So, how do I begin to get out that which is inside of me? I suppose I should begin by explaining that at 1.15 am I am drunk and at this moment I am doing the inevitable reminiscing.
Six weeks ago, or I don’t know maybe seven, I broke up with the love of my life and, truth be told, I am finding it hard. Jesus Christ I am finding it really fucking hard. The thing is we were together for two and a half years. Two and a half perfect years. I know we had issues, it would be really fucking dumb to pretend we didn’t. He was clingy and I was cold. God I wish I hadn’t been so cold. We lived in Manchester together, we had a whole life together.
I remember the first time I saw him, I had spent the week in Berlin on a college trip. I was with someone at the time, and I missed him. One week of being constantly drunk and you kind of begin to think about life on a sort of philosophical level. By the time I was ready to fly home I was in a pretty messy way. I had hooked up with my friend’s boyfriend in our hotel, I had been a bitch to some of the closest friends I had, I’d had some low points, crying in the shower so drunk I could barely stand up. But I’d had one of the best weeks of my life. I can remember lying on the floor in the airport, with the worst waking hangover I’d ever had. Then I saw him. He was sitting on the floor of the departure gate with a group of his friends. I’ve never been so impressed by someone. I can remember having that conversation in my head, I said to myself that boy could be your soulmate. Like when you see someone interesting on the other side of the street and for the tiniest moment you consider introducing yourself, that person could be the love of your life but if you don’t cross the road you’ll never know. Well I was drunk and my head hurt and all I wanted was to get home. In that moment I think my world changed, but for then it was enough just to catch his eye. I kept catching his eye, all the way home. There was a time he told me he thought I was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen, that he loved the way I sat backwards on my chair, how different I was. The truth is I was turned backwards to catch his eye just one more time.
So I got back to the airport, and I went home. The next month my boyfriend broke up with me in the shittiest way he could have. I was gutted and I knew it was my own fault. I’d been shitty to be in a relationship with and this breakup was exactly what I deserved. At the time I was eighteen, I’d been living with my mum again for the first time in a couple of years. I remember the night he broke up with me I trashed my room. I was so upset and so angry that I literally cleared every shelf, every cupboard, every draw. I smashed every thing I owned against the wall just because I had to vent my anger somewhere. Once more my mother threw me out. She threw me onto the street. I had nowhere to go and my father wouldn’t take me back. So I went to London. Joel and I had always talked about running away there, just taking up in some squat or hostel and just living free. I thought at least I could honour the promise we made to each other. But it didn’t last and sleeping rough was hard. I met some incredible people that week, some of the only people to show genuine concern for me. Who gave me blankets and cardboard and dope when I had none. But I knew I didn’t belong there, I knew I had to be something more.
Eventually I found my way back up to Manchester, I found a small room in a shared house. It was hell. My mother just wanted to tell me how wrong the whole situation was and my father just wanted to throw money at me. Over those first few months I had nothing, I found solace in liquor and takeaway food. I used to wake up in the morning and pour myself a bowl of Cheerios and a glass of whiskey and I was sad. I’d always had a strange relationship with alcohol, I was in counselling for alcoholism from seventeen, amongst other things. But then I started talking to this boy who shared some friends with me. They were acquaintances really, I’ve never really had friends. People just don’t like me. So we were talking and we agreed that he’d come to see me in my shitty little room in that awful house. I’d always held people at arm’s length but something told me to let this one in, somehow it felt ok. The day he came to see me I went to go and pick up a bag of dope from one of my acquaintances, I was so nervous. I had to smoke just to calm my nerves and ended up meeting him two hours late. I can remember it so clearly now. I walked down the high street and he was sat on one of those sculptural benches they make out of concrete or stone or whatever to make an area more interesting or attractive or whatever. His makeup was a mess and I had pen all down my arm, I was stoned and he looked like shit and he was still the most attractive person I had ever seen.
I walked him back to my house and we let ourselves in. After a few hours together he knew he had to go but I wanted him to stay and I tried to keep him by my side just for that little bit longer. In the end he stayed and we shared my little mattress on the floor. God I was pathetic back then. My floor was covered in clothes and empty bottles and all kinds of shit. I don’t know what he saw in me, but whatever it was he saw it. I curled up next to him on that mattress on the floor, I was so scared of being alone I think I would have curled up next to anyone. Not in a sexual way, or romantic, I just wanted someone to sleep next to. But I was bold and I slipped my hand in his pants. I rested my head on his chest and listened to his heart beat grow stronger as I slid my hand along his body. That night was the first time I made him come. Over the next few weeks we saw a lot of each other, he visited me constantly and those visits were like a ray of light that made each day bearable. I remember the nights we’d sit up in my room drinking beer, him writing essays about Italian horror films and me playing Tomb Raider on the playstation.
See the thing is, I wasn’t even a person back then, not really. To this day I still don’t know what he saw in me but I am so thankful that he saw it. It wasn’t long before we worked out that he had been the person I saw in that airport in Berlin. It explains why I always felt this overwhelming sense of fate about us. It was like the universe had thrown us together with all of its unending wisdom and unpredictability. He spent that summer living in London and he made me visit him. We stayed in his soulless little university room and ate shit food and drank diet coke constantly. I’d forgotten about the little trips I took to the shop but writing this has brought it back. I would take what little money we had and walk down the street to buy bread and chocolate shakes and diet coke for us. We went out partying and had our first argument that week. I think that was the night I fell in love with him. I had been unreasonable and emotional and stormed off in the middle of the night and when I got back to his, he still let me in. Lying next to him at seven in the morning my heart just felt so full. I don’t think I ever told him that, I wish I had. That week I spent so much time just being myself, and for the first time in years I felt okay with that. I can remember hanging out of his window with a cigarette, completely naked and rocking my head to Marilyn Manson songs. We watched shit films and brilliant films and we cuddled and we talked and we ate shit food and that week he asked me to call him my boyfriend. I said yes, of course I said yes, I fell in love with him that night.
