The start of every relationships offers its fair share of trials and tribulations and it’s no secret that the start of my adventure with E had been a rocky one. I’ve failed to mention that when we’d first got together, I was living with his ex and he was living with mine. Mostly because the entire thing was like a bad episode of Eastenders.
There was the weekend when things went weird, just after we’d decided to make it official and the few days over Christmas when things went weird again, and I’d almost decided to call the entire thing off. All of this is very dull and boring and now quite irrelevant as the last few weeks have been, well, what the start if a relationship should be; like a bubble of frosted glass with just me and him in it. Goodbye world, I bid you adieu for now I am in love!
Was it 8pm already? Had we really spent all day in bed? Surely it can’t be Sunday…. Just another hour before leaving the door, just another kiss before I go, it never seemed to be enough. I floated to Stockwell tube on a small cloud and had I burst into sudden song I’m certain birds and small forest creatures would have followed me onto the tube and right into work.
Yup, there was no denying I was well and truly in over my head and it was around the moment I realised I really did love him, that a little secret began to nibble at my conscience. I ignored it at first, pushing it aside; some truths are best not spoken and everyone has skeletons in their closet, right? How I’d shouted at the TV when Tess of the D’Urbervilles confessed to Angel, No you silly girl! Of course he won’t forgive your bastard child, it’s the 1800’s! All this should have kept my tongue firmly still, but sitting opposite my E in an overpriced Japanese restaurant, watching him berate the waiter for there not being an adequate variety of noodles on the menu, I realised that if I loved a man this irritating, faults and all, then he really deserved to know the truth about me too.
“E…..” I said and noticed his expression change immediately as if he already knew what was coming.
“What is it sweetie?”
“I feel guilty.” I couldn’t look up from my knees and there was a long expectant silence. Finally, I pinched my eyes shut and blurted out; “I kissed a guy on New Years. It was horrible. I felt totally guilty immediately after and I love you, and I thought we were going to break up, and you were so mean to me over Christmas!”
“Just kissed? Nothing else?”
“Nothing else I promise.”
“Phew.” He said, sitting back. “I thought it was going to be a lot worse.”
He was taking it well. Surprisingly well. The waiter’s tray of cutlery beside us was jingling along to the alarm bells in my head.
I gulped. “Have you… ever, you know… with someone?”
“No!” he said, but his voice came out a little too high pitched and his eyes shot up to the right. Perhaps I knew him much better than I thought, or perhaps he was just a bad liar because something smelt fishier than the plate of uneaten sushi on the table.
“You’re lying.” I said, slowly. “I can tell.”
He bit his lip and shook his head in his hands, then sat back and ran his hand through his hair nervously. “Argh!” he said, “you’re going to make more of this than it is!”
“Just tell me!”
“It was that first weekend things were weird. It was some girl, it meant nothing.”
A week later a drunken chat and another bad attempt to lie to me revealed there were two girls, two kisses, both meant nothing. It was ‘fine’ of course, I mean we’d barely been together two weeks, I’d pushed him into it and he wasn’t ready… and…
I listened to myself reel off excuses to my best friends Claude and Jess over E-mails on the Monday morning.
“But,” Claude said. “Aren’t you mad at him for not telling you? That you confessed but he didn’t?”
“No….. It’s fine! If he really wanted to lie he could have done it convincingly. No, what happened was that he actually WANTED to get found out.”
I knew it was bullshit, Claude knew it was bullshit and even E knew it was bullshit when he first suggested the ridiculous excuse.
A gloomy January morning greeted me from outside the window and without my fluffy cloud, I stumbled through a puddle, cursing as water splashed up my leg. I tried to forget the whole thing but the image of E, my E, running round some club sticking his tongue in any willing face refused to leave me alone.
I can think of 100 cliché lines with which to end this piece – love is blind, ignorance is bliss, blessed are the forgetful, but as much as it would be nice to turn back time to that night, if I had the chance, I’m not sure I would. The relationship may no longer feel like a fairy-tale, but without the mirrors and smokescreens I can see it for what it is. Why then, am I still here?