*Longread* Falling for you.

We out tonight?” That’s all the text said, my friend Frankie was child free and my pockets were lined with that weeks wages.
“Hell to the Yes, Brother!” I replied,
“Come down mine for about 6, we can do pre-drinks!”.
It was Saturday, May 7th 2011. My friends and I had been going out every weekend for nearly 18months, it was pretty had going on my liver, not to mention my pocket, but I didn’t care. I was having fun, something I hadn’t had in a very long time.
I picked a jumpsuit to wear, teamed with my favourite 5inch heels. I showered, dressed, put on my makeup and did my hair, with a quick double check of my funds for the night and packing my handbag with all the Saturday essentials, lipstick, a pocket mirror and my smokes, I was set for the night.
I walked to the shop and picked up a couple of bottles of my favourite strawberry cider and made my way to Frankies house.
Pre drinking was always fun with my friends, we played games, listened to music and laughed as we joked about and took silly photos. The time came to grab a taxi and make our way to our usual haunting ground.

Cubanas was full, as always. We paid the entry fee before heading straight to the bar. Another bottle of cider and some shots would do it. We headed to the dance floor and partied for a bit.
We decided to go outside for a smoke, it was getting busy and hot on the dance floor. We walked out the back of the club and made our way to the usual bench we picked, the closest to the outside bar. We both sat on the table, feet on the seat and lit up.
A moment later a guy walked over,
“What’s happening Frank,” he said to my friend, Frankie smiled and said
“Hiya Moe! Haven’t seen you in ages! How’s life?”
I thought quietly to myself “oh here we go, frankies chatting. Again.”
Frankie, my best friend from school, my party buddy, was a popular girl. She grew up in this town and knew so many people, I however, didn’t. I hardly knew anybody, maybe a familiar face from school here and there but nowhere near as many as she did. Some nights, while we were out I would spend time sat listening in to her conversations with all the people she knew.
I was always introduced and always ended up making new friends so I didn’t really have grounds to complain.
I sat and watched Frankie catch up with this guy Moe, she showed him a picture of her son and they chatted some more. Then moe said “so, you gonna introduce me to your mate?” Looking at me. Frankie, pretty drunk by then put her arm around my shoulders and introduced me to him.

I can’t remember much about our conversation topics, we talked for a while about lots of things,I remember thinking “does this guy shut up?” He talked, a lot.
I was intrigued though, he was dark haired, dark eyed and handsome, I couldn’t deny that, but I didn’t think much about it then. He made me laugh and we seemed to have a lot in common, he was cool too.

We continued to chat away, he brought his friend Nathan into the conversation and the four of us carried on talking out the back of the club until it was time to move onto the next one. We all headed to the bar before leaving, I ordered 8 shots, Frankie and I downed 4 each, looked at the guys and asked if they were ready. They both looked like they’d just seen something unforgettable but quickly stepped forward and walked out of the doors with us.

We walked across the road and got some money out at a cash point, I turned to Moe and asked if he was ready and he told me he couldn’t come, Nathan had to go home because his Girlfriend was waiting for him and he told me he had run out of money.
“Don’t be silly!” I said, “I’ll pay for you to get in and for a drink.”
After those 4 shots I knew I wasn’t going to drink much more anyway.
“Shut up! Really?” He was surprised.
“Yeah! Come on! Let’s get in this taxi now!”
Frankie, me and Moe jumped into a taxi and headed to the next club.
I did as promised and paid for moe to get in, bought him a drink and we all headed to the garden for a smoke.

The night seemed to fly, we all danced, Frankie met up with some other people and went dancing with them while moe and I sat outside and talked. We talked all night and I was having fun, this guy was funny, witty and he seemed kind.

When it came to it, it was time to leave. Moe had told me he had to leave a bit sooner than me because he had a really long walk back to his house. I told him that he could come back to my house, which was considerably closer to his house and he could walk home in the morning.
He smiled, but I quickly told him, ” you can come, on one condition though,”
“What’s that?” He asked,
“No funny business!” I said,
He smiled and nodded in agreement.
We left the club, jumped in a taxi and we got dropped off outside my house.
We walked in and straight to my bedroom, I quickly changed into my Pyjamas and we sat on the bed and talked some more, we talked for ages, hours before we eventually fell asleep.

