As I sit here staring at the blank page in front of me, I find myself trying to figure out the best way to capture, digest and present the emotions, ups and downs and tales of, "My Love Story."
So I will start where most stories do: the beginning.
It was December, and he had just returned home to the UK from New York for the holidays. I had a week left in the UK before I was to get on a plane and embark on my travels around the world.
At this point, we had a platonic friendship. Our drive and determination were very similar, and we connected through likemindedness and a similar outlook on the world and our purpose in it. In just three days, I knew this person was going to be more than just a friend to me.
Someone once said to me, when it comes to matters of the heart, "when you know you know," and this has stuck with me ever since. Sometimes you look at a person and the feeling you get just tells you it’s right.
We hung out for a few days, but as soon as he left, I wanted to see him again. We wanted to be around each other all the time.
Time was ticking and I had a plane to catch. It was obvious we crossed the threshold of friendship as we spoke honestly about the way we felt for one another. There was even a drunken kiss that we both dismissed for a while.
We hung out again and again, listened to music and talked for hours until the early morning. He kissed me again and I knew then that this was more than a friendship.
On New Year's Day, it was time to say goodbye. We both knew each other’s circumstances and, in hindsight, maybe should have left it as just that and maintained a friendship that simply turned into a "holiday romance."
I was in Asia, six weeks in, and I still hadn’t gone a single day without talking to him. It was effortless, like it was always him. We would find the time to speak every day, no matter what we had planned.
We both had a love for old school hip-hop and soulful music, so we would send each other tracks and reminisce on the time we spent together the previous year.
Sharing tales of my travels and discussing life goals and achievements made our connection even stronger. There was obviously no physical contact, but a mental connection made everything else irrelevant.
At this point in our story, I wasn’t looking further than the now. I was enjoying the connection we had; I valued him as a person and I could talk to him every day, all day because it was one of my favorite things to do.
What I definitely didn’t know, or predict, is that I would soon fall so far in love with this friend that I would one day be writing about it.
Months had passed and traveling had, sadly, come to an end. I arranged to fly out to New York and visit him, and as my departure date was closing in on me, I started to get nervous.
What if it doesn’t feel the same? What if he’s different? What if we don’t get on like we did before? What if it really was just a holiday romance and we made a mistake?
Finally, I had the sudden realization of the possibility that I could fall in love with him. Was I letting myself get too deeply involved?
When I arrived at his apartment in Brooklyn, I was surprisingly calm -- until he opened the door and a pang of nerves took over my entire body. "Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t" repeatedly ran through my head as he came down the stairs to greet me.
Apparently, it was also the only word in my vocabulary at that point in time. We had an awkward hello, and when I leaned in for a hug, he stumbled a little over my foot.
I won’t lie, the first couple of days were a bit off. We both felt nervous and couldn’t believe we were in each other’s company again. But after one of our long conversations and a few giggles, we were back to our old selves.
Endless kisses, conversations and walks across the Brooklyn Bridge took us back to exactly where we were in December. It was a blissful week; we made so many memories.
Saying goodbye was difficult, however. How do you say goodbye to someone you are falling in love with? What do you say?
Months after returning back to the UK, our professional lives continued to prosper. I was getting more writing jobs, and he continued to flourish in New York.
Time was precious, but still we spoke every day. I had some time off work and I could write from anywhere, so we discussed the idea of me returning, this time for longer.
Around two months later, I pulled up outside his apartment where he sat waiting. This time around, though, I knew we would have to have the "talk."
It dawned on me that maintaining what we had wasn't as easy as I hoped it would be, and I knew he felt the same.
A few days in, we spoke about our situation at length and we were very much on the same page. He struggled without having me there and I struggled with the distance and missing him.
We decided to just have the most amazing couple of weeks together and forget about the serious side of things for the time being. We spent days laying in Central Park, joking and laughing.
We went for dinners and got caught up in deep conversations; we drank way too many frozen margaritas and stayed up until the early hours of the morning, talking about life and sometimes just talking absolute sh*t.
What we did didn’t matter because at the exact point in time, we were in the same time zone, country and next to each other again. Eventually it dawned on me that I am now silently in love with this person. I had fallen even harder than I did before.
One day we were in his kitchen making something to eat. My back was turned to him and out of nowhere he said those three words -- we both did -- without thinking of the consequences.
In an all too familiar situation, we sat at the airport and it was time to say goodbye again. I felt sick; my throat was closing and as strange as it may sound, I just wanted to get it over and done with.
I knew as I was looking at him that it would be the last time I would see him for a very long time. I knew that when I got home I couldn’t carry on talking to him every day like we had since the year before.
I knew I had to let him go and that is one of the hardest things I have ever had to accept and understand.
We had such an intense connection and were brought together in the most unlikely circumstances that it made it hard to not have him in my life the way I wanted to. We said goodbye, and I left.
Where We Are Now
People will come and go in your life; that’s how it works. Do I believe that one day I will be with him in a circumstance where there are no more goodbyes, only see you laters?
Maybe. I don’t know, but I do know that I wouldn’t change a thing because the good times we shared will always outweigh the bad. The way I felt when I was with him was worth the heartache I have without him.
You can’t be afraid to love because it doesn’t happen often. Open your heart up to it because you never know where it might take you. I still love him, think of him, miss him and a part of me probably always will.
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