We couldn’t be more dissimilar if we tried: I’m laidback, easy-going, a wee bit lazy, scatter-brained and self-centred. He’s none of these things.
He looks after me: makes sure I have petrol in my car, that I have cigarettes and tampons and buys me books and ice cream.
He loves me: all of me. The lumps and bumps and scars and stretchmarks. Sends me text messages to tell me I’m beautiful.
He can be: a bit overbearing, possessive, inflexible and can ask too many hurtful questions at times. He obsesses over things he cannot change, over things that have happened so long ago that I’ve begun to forget.
He never: forgets. An elephant has nothing on his memory. He remembers every single little detail and calls me on it, when my details get a bit hazy.
It’s just as well: because, as he says, I’m not very good friends with the truth. He is my conscience, my voice of reason, my reality check. He makes me want to be a better person.
But sometimes: when we’re fighting, and when we’re hating each other, I imagine that there *is* someone upstairs. Someone with a seriously sick sense of humour. Someone laughing as I want to tear my hair out with frustration as once again I just can’t seem to get it right, no matter how hard I try. Someone poking fun at our attempts to be less stubborn, less cantankerous, less shouty, and just to love each other more.
And other times: we fit together so well. We finish each others’ sentences, or I verbalise what he was just thinking. And the other way around. Or I pick up my phone to call him, and it rings and flashes his name. Or the other way around.
Sometimes: loving him feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
And other times: it feels like I can’t remember the time before I loved him. The time before he was my life.
At all times: I’m reminded of this (if nothing else) that relationships are hard work. And that nothing worth having is not worth working for.
This is us. Working for it.
Working at it.
* These are our keys. I have a girl key-ring, he has a boy one. They’re magnetised – when they come near each other, they “kiss”. When they’re together, they’re a perfect fit. Much like us.