Sometimes I struggle to remember, I keep churning through distant memories attempting to build a sequence of events. That’s typically when I realise that I’ve skipped over events that I might have liked to write about. Like in telling mine and Lara’s story already I’ve skipped through the first five months to get to our first holiday in Cornwall and set up the story for the next one to Corfu.
Then it hit me, during those first few months there was so much more going on than I have thought to describe. Sure I was happy, ridiculously happy at times. Life was simple in our little bubble, not much could touch us. Those were simple times and I think the reason that I don’t remember much about those days is because nothing was ever a problem. I think everyone can accept that you hold on to the worst memories so much easier than you are able to hold on to the happy ones.
The cogs in my mind have been churning through my memories of that first year that Lara and I were together. I remember some love notes, photographs, theme parks, holidays, sex, sex, sex and sex. Then I remember my friends, we’d often hang out with the guys. It was quite nice not to be all about the ‘gay scene’ for a while. Michael has been long established as one of my best friends and we had a great time back then, we planned on going to plenty of concerts, Michael would get the tickets and I would do the driving.
One of my saddest memories during our first year together came just two months in. I was on my way to work one morning when my mobile started ringing, one look showed it was my parents. They knew I’d be on my way to work at this time so I thought the call must be important. I pulled over and received the devastating news that our dog Barney had been put down. He was an old boy and we’d had him since he was a puppy, I was stuck in a state of disbelief and I didn’t want to go home and face reality.
When I told Lara she was incredibly supportive, I remember that I didn’t cry and that was surprising to me. Lara cried, she’s always been compassionate when it comes to animals, I think she likes them more than people, but then there are a lot of people like that. I stayed the rest of the week at her place. I couldn’t imagine going home and not being created by the springer spaniel wiggle and the wagging tail.
Other memories that have come back to me are that during this time my older brother had started dating the girl that would a few years later become his wife. There would be no more late nights when we were both coming home drunk and moaning about women half the night. Those were interesting times.
I didn’t avoid my parents anymore, when I was at home I wouldn’t shut myself away in my room and ignore them. We’d all sit together in the living room talking over the telly, cracking jokes with each other and just generally being a family. It was a nice environment to be in, I preferred it to staying at Lara’s.
When we were at hers we’d be shut away in her room, left to our own devices usually watching DVD box sets or the freeview telly. Lara lived with her mum and her new husband, it was a rare occurrence for them to all be sat in the living room having a conversation. Sometimes I’d feel awkward since I would come and go so regularly and yet never have much opportunity to speak with or get to know them.
I always knew that Lara wasn’t that close with her mum, that there was something of a personality clash between them. Now it’s crystal clear to me that it’s because they’re so similar. I didn’t think it would matter to me whether they got on well or not, yet sometimes it would. Every so often, usually when alcohol had been involved, it would become clear that I wasn’t always as welcome there as Lara let me think.
During those days we were something like a package deal, we’d either both be at her place or both at mine. We also divided our time between the places pretty equally, so I like to think that as much as our parents had to put up with double the trouble they had equally as much time not seeing us at all.
When we had been together about six months at the end of July I had a bit of a surprise. I’m not one to celebrate an anniversary anything less than annually, Lara surprised me with a bunch of flowers, roses actually. I hadn’t been paying attention to the date at all, it was one of the few truly romantic gestures there would be over the years. Sure in those early days there were other romantic gestures, often little love notes, usually describing intense feelings, plans for the future and such. This was a first for me, I’m not saying Katy never bought me flowers, just never for a happy reason like celebrating our time together.
Also in those early months it’s all about sex. You know that one of you must be coming down with something if you’re not getting down to it at least five nights a week. By the end of our first month together we had invested in some accessories for the bedroom, including a ‘hands-free’ device, in fact that was the secret birthday present I had got on Lara’s birthday. I guess it’s a whole lot of learning about what each other likes, discovering ways to turn each other on and what works best where. Those are the days of any relationship you wish will never end.
When you’re living with parents it can be so awkward, that pressure to keep quiet when the house if full, or making the most of when you have the place to yourself. You often find yourself having stealth sex, I remember a quickie one evening that actually left me feeling ridiculously dizzy, I think I’d been holding my breath to stop myself making any noise since Lara’s parents were already upstairs in bed. I actually had to take a few minutes to compose myself, my vision had gone blurry and everything.
She was certainly cheeky, there were times when we’d be out with friends and she’d want it then and there. I wasn’t going to say no if there was somewhere nearby we could sneak away safe from interruptions. After six months there was no let up, we were still just as ravenous for each other. I didn’t see it as a honeymoon period any longer, I thought that was just the pattern of our sex life. I was happy with that.
Well those were the happiest of times that Lara and I shared, come the end of September we’d be flying off to Corfu together, it would be both of our first non-family trips abroad. I was looking forward to it, until I discovered that my passport had expired. I’d have to sort that out sharp. The holiday for the most part was relaxing and uneventful, until the last day. We’ll cover that next.