It has been almost 14 years, which is almost half my life, and yet still you can give me butterflies. I can’t remember how I first got your MSN contact info, or why, I just remember someone giving it to me, but I do remember spending nights just chatting away to you. I was single when we first started talking, and I liked you, but I don’t know if you knew who I was, and then I started going out with John Murdo, but chatting away to you all night didn’t change. I spoke to you more than I did him half of the time. I remember the first time I spoke to you face to face, I was going down the stairs in the science block, just come from chemistry, and you were going up. “An owl has no use for keys”. The look on your face was priceless, and that was the first time you gave me butterflies.
Then we were together and it was wonderful if short lived. It was awkward and ridiculous and sweet and fun but I felt so comfortable with you. It was as if my brain sagged a sigh of relief around you. There was no restrictions, constrictions, weight or pull. If only I had known the future, if only I hadn’t gone out with John Murdo and let him convince me to drop out of school, perhaps we could have planned something together. I don’t want to go in to it. I don’t want to go into 2006 either. That was the worst year of my life and I am not ready to go poking around down there yet. Saying the words “Maybe I won’t then” haunted me, still haunt me. I will never forget those words. In 2007 we would talk on the phone, despite having been broken up for months, and it wasn’t awkward, it felt so good. I wanted to be with you again, but actually let’s not go into any of that either. I sat in Peterborough train station and just fucking sobbed my heart out that day they wouldn’t let me on the train. That was when I felt like you had slipped through my fingers and you were gone. I turned into a bit of a zombie after that. But again, I don’t want to go there right now.
Throughout 2008-2011 you would pop up on my gmail account, I got into the habit of constantly leaving my emails logged on and open when my laptop was on, rather than just checking them and signing out, because I wanted that little green dot to appear by your name. Then I remember going through a patch of speaking to you on the phone in 2011. You weren’t ok, and neither was I at that point. There was a lot of painful stuff, but you were still there in some way. I would cry myself to sleep after talking to you, but in the morning I always felt so rested but yet just kind of hollow. Then in 2012 – 2014 I would talk to you on Google Hangouts on my phone, then as social media galloped forward we found more and more means of talking to each other, until I had conversations going with you on so many platforms I lost track of what picture was where, or what had been said where, so when we would refer back to something it was lost in the mist, never to be found again. I once tried to find your address and spent almost two hours scrolling through different accounts, Hangouts, Telegram, FB Messenger, Whatsapp etc just trying to find something that had happened a few months before, and that wasn’t even reading the messages, just flying through. I realised that despite long absences, in some way or another, since 2003 you have been there. I have not always been available to talk to you, or you to me, but you have been a wonderful, green “online” light on my many gadgets throughout the years.
There were periods where we didn’t talk so much, and periods where we talked more. It seemed that whenever one of our lives wobbled we reached out and grabbed on to each other as if to keep ourselves steady, or at least that’s kind of what it felt like this end. I said this to you once in 2016, and you scoffed at me and then said that I was right. In 2013 when I was unemployed and losing my mind, you were there. In 2009 when I had a wobble you were there. In 2014 when I had a crisis on a rope swing in Norfolk, in the proceeding weeks you were there. In 2011 you were there. When you were getting prepared to move to Germany, we spent a lot of time messaging and being on the phone, I remember sitting in my sister’s bedroom in the flat in Clifton on your last night, sitting in the dark and hearing your sadness pouring down the phone, your words saying you were lost and fuck them all at the same time, and I wished so much that night that I could reach out to you and be there.
You understand me in a way no-one else does, and I don’t even know how you do. I feel ridiculously comfortable around you. I genuinely feel that I can just be myself and nothing else, because you see me. You know who I am and you accept it. When you look at me you don’t see what or who you want me to be, or the transference and projection you put upon me. You see me and that’s awesome. I feel constantly judged and never judged with you. And that’s perfect because it keeps me on my toes. You challenge me, and I don’t resent you for it, like I would others, I actually want to meet those challenges and have enthusiasm for doing so. You make me feel more grounded than I have ever felt in my life. You make the world seem more realistic. You add a dimension of colour that I feel is missing from my palette (I am being quite literal and visual, I have mild synaesthesia), it’s like a layer of fucking delicious saturation. Everything about you feels like a huge chunk of life is completed and clicks into place when you are around. It feels so right. It is just you. You unlock and create this thing inside me.
