Love can hit you when you least expect it; you could be sat down to dinner with your friend talking for hours and you begin to notice the curve of their smile, the slight twinkle in their eyes when they laugh and the quirky way they insist everything on the table has to be straight and parallel. It could strike you in the park as you sit down with that handsome stranger and laugh about how misbehaved your dogs are. It could even happen at the emergency room as you wait for a physical. It can happen any place; any time.
That slight flutter in your stomach starts to get stronger and stronger, your pulse quickens and bam, you realise that you actually quite like that person and it’s like the realisation has fallen into your mind from a great height. Love is a mixture of unpredictability and serendipity, but it’s also an oxymoron too in that it’s down to cause and effect. It can bite you with force, it can whisk you away in unbridled passions and sometimes sink you down a deep abyss. Love is everywhere, and to quote the Beatles, “love is all you need.”
Love took me by surprise, I wasn’t looking for it, and I didn’t even think I needed it. But it took hold of me and it held on hard. He was a sweet, lovely and charming man. Everything that you could ever hope for and more. He was insecure but a free spirit, the sort of person that I hoped would let me in, and let me help him realise his potential and just how unique and beautiful he was. The emotion was so absolutely deep; I can’t even grasp it, I can’t comprehend it or explain it. It was just deep. I spent time with him and time stopped. Even the most mundane and tedious conversations were a joy with him.
I’m probably going a bit over the top with describing it, but love is just like that, when it’s real and it’s passionate and vibrant, it knocks you for six and suddenly words become grandiose, actions become monumental and everything you do has an almost Disney quality to it. Falling in love with him was one of the most profound and intense experiences of my life.
What followed was a series of dinner dates, random intimate trysts, late night conversations that ranged from deep philosophical debates to what our favourite Anime characters were. All of it was effortless and seamless and each day we got closer my heart and my head sang unanimously that yes, this feels right! This is the one! I knew that I had to tell him how I felt, and I was near as damn sure that my feelings were reciprocated.
I didn’t understand why my hands shook nervously, or why I had a slight stutter in my voice each time I practised aloud what I wanted to say to him. I was adamantly sure that it was all going to go smoothly, that we’d skip off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Funny how you can delude yourself to believe something is there when it isn’t.
It was time; I wore my lucky red dress, splashed my favourite perfume over my neck and wrists and whispered to myself the point by point details that I wanted to express to him (meticulous as ever!) but when I saw him standing there, my knees buckled, my breath was short and I knew that I had to do something about the cotton mouth. I was standing on the edge of destiny and I would only get one result… would I fall or rise above?
Dinner with him was lovely as ever, we ordered our usual bottle of wine and set about dissecting the menu like an already married couple. I began to relax and calm myself and as I looked over at him, I could see his crooked half smile as he told me about his day and sunshine beamed inside of me. After dinner, my guard began to fall even more and when I could no longer contain myself, I reached over, took hold of his hand and whispered that I loved him.
After the longest three minutes of my life, he looked up at me and I could tell that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life; and so came the usual platitudes that people will tell you to make you feel better, but are trite and empty. He tried his best to reassure me that the time spent with me was the best he’d ever had, but it wasn’t enough for him to commit, that it wasn’t me it was him. Needless to say I was crushed, how could I have been so wrong?
I picked myself up, paid for my meal, excused myself from the restaurant and kept my head high as I walked out. He didn’t even come after me. I put myself into a taxi and stared vacantly out of the window as silent tears spilled down my face. As soon as I got through the door I called and texted my girlfriends and they all came over to comfort me.
Days passed and I didn’t hear from him, which made me feel all the more worthless. It went around in my mind in twisted circles. I was angry, I cried, I bargained with myself and tried to convince myself that I was better than this, that I deserved more. I felt resentment and let me tell you, that is a powerful motivator.
After time, I decided that enough was enough; I deleted his number, removed him from social media and began to cleanse my life of him. It was hard and damn nigh near impossible at times and I missed that butterfly feeling I would get in my stomach every time that he messaged me, or I heard his voice, but I moved on with my life and a calm acceptance embraced me.
I don’t regret falling in love with him, or telling him. I don’t begrudge the lessons and the loss that I have learnt and felt because in the grand scheme of things, isn’t it worthwhile to take that risk? To feel real love? Life can be so short, over in the blink of an eye and I am so grateful that I felt what I did. I know that I can love and when I am loved in return it has the potential to be extraordinary.
It didn’t work out with the outcome that I desired, but I know that I can be vulnerable and unguarded in the future and in the meantime I am stronger, I am happy and I am healthy and I know that I’m going to be okay.
“one thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.”