Every time I tasted that tiny/huge phrase on my tongue it was with a sense of wonder, as if each whispered “I love you” murmured token of devotion, was uttered for the very first time. As if, by continually revisiting that revelatory moment, I could somehow rediscover the spark that had ignited the fires of emotion, previously smouldering unseen, beneath the surface of our relationship.
And that wasn’t the most extraordinary thing either. The most amazing thing, the most incredible, unbelievable and downright wonderful thing of all was that She felt exactly the same
Call it Fate, call it Destiny, call it whatever you like, but of the seven billion people on the planet, and of them, the millions upon millions of people who make transient, casual and fleeting friendships on social media every day, we had found each other. The Universe was indeed looking after us.
From that point on it was essential that I spoke to Her everyday without fail, otherwise I’d get twitchy and irritable, experiencing mild feelings of panic whenever the fragile electronic thread that connected us snapped, leaving me floundering in frantic limbo until Her voice came back to me across the ether. And soon even that wasn’t enough. Before long I had a continual urge to see Her too, Her soft, soothing tones no longer sufficient to still the need in me for Her company. Now, only the chance to gaze deep into her eyes would feed my addiction.
This was the time that we really began learning about each other. Chatting long into the night at weekends, when I could alleviate the inconvenience of living in a different timezone by staying up late and then sleeping in, so I could get up and have breakfast with Her and Her daughter, spend my day with Her and feel more connected to Her life.
The more I discovered about Her, the more I was in awe of Her strength of character and determination. The wish she had for Her daughter to have a better start in life than She’d had; the way She coped with the hardship that She so often casually shrugged (It was during these initial, cautious forays into each other’s lives that She told me She suffered from fibromyalgia, a condition that causes constant pain in the nerves. Yet despite this, She remains positive and upbeat, with a quiet dignity that never fails to astound me) and the serenity and calm She conferred on me, no matter how stressed or miserable I was about the vast distance that separated us, enchants me to this day.
Little did I know it, but She was feeling the distance just as keenly as I. This became apparent on the day She took Her turn to make my heart stop, when She casually said to me that She was thinking of coming over to see me, as She had been planning on having a vacation somewhere on Her own anyway.
I didn’t know what to say. I’d never had a woman do anything like that for me before (as I saw it then) and it stunned me. That She would travel all those thousands of miles to be with me, it was an overwhelming feeling that I was unused to and it made me even more certain of the rightness of the emotion She had awakened in me.
I think it’s safe to say, that was the beginning of the longest countdown, the most agonising wait, the worst, sweetest torture I think I’ve ever experienced. Not only would I have to put up with the slow passing of time until She arrived, but also at the back of my mind was the thought of how I’d feel when She eventually returned home. How would I cope with being separated once more from the woman I loved so deeply, after having finally met and then only being together for such a brief time?
The next couple of months were to be an increasingly exciting time, spending almost all my spare time chatting to Her on one virtual platform or another, learning more about each other every day, falling more and more deeply in love and generally feeling like a sixteen year old again.
Being in love with being in love.