As promised, moe kept his hands to himself, he didn’t try anything on, it was only by accident we ended up cuddled up, him the big spoon, me the little one. I remember waking up and being cuddled by him, he was sound asleep, I didn’t think for one minute that he had done it on purpose, in fact, I didn’t care much either. In that moment, I felt so comfortable, so safe. It had been so long since I was hugged in such a way, I nodded back of to sleep still in his arms.

Sunday morning woke us by shining it’s light straight through my curtains, we both woke a bit worse for wear and grumbled about it, before laughing at the previous nights antics.
We both got up, he got himself ready to leave and we exchanged numbers before I saw him off at the doorstep.
I walked back to my room smiling, only slightly though, I had had fun, I had been treated with respect and I felt mutual, it made me feel scared. I didn’t feel ready for a relationship, it frightened me.

I went back to bed, head sore from alcohol and full of thought about the man I just waved off. I fell asleep again.

When I woke up, and I don’t remember who text who first, but we ended up texting throughout the day. By the evening we had arranged to meet, I was promised a drink somewhere and that was that.

I remained sceptical because of my fear of falling in love but I had to see him again, I couldn’t wait for Monday to come.

*

I could hear the sound of the engine running so I knew he was outside. I was nervous, but I was also quite excited.

I looked out of the window, this guy I had met, Moe, drove a little blue Citroen saxo, it had all the little extras and sounded louder than your average little run around. It was the first time I had seen his car, on the Saturday we met he’d been walking.
It was now Monday and we’d been texting since. I double checked I looked aright in my clothes, I tried to keep it casual while also trying to look nice, I didn’t want to seem like I was trying to hard, because I wasn’t, I was still unsure, I’d only met him two nights ago. I wore a baggy jumper, skinny jeans and some boots, I figured it was smart enough to show I had put enough effort in while being casual enough to show I wasn’t about to give it up on a plate. I was happy with my reflection and so I went off, kissed my mum goodbye and made my way to the front door.
As I opened the front door he was walking towards it.
“I was just about to knock!” He had a smile on his face as he looked at me,
“No need, I heard you pull up, boy racer.” Sarcasm rang through my tone but I smiled so he knew I was joking.
“Where we off to then?” I asked, as we both made our way to the car.
“I told you I was going to take you out for coffee.” He said, looking at me as he walked around the front of the car towards the drivers side, “okay then, where?” I was curious.
“You’ll see.” He told me, still smiling.
We both got into the car and he set off.

We pulled into a Starbucks a few miles away from where we lived, I told him that I hadn’t had Starbucks before and I didn’t like coffee, “hot chocolate it is then!” He said.
I watched him as he placed the order through the little voice box at the beginning of the drive through, he wore a t shirt, jeans and trainers. I thought he must’ve had the same ‘casual but smart’ idea as me and smiled to myself. When we collected the drinks I realised he’d ordered the biggest size with all the trimmings, squirty cream and marshmallows, and he paid. I’d offered to pay for my own but he refused, I was quietly pleased with that.

We drove around to the car park outside Starbucks, he switched off the engine and we just sat in the car drinking our hot beverages and talking.

We talked about all things really, he old me about his football career and how he had an injury a few years ago that caused him to give up lots of things while he recovered. I told him about my job and how I had worked there for a while.
We talked about music and films and hobbies, interests. We shared stories and I told him about how I had left my ex after being in a bad relationship and I had been working on getting to know myself since, he told me about his past and how he was trying to better himself because of it. We talked for hours.
He made me laugh and even when I accidentally spat some cream on him while talking he didn’t get offended, he could see I was so embarrassed and just laughed it off with me. I felt happy, happier than I had felt for a long time but I was still unsure, unsure about falling in love, whether I was ready for it.

After the drinks had finished, the talking continued, but it had gotten late, I had work the next morning so we drove back. We talked the whole way home, sharing more laughs and giggles along the way. When we pulled up outside my house we continued to talk, I was unsure about how to leave, as silly as it sounds, You see these moments in movies and the girl always gives the guy a kiss, I remember thinking do I kiss him? Shake his hand? Surely it would be rude to just say cheers and jump out of the car?
So I plucked up and gave him a kiss on the cheek before leaving with bright red cheeks of my own.

I walked into my house where I found my mum and brother both stood waiting for me to find out how it went, I blushed some more before telling them about it with a big smile on my face. I did share my quiet doubts with my mum and explained that it scared me a little, I did really like him but I didn’t want to get hurt, I didn’t want him to get hurt by thinking this was going somewhere and then I realise I wasn’t ready.

