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Yesterday I found myself in Peckham Rye Common, lounged out on the grass with Tom, Jim and a bunch of others celebrating the birthday of their housemate Sian, in true British summer style with a picnic in the park. Sian is one of those people who is only ever 2 sentences away from making you laugh; one of those golden human beings which the world desperately needs more of. In London you need those friends, they keep you smiling.

The day passed in a blur of Prosecco, picnic, sun and presents. I’m not sure why, but my mind kept swinging like a compass to thoughts of Mr. Chris.

Where is he?

What is he doing?

Is he thinking of me?

I know he was a shit, but I couldn’t help but remember our first date. The small room in the Aspers Casino, the way he lifted me onto his knee and kissed me, the way his strong arms went around me. The way he lifted me up and put me on the bed. In some way, I loved him. I’m not even sure I know what real love is yet, or what it will be when I do find it. I know it wasn’t what Chris gave me, but still. The first part at least was beautiful. That’s probably how it should stay.

Perhaps it was seeing Tom and Jim so in love. In their own way. Somewhere deep down my feelings for Tom still linger. Occasionally, recently, I’ve even thought I might be in love with him. I could never break up a couple, let alone 2 people I love as much as those two, but I can’t help but wish, somehow, that Tom and I might have been.

Would we have lasted?

Would we have fallen in love?

Would we have married?

My imagination may be my greatest asset, but sometimes it delves down into avenues I’d rather wish it didn’t. Some days I want to move closer to him, as close as I can be. Some days I want to run away; find new friends, new partners and a new London life. It’s silly, but sometimes that feels like the easier decision. I worry that my feelings will get too strong, that I won’t be able to be in the same room as him without wanting him. Or perhaps it will all just pass and we’ll all live happily ever after.

What do you do when your best friend could be the love of your life?

I know he felt something for me too, at one point, but I don’t know if that’s even there anymore.

Sometimes it’s like all the things I do in London that make me, me, are just a cover. A fraud. A deception. A mask. The unique fashion choices. The cutting wit. The comedic sarcasm. The ambition and devotion to work. They’re all just layers, and when you strip them away there’s a truth: I’m lonely.

I wish I had someone who was as devoted to me as Tom and Jim are to each other. I think part of my feelings is just simple jealousy. I wish I could have what they have. Heck, men tell me I’m a catch, but I’m lucky if they want to meet up again. Is there really a guy out there who will be as crazy about me as I am about him? Who will pursue me and court me and spoil me in all the best ways?

Having been here almost three years, I can categorically say that life in London isn’t always a picnic. I’ve had broken hearts and betrayal, I’ve had depressing job hunting, awful work days and friendships which have fallen by the wayside. But I’ve also worked my way into a really amazing job, on the road to a great career. I’ve made friendships for life and built myself a life here.

The only thing worse than living (and suffering) in London would be not living (and suffering) in London.

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