I doubt there are many people in the world who can pinpoint the exact moment their life changes, irreversibly, for the better but I know that I can.
Just a little after midnight on June 11th/June 12th, 2011, I met the love of my life. Laura quite literally bounded into my life, blurting out “you look like you’re from East 17!”, an opening line that might not be traditionally romantic but makes me smile every time I think about it and always will.
Had anyone else uttered those words, I would probably have been offended by the comparison, but I was not only speechless but completely spellbound by the sight of the most beautiful woman ever created standing in front of me. I believe I managed to mutter something like “hello” but in my mind all I could muster was “wow.”
I always thought the idea of love at first sight was nonsense – how on earth could it be even remotely possible – but having lived it I know that it has to be true. I fell in love with Laura the moment I set eyes on her – it just took my brain a little while to figure that out.
No sooner was she in my life than she disappeared again – as she did a couple of times during the night – and I spent that time doing two things: a) looking over my shoulder to see if she was coming back, and b) pretending not to be looking over my shoulder to see if she was coming back. Clearly all my nonchalant over-shoulder-looking worked, because she did come back and we’ve been virtually inseparable since.
Sometimes (well, all the time) I have trouble expressing just how much Laura means to me. I can be stubborn, selfish, unemotive, lazy and, at times, vindictive. I’ve lied and I’ve said nasty things in anger. I’ve hurt the most wonderful person in the world through no fault of her own, and I will forever be apologising for all the hurt I’ve caused.
I can’t change the mistakes I’ve made in the past, but what I can do is promise to be better in the future, to learn from my errors and not repeat them. Second chances don’t come around often, let alone 50th chances, so you have to grasp them with both hands and make sure you don’t let go.
Sometimes I get upset about small things, obsess about them and allow that to control how I act in a negative way, but if I didn’t care so much I wouldn’t get so upset. Sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees – allowing myself to become so upset, ignoring the fact that the reason I get so upset is because I love you so much, and when I can’t and don’t communicate my love I get frustrated and withdraw into myself.
You’ve often asked me why I love you and I’ve sometimes struggled to give you a proper answer, but the truth is that something so heartfelt is impossible to verbalise fully. What I can do is think of all the specific times we’ve done something or you’ve told me something and my heart has just melted.
I always go back to the time Sully caught a shrew and it upset you so much, I couldn’t believe it. To have such compassion and love for an animal you didn’t even know existed moments before, and to be so disappointed in Sully and Donatello even though they’re just doing what comes natural – I was just awestruck by how much love you had to give, and I knew that if I could have even a tiny bit of it come my way then I would have enough to last forever.
And I remember the day that you (finally) figured out that I was in love with you, though I still don’t know how you did it. You just looked in my eyes and smiled and said “I know what you’re thinking”, and had me say “elephant shoe” over and over. And when I finally figured out what you were saying, I was so scared to say it properly because I thought you’d laugh at me, and I couldn’t bear to let you know I love you if you didn’t feel the same way back.
Sometimes I’m still reluctant to say it because I’m fearful you don’t feel the same way, but then I think back to all the things you’ve done and what you’ve shown me and I realise that I’m being silly.
I know you feel the same way a lot of the time and it hurts me to think you don’t get the same feeling of love from me as I get from you, but I hope that deep down you realise that I do and it’s just a case of me showing you more and more every single day, because that’s all I want to do, and I really can’t think of a better way to spend my life than making you happy.
I love you Laura