We text back and fourth over the rest of the night. I went to bed with another arrangement to meet up, we were going to go to the cinema in two days time.
I text him to wish him a good night and he text me back to wish me the same. I settled my head on my pillow and the thoughts were still there, the worry and scary thoughts of falling for him and getting hurt but I couldn’t help but remember back to the talks and laughes we’d shared back at Starbucks. I fell asleep with him on my mind and a smile on my face.

That night I dreamt of him, we were together, a couple but we had a baby, a daughter, I saw her as a four, maybe five year old, she had his skin tone and long brown curly hair, she was beautiful and it broke my heart. I woke with a start, a pain in my heart, knowing what I’d been told about not being able to have children I resented my brain for dreaming up something so wonderful, it sent my fear soaring and I fell back asleep with a promise to myself to break it off, call it quits, to tell him that we should be just friends.

*

I woke up the following morning feeling refreshed and relaxed. A weight had been lifted the night before when I had told Moe about us staying just friends. There was an air of disappointment though, I had spent each day since the Saturday thinking about him, dreaming about him, imagining a life with him. I hadn’t spent that much time thinking about someone particular in such a long time. I had known this guy only days and I felt such a strong connection, I felt like I’d known him longer than I did. It seemed strange, knowing that I had only known him for such a short time but find myself scared of falling in love, scared of commitment to him. It was Wednesday morning and I’d met him the Saturday before, four days of constant thought, even after telling him I thought we should stay as friends, I still thought about him as more than just a friend. Still, I was relieved to be free of feeling like I may be sending him a different message.

Throughout the day we texted back and fourth while I was at work, we chatted about all sorts and I told him about some of my work mates. We shared more jokes and I couldnt help but smile each time my phone went off.

“looks like someone has found someone new!” One of the girls I worked with had seen me smiling at a text.

“yeahhhhh,” I lingered on with the word,

“no?” She asked,

” well, kind of.” I smiled, her facial expression screamed for more details and so I went on to explain,

“oh, I dunno. He’s a really nice guy but I’m not sure, I really don’t know how to feel about it because I do really like him and he’s super hot but I don’t want to fall in love, I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to end up back where I was, it just scares me,” I huffed and puffed after finishing my explanation, I was sorry for myself. I wished I didn’t have such a phobia of love, I wished I hadn’t been hurt the way I had and I really wished that I could just go with the flow instead of sitting around thinking about things all the time.

“do you want to know what I think?” My work friend looked like she was about to burst,

“go on then, mother!” We laughed at my last word, it was often I was mothered by her.

” I have known you since you were 16 years old, you came to work here and you were the baby, you were young but you had a wise head in your shoulders, you were with Craig all that time, and I watched you get excited about moving in with him, I watched you get excited about getting engaged but what I also watched was all the times He hurt you, all the times you wiped away your tears when you walked into work so you didn’t show any of us you were upset. I Have seen you turn into a young woman with the resposibilites and worries of someone much older. When you left Craig, I was happy. I was so glad that you built the courage up to leave and get away from him, he treated you awfully and you deserve better! Over the last few months you’ve been up and down more than I can remember and it’s been over a year since you left Craig now and it’s only since Monday I have seen you walking with a spring in your step. For all the fun you’ve been having with the girls on the weekends, you still come into work with a face like a slapped arse on a Monday, but, this Monday, yesterday and today, you have smiled more than you have since February last year and it’s bloody refreshing! You’re so smily, you need to follow this, I know it, stop being a chicken and just got for it!”

I remember watching and listening to her rant at me, and I realised that all the hiding I thought I had been doing was just quietly watched by everyone I classed as friends. I started to cry, I was given a hug. I will always remeber that day, the way I was told by my friend that I deserved better, that was the first time someone had said that to me in almost five years, I felt overwhelmed and happy, I wiped away my tears and thanked my friend.

I knew I Liked Moe, I decieded that I would just go with the flow and have fun at the cinema, I didn’t need to burden myself with what if’s and maybe’s, I just needed to let go and have some fun. After work was finished I hitched a ride home with another of the girls from work and walked back to my house after being dropped off, the walk home had me thinking about what to wear and I stated to get more excited than I did when we went for coffee. I was so glad I had had that talk with my work friend, it gave me a new sense of confidence. I went home and got ready for my cinema trip with Moe.

