It may sound cliché.
It may seem like teenage romanticism.
But there is no truer truth than this;
My boyfriend is my cosy place.
We've been together a long while now, and during that time I've had any cosy places I've cherished taken away from me.
First, was the bathroom at my mum's house.
It seems like a strange place for an oasis.
My bedroom wasn't somewhere I could relax, I shared it with my younger sister. So when I needed somewhere to cry, to calm down, to look at myself in the mirror and pep-talk myself into going back into reality again, I ended up in the bathroom.
The doorway was like an opening into a quiet and peaceful dimension.
Nothing goes on in the bathroom. For the time you are in there, it is completely your space. It's as if time just...stops.
My mum and I didn't have the best of relationships; there were a lot of times where I needed to be alone, to think, to wash off my troubles and talk to myself.
The too-hot water would wash away my worries as it toppled over my skin, the sweet, ocean-like aromas from the seaweed and aloe body wash would wander up to my nose and clear my head from doubts.
The fluffy lime green carpet on the tiled floor, the red-wine tinted blinds that hung down over the window, giving everything a slightly rosy glow, the dim yellow lights above the mirror. Just thinking back gives me a sense of tranquillity.
I had to leave my mum's. My cosy place. It wasnt safe there anymore.
When I moved in with my dad, things were different.
Here, I was an only child, so I had my own bedroom.
I loved Harry Potter as a child, I still do. The characters' faces lined the walls, with quotes, pictures of owls, wands, toys. Their presence was calming, the feeling when you open a book and dive between the pages.
Here was my safe place.
I spent my time reading under the covers, drawing pictures of pretty things.
Though I spent most of my day out of the house, at college, I would spend the long trudge back just waiting to get to my room where I could breathe, a place away from the public, the people at my school, the people on the bus, my dad.
Eventually, I was in my room hardly at all, my dad wanted me to spend time with him, and the only time I had to myself was when I slept. When I wandered sleepily into my room at night time, I didnt have enough energy to read, to write, to draw. Just sleep.
We didnt get on very well either.
Being a very difficult man to live with, having little to no interaction, no smiles, no interest, I ended up very lonely and sad, a soulless shell of what I knew myself to be.
That cosy place's time had run out.
Whenever I'd need to escape, I would travel to see my boyfriend at his home.
I'd sit on every mode of transport, begging them to go just a little bit faster.
When I saw him, I would run and hug him as tight as I could; he would squeeze even tighter.
Then we would just sit, cuddled up to eachother tightly, for hours. Not letting go. The light would fade outside, the night closing in around our little bubble of peace. It was just such a relief for me, I'd have 'myself' all pent up, bottled deep inside, until I saw him and it all fell out. All of it.
A lot of the time I would cry. Not sad tears, but ones of relief and happiness at being with him again. That's the only place I ever wanted to be.
When we went to his parent's house, we laughed and relaxed to no end. This family home felt so warm and loving, I was so happy there.
In summer, we spent a whole day sat on a blanket in the garden painting plant pots with funky designs and pretty flowers. I got one arm sunburnt because of the way I was sitting, lost in a world of my own.
It had been a long time since I got to relax and do something like that, enjoy myself with no worries in the world except what the next flower was going to be (my knowledge of different flowers had run out, I ended up making-up a new species).
And I couldn't help noticing that whenever I was at my happiest, I was with him. He sat across from me, cross about his pot not coming out the way he planned it and I just couldn't help but beam with delight.
When the pandemic came around, his parents suggested I move in with them.
I was wary, not wanting to be a burden, but I did it. It was the best decision I've ever made.
I've got to spend every single day I want with him, we work together and workout together and sleep together. It is utter heaven.
Despite our 'honeymoon period' being over, it feels as though it will never be, this is how it is supposed to feel to love.
Things go wrong in life, if anyone knows that I do, but I have realised that there is always one constant. When everything else goes wrong, I always have him.
With him, I can talk, just as if I am talking to myself, and he will answer. His light and laugh makes me as calm as the feeling of the lime green carpet in that bathroom. He is goofy and weird and cute and strong, and I can be everything I am, everything I want to be when I am with him. Time just seems to stop.
Wherever we travel, wherever we may be, where I would usually be scared or anxious, I have my cosy place with me; right by my side.
I think that's what a cosy place is. A place to be happy, calm. A place to feel at home. A place to be your unconditional, unapologetic self. A place to just be.
And mine? Mine just happens to be a person. Mine just happens to be him.