My friends laughed at me later, how could you not know?! How could you not see how he felt about you?
I thought we were really, really good friends. Friends who skyped almost every day, read to each other, sent parcels and cards and handwritten notes to each other (and to each other’s families, too). Our mix CDs, with I’m Yours being on the first, and receiving the necklace that got me through hospital – yeah, I should’ve known. Too surreal to fathom. You meet someone when you’re so young, and it doesn’t compute – you don’t see a gangly, floppy haired boy and go “ah, I’m going to settle down with this one! I’m going to morally support him as he slaves over ridiculous graduate scheme applications!” You just don’t. I fancied the absolute pants off him, much to our mutual friend’s horror. Too bizarre to think about years and years before, that I’d been to his house and we played on the Wii and talked about the bus and the llamas and we went to Iceland for chocolate! An utter world away. And all the things in between, they barely seem to matter now, no.
2012 was so godawful. In the most southern drawl I can do (which, I may add, is actually quite decent): it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. For both of us, it was an overdue break up. For me it was freedom. I could breathe again. I can’t describe it. Almost literally, I could breathe again: a huge weight off my chest, off my shoulders, and off the back of my head. But with that came my anchor. I could float again, but I couldn’t remember how. I don’t know what made Hugo message me, of all people, but I’ve kept the message. Things got better.
Do I need this other human being? No. No, I don’t need any other human being to function, to survive. But, I really fucking want to keep him close.
There is nothing like knowing that you’re supported and loved. Like, I see photos of us from 2013 and I am shocked. I am shocked by my hair (so short, and black), by my size (my largest to date), and I am shocked that someone so utterly gorgeous and clever could love me. And not love me ‘even though’ I’m this size (or was that size, I should say I suppose), but love me because I was just so unapologetically me. I was, and am, loud, and sarky, and desperately geeky. I wear what I like to wear, sometimes I do make up, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I shave, sometimes I don’t. I was so happy. I look at those photos from that summer, the summer that we finally got to be together after the oceans between us and the many calls and conversations and the reading Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss, and all I can see is how utterly, truly happy I am. At Mariah’s wedding I have never, ever looked happier. I am glowing. I am fat and laughing and glowing, and surrounded by nothing but love. My goodness, what a difference environment makes.
And my goodness, quite the tangent.