I heard His car before he’d text to say he was outside, but I waited for him to text anyway and then I waited a little before leaving too, not wanting to seem too eager. We talked in the car just like we had on Monday, I told him about work but I left out the conversation with my friend, he didn’t need to know about that, we shared more stories and jokes and I laughed a proper belly laugh quite a few times! We arrived at the cinema earlier than we needed to so we went for a drink.

“What you drinking mate?” He asked me, smirking,

“I’ll have a coke please,” I said, I wasn’t going to rise to his game, although I found it hillarious.

“Are you sure mate? Sure you don’t want a cider mate?” He was smiling,

“Go on then, thanks mate,” I gave in, I guess it never really takes much for me to join in a game,

“good choice mate,” we laughed together and he went to get the drinks.

When he arrived at the table with the drinks I asked him why he was calling me mate, I knew the answer, he was playing along with the ‘lets be friends’ text. “I’m calling you mate because we’re mates, aren’t we mate?” He made it sound like a question but he knew what he was doing, I knew what he was doing, we both laughed and I said “that’s right mate,” all evening we chatted and every time we talked to each other the word ‘mate’ made its way into the sentence, we played on some gambling machines after our drink and then we headed to the movie.

I had recommended that we watch a movie that had recently been released, it had great reviews and was meant to be extremely funny. It was funny, but it turned out is was a Rom-Com and there was an awkward moment when I was leaning towards Moe and he was leaning towards me and the screen burst to life with romance, Moe said he needed the loo, I felt embarrassed. We stayed until the end of the movie but it was awkward, two friends watching romance wasn’t what we thought we were headed for.

After the movie had finished we walked from the screen and towards the car talking more, still using the word ‘mate’ where ever we could and then we started discussing the movie, I told him I didn’t realise it was romantic and we laughed some more, it was at that moment I bumped into him while telling him to shut up after he said something silly. I realised we were flirting, I wasn’t meant to be flirting! I wasn’t meant to be behaving in this way and he wasn’t supposed to be behaving like that either, I liked it. We were breaking our own rules and I was having fun while doing so.

The evening saw me dropped off back at home and after my cheeks had stopped glowing from yet another awkward goodbye peck on the cheek I was back in my room texting him again. We arranged to meet the following day and grab a pizza and a dvd to take back to my house, I was yet again excited and I tucked myself up in bed after wishing him goodnight for the fifth night in a row.

*

Thursday, May 12th 2011 saw me excited again. It was a warm day, sunny and inviting. I had work to do but it was pay day and pay day was always a great day. Since the Saturday before I had been getting to know a guy called Moe, we’d been texting back and fourth since the Sunday and we had met up twice already. I had been given a lecture from a work mate who gave me the spirit to stop hiding behind my emotional fortress and embrace what was happening.

I can’t remember falling in love as quickly before, to be honest it scared the shit out of me. Moe was handsome and popular and I was still a broken shell of my former self that used alcohol as an escape and didn’t care about it. Meeting him had woken me up, it gave me something to think about and as the days went by I couldn’t help but notice that I felt more alive and awake than I had for over a year. That Thursday morning, more texting happend, more words sent back and fouth, laughs shared and quirky remarks. I spent the day in work wishing I was out in the sun, wishing I had the time to enjoy it. I rememebr thinking about pulling a sicky but I decided against it. The day went by quickly and it was just as full of excitement and questions as the days before it. I’d only realised the night before that I actually really liked this guy, yeah he scared me, not in a bad way, in a good way. The kind of I can’t believe this is happening type of scared. Every time my phone went off my heart skipped a beat and my chest swelled. I couldn’t belive it, but I’d fallen in love with him, overnight.

