A candid tale of 20-something humanness and extended note to self.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Love by numbers


He was my friend, before he wasn't.

We sat next to each other in Maths, and I was a bit shy and gawky with other people but seemed to step into myself around him. He was loud and playful, and we had a habit of finishing each other's sentences and making each other laugh a little too hysterically, in a way that always attracted quiet suspicion. He had trendy fringe spikes, and I used to go home from school and spend hours chatting to him on MSN before scrawling excruciating poems about him in secret, because of the 26 'sooooo fit' boys I fancied when I was 15, I think he was probably my favourite.

We kissed for the first time when we were 16. It was prom night, and he wore a pin stripe suit and I a bright blue, heavily embellished dress - the kind of dress that only ever looks good in the shop. Still, I felt beautiful that night, because of how he looked at me. I never wanted that kiss to end.

There were moments, too, in the years that followed: 17, 18, when we toyed with the idea of it, when we thought, silently, in brief glances and suppressed smiles that maybe, just maybe, we could move beyond what we were. I always noticed how much I loved being noticed by him. And how if we were in the same room: 22, 23, we tended to create our own little space. We lit up around each other. It's clear as day now that I knew, subconsciously, before I knew, which is the kind of thing I wouldn't have believed if you had told me it had happened to you

We lived together for half of last year: 24, and in that time we built a happier home than I ever could have anticipated. I was reminded of all I first learned a decade ago: that he is interesting and interested, and quick-witted and intelligent, and loyal and compassionate, and disarmingly romantic about the world. That somehow, I am better around him.

I think, if I'm honest, that I fell in love with him when I was 15 years old, and I have been falling in love with him slowly, all over again, ever since. 'I have so much time for him, but it's totally platonic,' would be my go-to line whenever he came up in conversation, not yet understanding that 'so much time' will never be enough, nor that saying convincing words does not mean you are convinced. I am convinced now, you see, that I could live with him, listen to him, laugh with him, grow with him, wake up to the smell of his skin every morning until I am 100 years old, and I would always want more than the sum of those days.

Because he is it, and he will never be my friend again. Which is, perhaps, both the most unexpected and most predictable sentence that I have ever written.

We are, because we were. We had no defined beginning, and we will have no end. Whether we stay together until we are old and grey, or whether we don't, I will wear thousands of his invisible fingerprints as perfect scars, and I will remember how this narrative has unfolded, and how he has been so gentle and kind and loyal to me, and brought so much joy to the surrender. How he has fiercely altered everything I thought I knew about love and trust and togetherness. He has taught me the lesson of a lifetime: the most authentic definition of those words.

The story of my heart is this: is now; is changed immeasurably for the rest of time.

He was my friend, before he wasn't. 

25.
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3 comments

  1. Omg this is the most beautiful thing I've read in ages! What a lovely post, I couldn't stop reading! ❤❤

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  2. This is so, so beautiful, and I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am for you, now that you're happy again! Eee, this is amazing! :D

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  3. This is such a lovely, beautiful piece. You have such a talent for writing and bring out all the layers of emotion so exquisitely. I look forward to reading more of your words!

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