I remember it was a Friday evening. One of those winter days that make the outside seem unbearable. The inside wasn’t much better. My brain just wouldn’t stop, it just would not shut up. Whatever it was I was writing about I can’t remember. Some sort of boring essay for uni that now seems irrelevant.
What I do remember are the endless conversations in the stairs of the library. I don’t think I have ever spent so much time in a library and at the same time, so little time sitting on my desk. I always had a reason to get up and talk to her. I needed water, so on my way to get a refill I would stop and say hi, or maybe I had bought some kinder Bueno and I wanted to share. Lie. I did not want to share my kinder Bueno, but she was a good reason to let half of it go.
Now looking back, I realise I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time talking to someone. Not at least in such a short period of time, not at least for so many hours on end. I guess if we want to be stereotypical, I felt there was a connection, I felt this could be something bigger. I hadn’t desperately been looking for love, but I had found myself in a couple of situations in the past where I had been terribly disappointed. But she came with no expectations. Out of the blue. She had been in front of me the whole time. I had been in front of her the whole time.
Now, had we met in a different moment; I believe it would have not been the same. We had, as a matter of fact, met in the past. About a year or so before, in a random party. I remembered her face, but that was all. A face I recognised. When we started talking, we realised how much the past year had changed us both. I would not have been able to look at anyone else who wasn’t my ex. I would just not see past him. If something would’ve happened, it would’ve only been a rebound. Nothing else. Forgotten in the list of things with barely any meaning we sometimes do out of spite.
But after more than a year I had given my wounds the time they needed to heal. I knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I had made peace with the fact that people leave, and that’s okay. It is okay to cuddle your misery every once in a while. It’s important to give your anger, your sadness and your loneliness a place within you. They are as much a part of you as your happy days. And the happy days came.
I remember it was Friday, and I remember it was rainy. I was in the edge of despair. Too little time to finish something I should’ve started long ago. And, honestly, my mind was very far from this essay I was writing. My mind was wherever she was, even if she wasn’t with me. In the middle of my paranoia, I see someone approaching my table and saying: “So, I’m done with my test and I deserve a pint, wanna come with me?” Hell yes, I thought.
We packed our stuff and went for a drink. There was something different. I honestly can’t remember what I felt like in the moment, but I do remember not being able to pay any attention to what she was saying. I just wanted to kiss her, and I thought she did too, otherwise what was the point of this all? Now I have to say that I played with a little advantage, she had asked me out a few months ago and I had said no. So, I supposed it was on me to make the first move. Not that I was taking any risks, it was kind of my way of saying yes, I do want to have a drink with you. Even if the answer comes a little late.
And so, I did. The rest of the details are somehow boring since there is not many exciting activities happening in the middle of a lockdown. But to me it is excitement enough to know that whatever I do and wherever I go there will be someone to help me, to advise me, and to grow with me. More than a year later I still look at the same person with the same excitement and the same intrigue that overwhelmed me that Friday evening.
Perhaps a year in I sometimes only want her to shut up for a little bit, and I know she wishes I would shut up a little more often. But, if I’m honest, none of this could’ve come at a better time. I have found a rock to lean on whenever I need to, I have found a space where I can truly be myself, a shoulder I can cry on and a place where all my success will always be celebrated. And to me, that is what love is all about. It is the pleasure of walking by someone’s side, knowing that I have found the place I want to be in.