Something snapped in me at the cinema, I watched him and eyed him to try to gage him but all I kept thinking was how much I liked him, how different he was to others I’d met and I would catch myself looking at him when he wasn’t looking and I found him overwhelming and the fact that he called me “mate” and made it funny just grabbed me. I’d woken that morning filled with happiness for the first time, I smiled and got ready for work with time to spare instead of running down the hill to my lift still trying to cram toast into my face. I felt different and I was pleased with how it had changed my mood. During my lunch break that day we continued our text talks and Moe offered to pick me up after work, I jumped at the chance, I figured I’d already fallen in love with him I’d might as well spend some more time with him. That afternoon flew by and it was only about thirty minutes off the end of the day when I realised I’d not worn any makeup to work that day, I never wore make up to work! And now this guy who I’d fallen head over heels in love with was going to collect me from work and I didn’t have any make up on!? I could’ve died, I contemplated cancelling but I figured he’d have already started making his way there, I might as well go through with it. A quick ask around the girls in work on whether or not they had any mascarra in their bags turned out to be pointless so I had no choice but to embrace my natural beauty and go ahead with it anyway. I heared him pull up outside and my mind melted. I couldn’t concentrate and I was nervous, all the girls who’d grown to be my adoptive big sisters were smiling at me and I swear they literally made me leave last just so they could watch me meet him, second to that, by me leaving last it meant they could all have a good old gander at him too! I got into his car and sunk into my hoody, embarrassed.

“What’s up?” He asked me.

“Just the girls being dicks.” I said, my chin tucked into the front of my hoody.

“Why?” He asked, curious

“Because they wanted to see you,” I didn’t look at him, I just stared straight out of the window dying a death of embarrassment,

“Haha!” He laughed as he shifted into gear and pulled off. “What’s up with you? Why are you tucked away in your jumper?” He asked me,

“I’m a bit embarrased, I got no make up on, I look like a mess! You’ll probably drop me off and never come back agian!”

His laugh jumped off my ear drums, “don’t be stupid babe, I’m not going anywhere!”

I laughed and relaxed a little before I realised he’d called me babe and then I was bright red in the cheeks and desperately keeping my cool while inside I was jumping up and down and screaming like banshee.

I collected myself, relaxed and the rest of the journey went smooth, filled with laughs and stories and jokes again.

When we arrived at my place, he came in too. We went to my room and I got changed, we’d planned a pizza and a DVD so that’s what we did. We went to blockbusters and picked up a movie which,for the life of me, I can’t remember what and afterwards We drove to the pizza place and ordered a half and half pizza, some drinks and some sweet stuff for afters. Back at mine we both sat on my bed and ate pizza while chatting away, the movie was playing in the background but I guess that’s why I can’t remember what we got, we didn’t actually watch much of it. The pizza was amazing and I was starving from work, moe looked at me with wide eyes and then said “Jesus! You can eat just as quick as me!” When we each had a slice left, I almost choked! “I’ve been complimented before but never on my eating skills!” But we both laughed and carried on eating. The night went well and all the while I sat there and thought about how me was making my heart melt and how hard I was falling for him.

I offered him to stay over that night, and he said he’d love to. I told him the same rules applied as before and that there was to be no funny business. He was more than happy to agree and when the time came, we settled down and fell asleep, together, cuddled up in a ball of arms and legs.

*

Seven days, hundreds of texts, three sleepovers, a few cuddles, a couple of kisses, four late nights, two hot chocolates, two cinema tickets, two people, two hearts.

Saturday May 14th 2011 is the day my life changed.

We woke that Saturday with heavy heads from the drinks the night before but we smiled at each other and laughed in the morning light seeping through my curtains. We had fun. The night before I realised that my love for him was growing and there was no denying it.

I had plans that day, I’d offered to watch my friend’s son for the day while she worked and I needed to go into town to go shopping for some holiday clothes. Moe needed to run some errands for his family so, after some bacon sarnies and a cuppa. We went our separate ways. I got ready for the day and my friend dropped her son to me. All the while Moe and me text each other. Discussing the conversation we had shared before sleeping the night before.

I text him,

Where’s this going then?

He replied,

Well you know I want to tell the world you’re my boo.

I replied

Well I think you should do that then

He replied

Really? So we’re together then?

I replied

Yeah, if you want to be.

He replied

Obviously I do!

I replied

So we are then lol!!

And that was that. We started our official relationship over a few text messages.

At that time, I didn’t know where we we’re heading, I didn’t know what the future held. It wasn’t long and Moe went from being Moe, to being Meirion.

We admitted we loved each other the Saturday after we got together. Just two weeks after meeting each other.

If I knew then, what I know now, I’d have laughed and said that was crazy! But, Almost four years later we are still together, we are a family. We celebrated the birth of our first born just two weeks after celebrating our one year anniversary. 12 months together and we had a daughter. Over the four years we’ve been together, we have had some ups and some downs, we’ve laughed and cried. We’ve grown together and our love is still strong. I will never forget the week we met and the way we fell in love. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.

 

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