I remember the first day I came face to face with Jason.
He was standing next to his car, sunglasses on, smiling at me, bathed in sunlight. I was walking across the car park with butterflies in my belly, my new jeans on, feeling sassy as hell and I was smiling too. We hugged each other and my nose filled with the smell of after shave, which I’d later discover was Cartier.
We had intended to get ice cream from Delamere Forest, but he wasn’t from around here and I got us lost. We settled for twister ice cream in a random park and chatted on a bench. I remember feeling so at ease with him, he asked me questions, he laughed at my jokes. We ended the date with a kiss and my cynical side said it was probably too good to be true.
Little did I know, we would meet every weekend since that day, for the next two years. We both agreed early on that we could not commit. I’d gotten out of a long term relationship only a few months earlier, I didn’t want anything serious. He was infatuated with his job and admitted he had very little time for anything else. So we agreed weekends would be our time together and no other commitment was necessary.
But I remember being cuddled up in his arms one night, our feet tangled together and he was asking me to stay awake. It was gone 3am and we didn’t have that much longer together. And I opened my eyes and stared up at him and he was looking at me in such a way that I felt like everything had changed. That was the night he laughed at my big, sleepy eyes and called me a Sloth (a nickname that still stands, by the way).
But our weekends together always ended the same way. We would insist we didn’t have the time for anything serious. We would not commit to each other when we knew that we couldn’t give 100% of ourselves to the relationship. We both admitted we didn’t want to get hurt. But we also couldn’t stay away.
We spoke on the phone 4 times a day, texted each other constantly, sent each other funny snapchats when we were in work. We took trips together, we laughed until we cried, we shared secrets, but we avoided making future plans. Because we were never meant to last.
I’d lie awake at night and wonder what on earth I was going to do when one of us decided it was too much. The thought of not having his deep Chorley accent at the other end of the line made my heart ache. The casual guy suddenly meant the world to me and I was 6 months deep in something that Facebook would call ‘complicated’.
I decided one day to have the talk with him and tell him that I was more involved in this than I realised and asked him if his situation would ever change? Would he ever have time for a full time me? I remember in that moment thinking this would be it. This could be the last time I ever spoke to him. He had been honest with me from the start and had every right to walk away.
But he didn’t. He said he didn’t want to lose me. He said he loved me. And he’d make time. We both would.
That was 18 months ago. We celebrated our two year anniversary with dim sum. We’re buying a flat and I’m so excited for us. He’s been there for me through everything, and I for him.
That swipe on Tinder for the cute guy who stood with Vegas behind him had changed everything for me.