Yeah, yeah I can hear you smirking. Knowing nods all around, because everyone thinks they have the perfect love But, ours is! How do I know? Grab yourself a cuppa, tuck your legs under you until they go to sleep and you have to move groaning like an old man as you do so.
We don't celebrate the date we met, our first date, our first kiss and just the other week I log on in work and it tells me I've been with the firm 8 years.
"No! Babe, how long have I worked here?"
"Dunno, about 6 years?"
"That's what I said, it's 8! We lost 2 years to the wastelands of Covid."
"Oh yeah, that's crazy."
"That means we've been together 10 years! What the hell!"
"No way, it still feels like we've just met."
"Aw I know..." Kisses and hugs (close your eyes this is private.)
This fact alone is not the reason we are 'meant to be together,' there is more.
I travel for work quite often, leaving him behind. Imagine when the tables are turned and he's heading off to London for a business trip. Obviously I log on and book his train, getting a great deal on first class due to my organization, booking early.
Two days before his trip I ask where he's staying. He hasn't booked anywhere! Yes, London is a rather large city with lots of options but my nerves are on edge at the lack of forward planning. I'm lucky that my PA takes care of my travel arrangements and this has clearly rubbed off on me.
"Look," he says shortly after showing me a fabulous apartment with views to die for. "Booked it," he explains, proud of himself. Does he want a well done?
The day arrives and I give him a lift to the station, getting back to return a couple of calls I've missed. I won't have a lunch break today. As I'm finishing off one of the calls my phone alerts me to a text and a previous on I'd not seen.
"Coffee machine still out of order xxx" This relates to our last trip to London months ago when the coffee machine in the first class lounge was out of order.
"Got on the wrong f'ing train! Grr. Same time and destination, just a few minutes earlier wtf! xxx"
"Who has 2 trains going to same location within minutes of each other - so p'd off xxx"
Reply from me is along the lines of
"How, what? I know the trains are close together but... xxx"
"Got to wait for ticket person and may have to pay again to go to first class xxx"
Oh no, it is worse than that. £195 for first class or £105 for standard class on top of the bargain ticket his wife booked for him. I know! the horror, but fear not all is not lost. Our intrepid adventurer is a lovely guy and was nice and polite and friendly and they allowed him to stay in standard class for no extra charge.
Poor thing he was looking forward to a first class service with his food and drinks brought to him. My advise of hitting the buffet car and spending his £105 on booze goes down like a lead balloon. Although he likes the idea of my suggestion of the champagne bar when he gets there.
No, our story does not end there...
"I'm wandering around like a homeless guy trying to find the champagne bar since 1.30 lol... Just found it now, navigational nightmare this trip xxx"
This text arrives around 2pm
My response is obviously really sympathetic...
"WTF is wrong with you ? Does this mean I'm the guide when we go? I don't know London but I know the important bits (the champagne bar at St.Pancras xxx"
"And it's chucking down with rain and I don't have a coat. My days!!! Lol xxx"
Are you kidding me who goes anywhere in the UK without a coat, an umbrella, waterproofs, windproofs and spare socks and pants, just in case?
"Why no coat? xxx"
"Because I'm clearly a moron lol xxx"
"Noooooo ur an adventurer xxx"
An hour later another text it is now 18.42 and our London explorer is having the worst day.
"Well, they say it comes in 3's.
couldn't find bar
No keys for apartment and then... someone is already staying in it. Crashing on my mates floor tonight, I'm knackered! you couldn't write this (well I am but...) how's ur day babes?"
How was my day? No comparison. I tried a new veggie recipe, dropping the jar of mustard seeds onto the tiled floor which smashed to smithereens and those pesky little buggers found new parts to my kitchen which even I didn't know existed. The dog stood growling at his own reflection at the front door making me think someone in a clown mask would jump to the glass when i went to look, they didn't.
I sit at the breakfast bar, and he ploughs through barking his head off at the back door. I swear he's trying to freak me out so I say, "come on boy do you want to sleep upstairs tonight?" No chance buster, you have your own room!
The next day another text.
Half the team we are here to meet has gone home after testing positive for Covid
The universe does not want this to happen today Lol xxx"
I'm most impressed he is still lol'ing!
He's in good spirits which is good. Whereas I missed a parcel delivery yesterday driving to the station and head off to the post office to collect. Great temporary traffic lights bringing the town to a standstill so a 'quick nip to the post office,' takes a lot longer than expected.
The lights are just passed the junction to the car park, and as I dash behind the queue of cars parcel in hand the complete idiot reverses back without looking because he's stopped across the junction rather than before it. I squeal something unrepeatable.
Like someone who falls in public and jumps up embarrassed I continue my run with a crazy sideways jump-hop avoiding being squished by an SUV. Breathing several sighs of relief I make it home in one piece, and without any further texts.
After work I take a long walk with the dog taking in the beautiful sunny early evening light, a sky of the most incredible blue with a full moon rising to take over the night shift. Running down the bridal path I have pause... yes I have my phone but my emergency call is in London. The rest of the walk is more sedate.
Removing the pup of his harness and putting it on its hanger in the utility room I head to the sink to wash my hands. Grabbing the towel to dry them of an intense pain in my wrist. FFS I've sprained my wrist drying my hands!
And this is when it dawns on me, we are meant to be together because we cannot function as humans apart. If you need to see the evidence have another read over the past few days. We are totally meant to be together!
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About the author
The Order, SJ's NA series is awaiting it's release date from her publisher.
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions