“When was it that you first knew?” The reporter begins with a modest question.
I cast my mind back. It tumbles into images of my 19th year – I think. It’s all a little jumbled up top these days, but that’s what I remember – 19. Back then, it wasn’t serious. I would occasionally find him in bed with me after a big night out.
That’s not when I knew – far from it.
In the proceeding years, we kept in touch. I just ‘dipped my toes in’, every now and again. That’s how someone had once described it and it took my fancy. They were mere moments scattered amongst a relentless life.
“31.” That’s how old I was when I really knew, when it became serious, and that’s what I tell her.
My memory clarifies like a drop of detergent on oil skinned water. I remember standing at the start of the half marathon, tugging at the hem of my black shorts in an effort to hide my tan line.
He’d crept up on me during that race. That’s when it all changed. From then on, he had a hold on me. He could make me weak in the knees, or my heart thunder in my chest. Even my thoughts muddled in his presence.
It didn’t matter that those thoughts were singular, I wanted to take him to bed. Disappear from the world, just me and him between sheets in an attempt to rid me of this ache.
But I know, until I can shed his embrace, it will always be the two of us.
It’s just me and M.E.