It has been a long day. I am weary from standing, especially in those ill-fitting shoes all day. I am weary from covering shifts for others. I am weary from having to walk back from work everyday because someone has stapled the tires, again. But as I trundle back, I can sense my expectations rising. I don’t mind the weather – it’s cold, dark clouds, slight drizzle, like it always does in Cardiff. Not too many people on the streets, just rows and rows of suburban houses and the greenery. My jacket is flecked with raindrops and my mind is in the clouds, the long, slow work helps me think.
Love is a beautiful thing. It energizes you. My steps are quicker as I approach home, the pain in my feet from the uncomfortable shoes receding. My eyes searching, my heart, alive. I smile to myself as I get closer. All weariness gone, my thoughts a happy flutter of butterflies in a field of yellow.
I spot her and my smile broadens. She waits for me, standing next to the red brick building in Talybont South; petite, demure & a yellow scarf flying around her neck proclaiming her total and complete victory over me. I lock my cycle, give her a quick hug and rush up to my room. A quick wash, change of clothes (and shoes) and we set out.
We walk along the promenade, hand in hand, I just can’t get enough of her. It has been six months now and yet I do not tire of her. I take her hand to my lips as we walk. She talks, I listen. She is happy, she is sad, she was upset, she is OK now. She did something clever, she did something foolish, she saw someone pretty, she saw a dress she liked. She ate this and drank that. Her hand in mine, we walk and walk and walk.
My smile closes doors to all morbid thoughts. In her company, I am happy, simply happy. I am convinced that the greatest simplest pleasures in life come in the simplest of ways. We met in the corridor of our flat, we spoke, we wished each other good things and now, we are walking together, smiling away, not a care in the world.
We step out of the theatre (Kung Fu Panda) to a chilly evening. She snuggles closer to me and puts her dainty hands in my jacket’s pocket. I put my arm around her and we stroll, aimlessly on the broad wooden length.
A drizzle starts, and she somehow manages to snuggle in even closer to me. We stop, right in the middle of the broad boardwalk and she turns to me – I tip her chin up and we kiss – a slow, long kiss, two happy souls, in the evening, under the rain, in the cold Welsh weather. A simple kiss, a kiss that takes as much away from me as it fills me up; with the best of happiness a man can hope for in his life. To feel the rain on me, to feel her body against me, her arms around me, her lips against mine; my nose takes in her fragrance, my fingers in her long silken hair, my heart ready to burst from joy.
A truth. A reality. A happy reality. and I want to sear this moment into my memory.
It’s such a pity that pristine memories of unadulterated happiness are so difficult to pinpoint. Now that I sit and search my mind and scrape it, over and over, trying to recollect those moments, those small things that made life OK. The memories make me smile, they make me feel warm inside but they also kill me; I can’t stop the tear escaping my eye. Little did I know, I will miss them so much, those moments, those small actions, those non-entities. Never did it occur to me then, that I will miss her voice, her words, her stories, her dainty hand in mine, so much and after so long. Every time this memory decides to show itself, I start smiling and end with a part of me crumbling away in sadness. Alas, such is the way of life. I have forever come to associate wet cold evenings with bitter-sweetness.
There is nothing more that I want to do. All I want to do is walk down that road again, and every time with just her; to sit on the boat and look at the vast expanse of water in front of us, and have her lean her head on me and feel her hair in my face, and I feel like the bravest and luckiest man that ever walked this earth.