Over the next two and a half years our relationship gave me life. I mean that in the most literal sense. I have never felt so alive as I did when I was with him. We had our ups and downs, we fought and I was difficult and he was mean. I drank and he hit me but it was only ever because we loved each other so much. We lived in different places together, we had our own lives but we were so intertwined at times I swear we were the same person. Now its over I’m really not sure what to do because my heart beat for him. My heart only ever beat for him. And I miss him. I miss our cat, I miss watching shit films together, and brilliant films. I miss cleaning the flat and having his dinner in the oven when he came home from work. I miss the way he’d convince me to let him practice makeup on me, or the way he’d help me sort out my hair so I looked pretty and feminine and felt good about myself. I loved him for coming with me to my appointment to get a referral to the gender clinic, I loved him for the way he always made me feel beautiful, I loved him for the way he’d leave me in bed when he got up in the morning. I loved him for shouting at me that the taxi was on the way and my makeup wasn’t finished. I loved him for every thing he did. And I don’t have that any more.
Ten weeks ago I moved to London. We’d had such a shit time preparing for it, knowing that he didn’t want me to go and that I didn’t want to go but that I needed to. I needed to have my own prospects. I came here and I got caught up in university life, I got caught up in my flatmate’s relationship issues and the booze and the partying. I got caught up in my friend’s disdain for relationships. But I missed Patrick. God I missed him so much. Every time he sent me a text it just reminded me that he wasn’t there, every time we spoke on the phone I felt so empty after hanging up. It was all just a reminder that we weren’t together physically any more. So I did what i have done best since I was a child, I avoided the issue and I made it out to be something different in my head. I got caught up in the excitement of making friends with someone who went through similar things to me in the past. He reminded me of everything that I experienced that so many people will never know, he was a connection to the person I was aged sixteen, and I just wanted him to like me. So we partied and we drank and one night after a night out we went back to his and we were drunk and stupid and sharing a single bed and we got talking and the conversation got round to sex. And I was drunk and foolish and I made a mistake. I didn’t cheat. That is what I want to make clearer than anything. Nothing sexual happened. But something did happen and he told his friend because he thought it meant something, and he blew it up out of proportion to his friend and his friend was also my friend and Patrick’s friend. And he went and ran his mouth to Patrick because he wanted to be important or to know more than everyone else knew or whatever. It sure as hell wasn’t for any good intention.
I remember Patrick calling me to ask about it, and we fought. I knew I hadn’t cheated but there were people saying I had. I felt like I was losing control because the boy I loved, who I had loved for two and a half years was hearing some bullshit story from someone who didn’t know anything. And I was tired and emotional and I just wanted to talk about it tomorrow, but Patrick kept pressing the issue, the whole thing. And I told him I needed space. It’s not untrue. I was so caught up in the whole university thing, my life had changed so much in just a few short weeks I needed to get my bearings, I needed to take a moment to clear my head. And we broke up that night. It’s something I regret more than anything. I came to university to better myself, so I would have prospects, so I could be an equal partner in the relationship and not always rely on him for everything. I just wanted the space to work on me so I could be better for him. But he never got that, it was never clear to him.
Six weeks later he is fucking somebody else, I still don’t understand how he can be doing that. He explained it to me, told me that he still loves me but he can’t be alone right now. Told me that I broke his heart and this person makes him feel better. It’s fair enough but I don’t understand. If you love me how can you fuck someone else right? Especially after such a short time. I mean six weeks? That’s nothing. I saw him for the last time just a few days ago, I was back in Manchester and I felt we owed it to each other to see each other face to face after such a long time. We met up in a coffee shop and talked everything out. I told him I still love him and that I want to be with him, that I believe we are meant to be together in the end. I don’t even remember what he said. I just know little soundbites that keep playing over and over, like how he said he loves me and wants to be just not now, or how he too feels like we are meant to be together, or how he loves me but can’t be alone. He cried and I cried and walking out of that coffee shop was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Harder than giving up booze or drugs or forgiving my parents. I’ve never done anything so hard, I think I could have stayed in that coffee shop with him forever, it was such a comfort to see his face.
But he is with somebody else now, and even though he made it pretty clear it’s just a rebound and I know him well enough to know that it is. I know him well enough to know he will stay with this boy, because at the end of the day Patrick is a coward. He is a fucking coward. He loves me but he won’t work at it because he’s scared, I get it, I would be too. But I believe love is all you need for it to be worth trying. But I love him enough to respect his decision. I love him enough to let him go. I just want him to be happy. I can say with absolute clarity he is the love of my life, and that is the only reason I can let him go. There is nothing more that I want than for him to be happy.
So if this is what it takes. If it takes letting my heart break for him to be happy then I will let it happen. Because at the end of the day I am just so fucking honoured to have held his heart at all. I was the luckiest person in the world and I know I will never love another like I love him. But at least in fifty years I can look back and know that he is happy, that I did the right thing by letting him go, and most of all I will smile knowing the happiness he brought into my life.