for Better, for Worse

I think I know why most wedding vows have ‘for better, for worse’ in them. It’s because Love is the single most amazing thing that can happen in your life and at the same time can be the single most awful thing in your life. Being in love can be amazing, when you’re loved back. It can sometimes even be amazing when you’re not, provided you have a very thick skin and you have that altruistic approach to love of ‘I just want you to be happy’

You know you’ve got it bad when you openly admit that your favourite sound is no longer the unmistakable beat of your favourite song (Gladys Knight and the Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia, if you’re wondering) or the sound of children laughing but in fact the sound of the person you love whispering to you ‘I love you’

So when the love of your life can only be near you at the weekends you end up literally living for the weekend and making do with the wonders of modern technology in those times in between. When you’re together you make that extra effort to savour every minute of time shared. The result is the most intensely passionate, romantic and loving weekends followed by the most tedious, tiresome and so-slow-it-feels-liketime-is-grinding-to-a-halt work week. The best and the worst of being in love and being apart.

The weekends were racking up quickly, after 8 weeks we had made a lot of memories and it was nearly the end of August. Megan and I were crazy in love and could not get enough of each other. Each weekend was filled with romance, surprises and tonnes and tonnes of passion. We were in that honeymoon period that gives you that high on life dopey look.

One night on my way back from London for the weekend Megan had told me that she had a surprise for me and to let her know when I got home. Of course, traffic was horrific after I’d received that message, even worse I was beginning to feel really ill en-route home. I remember thinking I’d have to stop by the side of the motorway to be sick I had such a terrible stomach-ache.

Eventually I made it back to Somerset, after stopping for quite a considerable time at Reading services midway through my journey in a futile attempt to compose myself for my onward journey. Nevertheless I was intent on making sure Megan’s surprise went well, after the herculean effort she had made for me to make it to London for the weekend even after being in hospital all week just the month before it was the least I could do.

When I arrived home I text Megan to let her know, I had no idea what the surprise was going to be and couldn’t wait to see her. A short while later I had a text back asking me to go outside to my car, I assumed that Megan would be waiting for me. As I walked the short distance to where I had parked I saw her in her car driving away, she noticed me and smiled. I was confused. However I did as instructed and went to my car.

A single red rose with a note had been left on the windshield of my car. The note was short, with something to the effect of be ready in half an hour and bring your iPad, it was signed off simply with ‘I love you’ and a faint lipstick mark kiss on the paper. I rushed around for the next thirty minutes trying to reach that level of composure I hadn’t quite managed since my funny-turn on the M4. Before I knew it Megan was back to whisk me away for my surprise.

She tied a scarf around my eyes so I couldn’t see where she was taking me. It’s rather unsettling being driven around without being able to see where you’re going. The blindfold was tied rather well and I really couldn’t tell where we were. After some time we stopped, Megan pulled over and still wouldn’t let me take the blind-fold off or get out of the car. I could hear her moving about outside and getting things out of the car, I had no idea what was going on.

After a few minutes Megan fetched me from the car, when she took the blindfold off it was to reveal a late night pic-nic under the stars atop a nearby landmark with fantastic views. Megan had clearly gone to a lot of effort, this wasn’t just a blanket thrown on the floor, she had solar powered twinkly lights and lanterns. Each one had a love-note attached to it cut into the shape of a heart with something written on it that she loved about me. Megan had also borrowed my iPad and set it up to play our favourite songs softly in the background. It was the perfect welcome home.

This night was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me. In my previous relationships there had been a distinct lack of romance (the spontaneous kind, without hinting and begging for a little love and affection) and it felt incredible to experience. I hadn’t hinted or suggested a night like this, it was all Megan’s doing. That night we lay under the stars all snuggled up and finally together again after another week apart. It felt good for the soul, it felt like coming home.

The night was cut a little shorter than planned by an unseasonable chill and the desire to be acquainted with a nice warm bed. This was just one night of two that we would get to spend together. This was a perfect moment shared between two people very much in love. This was when love was ‘for Better’

The weekends were always blissful but over too soon, every Sunday when I had to leave was actually painful. I was so conflicted, I loved being in London, loved my life in London, but not nearly as much as I loved Megan. Worse still was seeing her pain, seeing the way it affected her when I had to say goodbye, if I found it hard enough to say goodbye every weekend because of my own feelings it was nothing compared to how I felt when I saw her so unhappy. I lived to make this girl smile, I hated the bittersweet situation we found ourselves in. This part was ‘for Worse’ and I was worried that over time, it might even be the ruin of us.

There was no chance of me coming back to Somerset, my life just works better here in London, here I’m a happier person, the person she fell in love with. I was miserable in Somerset because I was limited in my career and had never been able to reach my full potential, I needed to be where the opportunities were, I needed to grow. I wasn’t done with my growth spurt. I knew over-time we’d have to figure out a way to really be together, I couldn’t imagine us not being for forever. Oddly enough, neither could she.

Being completely honest I was still a little put out by our situation overall, I couldn’t make out if what we had was going to every really amount to anything. I know I really wanted it too, but we were still quite cloak-and-dagger about our love affair. To all my friends, family and here in London we were open about the fact that we were together. Back in Somerset it felt like it was on a strictly need to know basis, I wasn’t used to being in a relationship on those terms, it planted the tiniest seed of doubt. Was I still her dirty little secret? Was it like she said, she was just worried about what people would think if they knew she’d moved on to another relationship so soon? I forced myself to give her the benefit of doubt, I had to learn to trust again. I forced the feeling away, letting my heart have its way.

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