And since last year, we talk all the time, and since the beginning of April this year when we have spoken every single day, it’s amazing, but the feelings I have for you have intensified with an explosive fire that burns at 1000 degrees and I know that at the minute I am completely head over heels for you again. When you came to visit me in April and we curled up on the couch, I opened my eyes at one point, and I could see our reflection, you behind me with your arm around me, eyes closed, resting your head on me and in that moment everything was so perfect, the piece of me that is constantly gnawing away inside me was quiet, and I felt the calmest serenity just watching us curled up and sleepy. I just smiled and closed my eyes again and I didn’t want to be doing anything else, which was weird and surreal as I hadn’t seen you in 10 and a half years, and yet here you were, on my couch with your arms around me. In the morning as we lay in bed, my head on your bare chest, you smelt exactly the same as you did as a boy. You are the only person I know that has their own smell. It was exactly the same and as I lay there it just felt like the nicest smell I could ever smell, clean and skin and sweet and you, and it was as if it were only yesterday that I had smelt it. You made a comment a couple of months later about how going down on me tasted of sunshine and goodness and I laughed and thought that is exactly how you smell. Warm skin, cleanliness, sunshine and goodness and you. Intoxicating.
I have gone through periods of being more or less over you and periods of really not even close to being over you, but I don’t think I ever will be 100% over you. You will always equal yes in my mind. You are the great love of my life, you are the guy. I will always love you and I don’t care that it is not reciprocated. I am able to feel such a wonderful thing, and that is awesome. I suppose I will go through periods of being “in love with” and not being “in love with” you, but the actual love will always be there and it is the purest love you have ever seen. It is truly and utterly selfish. It has no motive, no judgement, no agenda. It is the most innocent base definition of the word where the love just is, and that’s it. It is massive and unbeatable, but just sits there quietly and contentedly.
It is such a feeling, that a life with you would be a perfect life, regardless of what happened in it simply because it is you. If we had a massive argument I would be happy that if I was arguing with someone it would be with you. I would rather argue with you any day, than be kissing someone else. I trust you. I don’t trust anyone in this world, but yet I trust you. You are the only human on the planet that really makes me consider compromise, and want to do it properly, not just figure a way of making the compromise work for me somehow. If you never talk to me again after tomorrow my life will be half empty and when I am 80 years old I will hold my husband’s hand and love him, but a different kind of love will burn in my belly for a man in Germany, even after all those years.
When we Skype my chest swells and I can’t sleep after. When you look at me when I have made you laugh it is as though I can hear bells ringing in my heart and to watch you laughing at me is the most beautiful thing I could ever watch. I want to make you do it again and again, just so I get to see your face crease, your eyes twinkle and hear your gorgeous giggle. When we lay in our respective beds, and you gaze at me, not saying anything, even after all this time, the sight of you does funny things to my stomach, as I gaze back at you. The air is so charged, even though you are in a different country, but it’s like the charge goes through the phone and there is so much that passes unspoken between us in those moments. I don’t know what is being said, but it’s there, the air thick with whatever connection it is that we have. In those moments, those pauses, that’s where I want to live.
And the weirdest thing is that it really does feel ok that you don’t feel the same. We’ve spent so much time not being together that it just is the way it is, and I am used to it but it doesn’t stop that feeling, and it doesn’t stop me from loving it. I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want things to be weird if you knew this about me. Because I have always been this. So nothing has changed. I don’t want to ever not have you in my life in some way, whether it is how it is now, texting from morning til night every day, or just a happy birthday text once a year. Above anything else, I actually, genuinely, just want you to be happy. And I don’t think I have ever wished that for another person, not as purely and honestly as I do for you. The best thing you could ever do is live an awesome life and be happy more than you are sad and that would satisfy me for life. You are the most awesome person I know. You are awesome and I want you to do awesome things and see that you are awesome and believe that you are awesome and if you ever believe it I can die happy. As long as the vacancy for weird English redhead friend is open I would like to fill it. And if I do for years to come, I know that watching you live this awesome life will kill me with a pain like no other, because I would wish I were by your side in it, but my happiness for you and love for you is enough to quiet it. I would rather see it than not.