I’m going to tell you the end of a story I haven’t yet got around to telling you the beginning of – but I guess often the best stories, the best adventures, are on us before we notice the ‘once upon a time’.
I met a guy just a week or two before my dad died. Sometime if I have the heart I will write my way back to the beginning, but in short, although dating and death do not easily combine, he has been a rock for me. When my phone was silent, he called. When I was all out of words, he gave me a hug. When the bottom dropped out of the world, he held tight. He has faithfully stuck around, endured my tempers, tantrums and tears with grace and only the odd grimace.
At a time when I have felt thoroughly let down, he restored a little of my faith in the workings of the universe. His kindness outweighed even what I might expect from a friend bound to me by years of shared memories. It hasn’t quite made sense to me. A free gift when I didn’t enter the competition, a blessing.
For sure, he is a man and not an angel. Solid shoulders (no wings), flawed, dubious sense of humour, a little more territorial than I would like, not really my classic type, but I am so grateful for him. I’ve whispered a thousands ‘thank you’s to the sky, just in case anyone is listening, and have said a good hundred or so to him directly for good measure!
But here’s the rub. He has poured himself out for me and, whilst I value him, love his company and feel utterly at ease with him, I cannot do the same. It’s as if I just do not have enough of myself right now to be able to share wholeheartedly.
He thinks I can never feel for him as he does for me. That might be true, though I wonder if a crucial part of me has withered. I think I would rather believe that it is sleeping deep within me, waiting for warmer days. I’m still hoping my spring will come again.
How far can a relationship on a heart and a half? We have had about 2 months of a lovely something-we-never-named. Today he said his goodbyes, which took me by surprise, and I feel like I just lost something very precious. I do not want any more people to melt out of my life…
I would like to throw my teddy in the corner, to curse him for leaving me sick, snivelling inelegantly and suddenly feeling very very alone, but I cannot. In truth he has simply had the courage to be true to what he wants, all of me, and has refused to settle for something less. I wish I had the same certainty and conviction. But I am all in a fog, and I can’t expect him to wait for my mists to clear when I have no clue what the burn off might reveal.
I thought after a brush with the big final goodbye the little ones would be easier. I think I may have been wrong.