I have a confession to make: I’m not sure about my future with Blue Eyes.
I haven’t told anyone. I’m afraid of telling myself. Over the last six months we’ve slotted our lives together like pieces of a jigsaw: her shirts hang in my wardrobe; her toothbrush nuzzles mine in the jar. She buys me a towel for her place, a lamp for my side of the bed.
We go to birthdays and dinners and nights out together, testing out the fabric of each other’s lives, seeing how we fit in. As the weeks tick by I find new items squirreled away in my room: moisturizer; deodorant; pyjamas; a pair of jeans. One day a pair of keys appears whilst Blue Eyes smiles shyly.
She’s invited to one wedding, then two. Everyone wants to meet her. Soon! I say with a tight smile.
My friends who do meet her love her.
She’s so lovely they gush. And she is; the loveliest little thing you could ever imagine. I love waking up in the morning to feel her warm curl at my back, her paws resting lightly on my tummy. I love how she sings and shuffles around my home, bright as a button.
My attraction to her burns as fiercely as it ever did; every day I feel slightly stunned that I get to call this woman my girlfriend. I want her so much I ignore the worries squiggling through my brain like strands of spaghetti.
But there are worries: sometimes we can both be so quiet that the conversation dries up until there’s nothing but the soft clank of our knives and forks. I’m crude, I make dirty jokes and she winces – she wants a lady but she got the tramp. I use words she doesn’t get. She uses cultural references I don’t get. We get lost in translation and then find a common tongue in the bedroom.
Are these things to be worried about? I don’t know and I’m so terrified of hurting her that I don’t say anything. Instead I pick fights, withdraw, go cold then hot, pull back, go quiet, get scared and crawl back into her loving arms like a dog. It’s death by a thousand cuts and it’s the actions of a coward.
It all comes to a head one evening when we have a humdinger of a fight about something completely random. It starts off small then spirals out of control. We land blow after blow after blow, vitriol pouring out of our wounds like magma. I tell her to leave – she does. I call her twice, begging her to come back – she doesn’t. Can you coax back love when you’ve riddled each other with holes like paper snowflakes?
I wish desperately that I was old and wise enough to know what to do. But I don’t, so I drink red wine and I cry until I fall asleep.