A Sussex based blogger sharing a candid tale of 20-something humanness

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The first exhale

The windows rattled on the bus, and the ridges of the seat jolted into the curve of my back as we hurtled through a world I didn't recognise.

'Three hours, eighteen minutes to go.' He said, peering round at me from the seat in front.

It was the first time since arriving in Singapore three days previously that I'd had a few moments to sit, quite literally sit, with what was happening. We'd spent the past few days rushing between one place and another, from one kiss into the next.

We'd been apart for 88 days. 88 days. I knew the date I was due to fly out to see him would come. April 13th. If I'm honest, I didn't always know that I would be on that plane throwing up in my lap during extreme turbulence, or that he would be waiting, smiling a smile that reached his eyes at the airport. The sad truth, about distance, even from the person you love most in the world, and no matter how much you give to the challenge, is that you forget. You are here, and they are there. You lose the details of their face, and the noises they make as they fall asleep, and the gentle dance of their fingertips on your forearm. You wake up one morning and realise that you don't know the smell of their skin anymore, and you fall asleep trying to remember how it felt to laugh with them, all tangled up in the darkness.

It's an incredible leap of faith to take less of someone based on the notion of more. There were days, in those 88, when I forgot what 'more' was altogether. Days I couldn't bear the sacrifice. Days I whole-heartedly sobbed to Elaine Page, Prosecco in hand, and noticed concerned glances amongst my friends because, well, if drinking and snot-crying to Elaine Page isn't sign that a girl's in trouble, I don't know what is. It was really fucking hard, is what I'm saying.

But. We chose to wade through the shitty days, and we chose to hope together, still, clinging on to what was, what is, underneath the tricky circumstances. I looked out of the window, at this stunning world I didn't recognise, and back to that seat in front, and I realised that we'd made it to the first exhale. We'd made it.

I thought what a special thing it was: that he was here, and I was here, and that we were okay, weathered, but okay, sharing in the relief and the euphoria and the magic of our togetherness. That work we put in. The times we didn't just tell each other to sod off in pursuit of something easier.

How we'd tried and tried and tried, for almost one hundred days, and how I'd flown halfway around the world to see him, and the weight of it all: the realisation that my capacity to love has grown and stretched beyond my wildest imagination. I was certain I knew love before him, you see. But. I wouldn't have travelled almost seven thousand miles alone for it. I wouldn't have taken less for so long, based on this notion of more. I wouldn't have believed and hoped and clung to what was, what is, if it wasn't for what is with him.

Three hours, eighteen minutes, with him in the seat in front. The. Seat. In. Front. And tonight, next to me: the warmth of his breath on the back of my neck as I fell asleep. After so long: my familiarity. A home, within this world I didn't recognise.

And a little something to remember during the next forgetting: a little hope, perhaps, as the countdown starts all over again. We. Made. It.

1 comment

  1. This is beautiful! Long distance must be so difficult, it must have been amazing to have this time together! <3


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