talked about the future but we haven’t, really. On the boat on Sunday, he talked about us having a holiday with the children there. But we’ve not had this serious talk that he has mentioned previously.

Via Facebook, I have made a friend who lives in London. Like me, she is divorced with three children although I think she is a little younger than I am. She is second generation British, with parents who immigrated from somewhere in East Africa. She is Muslim, madly in love with her own LDR and hadn’t visited her man as long as I hadn’t. We started to speak a few months ago to discuss travel etc. We have become friends.

She told me that, in her eyes, we are married. She said that by me staying here with his family, it is a HUGE deal. She said she can tell he is in love with me by what I’ve told her about him. And that there is still time for the serious talk before I go home.

I hope she is right on all accounts.

Day ? (9) – glow

I’ve lost track of days. I left Sunday so today is day 9, Monday

Day 7…well. I wrote a post but didn’t publish. Short story…I sulked, he joked, we kissed and made up. And that’s all I’m going to say.

Yesterday we had an amazing day. He drove us three hours to the beach. It was such a fabulous day and I loved every second. We had a boat ride and a walk through the busy market. I paddled on the beach but Wildcard was scared I would get swept away if I swam. And I glowed every time he grabbed my hand as we crossed the road, or rested his hands on my waist for just a minute, or called me baby in front of his parents. Not just because each one of these things showed affection but even more because he probably shouldn’t do them but he does .

When we got home, tired and hungry, we ate and laughed together…me and his mum teasing him. I loved that too.

Today was another good day, apart from planning my return flights. With a week to go, I needed to confirm bookings and transport and it was a sombre moment. But he was affectionate and loving, not letting me leave him, kissing me.

Think is, I don’t want to leave him.

Day 7 – love

“I want to know what love is. I want you to show me.”

Foreigner

Last night I told Wildcard that I was scared about how much I love him. I’m not sure he, or even I, understands.

I’m 41 years old. I’ve been in love before. I’ve loved before. Or so I thought.

This, this is different. I’m feeling things I’ve never felt before.

I truly understand the meaning of ‘heart ache’ now. It is an actual physical feeling, an aching in your solar plexus. I feel it when I miss him.

I know what ‘making love’ means now. It is not just the physical act of love: sex. It is a need to get as physically, emotionally and spiritually close as possible to the person you love. It is a need to be locked together, as physically intimate as two humans can be. I’ve never had that feeling before. Ever. Sure I’ve wanted sex. Sure, I’ve wanted to feel like a man loves me through how he has sex with me, but that is not the same as what I’ve just described.

It is the intense feeling of happiness, joy, elation…every time he calls me or he walks through the door.

It is the knowledge that you only feel content when a part of your body is touching theirs.

So, to use his words: “So, where’s the problem?”

I thought that by seeing him again, it would ease some of the feelings I have. That, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ so by physically being with him I would calm down. I haven’t. It is the opposite. Now, instead of looking down into the kaleidoscope, I’m actually in it.

It is the absolute fear, being terrified, that I feel this alone. That I will lose this man, this feeling. That I am wrong in thinking he loves me too.

I have thought myself in love before. I have thought that those men felt the same. Neither was true. I learnt the hard way that they didn’t love me. I’ve learnt the easy way that I didn’t truly love them.

It is the understanding that my grief in losing those who I thought I loved and was in love with, will never compare to what I will feel if I lose him- now I truly know what love is, I will truly know what pain is.

It is the doubt that I am not good enough. That I could lose this because I am not what he needs or wants. The idea that because he is younger, he has not had my journey. As I write, I’m not even sure I believe that myself, but it is a fear I have nonetheless.

My fear is not a new thing. I’ve felt it throughout our relationship. In part, I think it is because of the distance. But I also think we both knew early on that this was something different. Special.

I still don’t know what the future holds – we haven’t discussed that yet. But what is for sure is that I know I will never be truly happy now unless I am with him.

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