Why is it so difficult to make sense of most things? This is me trying.
|I stare at the device in my hand for what feels like a life time. Unknown number. There’s only one person that it could be, he told me it would be about this time. I guess I just didn’t expect it to come. My heart is racing in my chest as I try to come up with excuses. Maybe it’s too late now and I need to get back to work? Maybe I have an emergency at home? Maybe my car ran out of petrol in the middle of nowhere? Maybe I should just not answer the phone? Maybe I could be a ghost?
I can hardly breathe as I tell my anxieties to do one and slap myself into gear, and I answer the phone on what must be the thousandth ring. The second his voice emanates in my ear I feel a calming sensation power through my body. Suddenly there is just pure excitement inside of me as this stranger gives me an address and tells me that someone recommended some pizza place down the road. Sals. We chat for a few minutes while I walk to my car and then I tell him I’m on my way and we hang up.
My legs stopped working in that moment and I sit on a park bench, cigarette in hand, ironically trying to practice my breathing. I knew I was going to be late but I couldn’t move. His voice is still radiating through my brain, sending shivers down my spine and tingles to my fingers. I don’t know exactly what it was in his voice that made me feel this, it could have been the humour, or the excitement, or it could have just been the accent I have dreamed of. I realise I’ve been sat for far too long and I that I will be far too late unless I left at that moment. So I paid for my parking and jumped in my car.
On the way I realised that I must stink of cigarettes so I finger through my bag next to me while at the traffic lights, find my perfume, and have a swill of mouthwash. I have no idea why I am doing this, I don’t even know this person, why should I care what he thinks? But I already feel him like a drug running through my veins.
Pulling onto the street I check around to find him. I realise only now that I don’t actually know what he looks like other than the odd pictures that he posts with his girlfriend. I don’t even know what car he has. I give him a text and he tells me that he can see me. He says that the grass should be on my left and buildings on my right. I turn around a couple times before I eventually drive to the other end of the street. The grass on my right and buildings on my left. I guess he couldn’t see me.
We walk back to my car and pay for the parking before heading to his and jumping in. I’m overly conscious at that point about each of my movements and each word that I say. My head is telling me that I should be feeling uncomfortable with the whole situation but instead I am annoyingly at ease.
I can’t help but to watch him as he drives us towards Sals. This whole situation feels completely different to how I expected it to. I was just a kid when I moved away and I didn’t expect to see any of the people I’d spent my youngest years with again. I realise in that moment how much I would have missed by not seeing him again and I know right away that I had being missing out on my home for so many years, but finally I was once again there.
The conversation flows so easily while we eat, but I’m thoroughly distracted by the fact that he is one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen. His smile is completely infectious and it hasn’t slipped even for a second since I met him. His eyes shine brighter than I could have ever thought. This man is exactly as cheeky, as happy, and as fucking dreamy as I remember him being all those years ago.
He clearly listened to my texts when I said my favourite food was pizza, and favourite place was either the beach or the zoo, since our next stop was the beach. Time is flying by and I don’t feel a single second of it as I learn about his life over the past thirteen years. He tells me all about his achievements, his travels, his family, and I tell him all about mine too. I’m completely open about my messy home life, about the haunts of my past and about my anxieties, all things that I normally keep too close to my chest. We talk about the people we both know from when we were younger and I learn all about their lives too.
We walk across to the tallest rock on the beach and we start to climb. Once we get to the top we sit down and he asks about my tattoos. I tell him the meaning behind each of them. I got my first tattoo a few years ago, I was scared of the pain or regret so decided to get something that would forever be ‘mine’. That’s my star sign on my back. My second one was the directions to Neverland, which represents the depression that I was diagnosed with at 16, and that I still struggle with. My third is the Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter. ‘I see not your face but your hearts desire’, I’m yet to fill it with what is in my heart. My fourth, and most recent, was a dragon. Representing love, eternity and friendship.
He asks if I smoke, or drink, or do drugs. I tell him I’ve smoked since I was 14 and drank since about the same, but now my drinking tends to be limited to a mad night out. The smoking has gotten worse recently though. I only ever used to smoke when I was stressed, but once my ex started to buy me the cigarettes we would end up going through a half a dozen packets a week at least. And finally I tell him about my one crazy night on ecstasy which put me off drugs for life. He tells me that he drinks but he’s never smoked or done drugs, and he never will. He makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t like smoking or tattoos, especially on a girl. That doesn’t change the look he gives me though whenever he looks over.
As we climb down the big rock and I land back on the sand, I take off my shoes and socks and pelt it towards the sea. I look back at him and I can see from his face that he thinks I’m crazy since it’s so cold out, but I’m used to this weather back in the UK. His smile is still there as he takes off his shoes and rolls up his jeans. He walks slowly behind me and I continue to jump and run until my clothes are soaked through.
I dry off by climbing through caves, across rocks and up the craggy hills. Staring around me at the brilliant views and the beautiful sea, knowing that already today will go in my list of top 5 days. He asks what I want to do next or if I should head home, since it is a five hour drive to finish off my travelling, but I already know the answer. So we head to his house for me to meet some sheep.
I know that it’s him the second that I see him, so I pull my car in on the left side by the parking metre and look to see if he knows it’s me. He’s sat on his car bonnet with the cheekiest grin on his face. He jumps off as I get out of my car and meets me in the middle of the street in a comfortable, weirdly familiar embrace.