To Emma

Love

Emma,

I cannot even begin to find the words to tell you how I feel about you leaving. A strange mix of emotions I am still struggling to sort through. However, it all begins here, in my heart, because, for the next year, that is where I will hold you.

I will picture you today boarding that plane. One hand gently touching Adam for reassurance whilst the other holds your meticulously planned paperwork. As you clutch the keys to the dream you have spent so long preparing for, I see your smile. I am so proud of you for making this happen.

And every day from now on I will imagine where you are. I will try to picture all of the places I never even dreamt of. I will place you in these far flung locations as I drift away from my daily routine and I am almost certain that, as I do so, a little bit of their beauty and magic will seep through to brighten my day. Because, there you are, and I see your smile. And on the days when the wonder of wifi and whatsapp make these images sharper still, I will be thankful that you took the time to think of me; your friend.

Thank you for always being that, and all it entails, to me.

I miss you already.

Rebecca x

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Final marks

Love, Uncategorized

Now that you are lost, I find you everywhere. Soft sparks that remind me of that long extinguished flame. Sparks that make me remember and smile.

In a city I wish we had seen together, I hear the distant rumble of wheels on concrete. Words hidden in a long forgotten book. I see some ill fitting jeans. A film. A photograph. I walk down a once familiar street as someone new and there you are.

And I know my face has been replaced. As has yours. Time and again. Age and change have transformed us.

Something so strange at first, I now begin to recognise my reflection in these moments. Glimmers of myself, illuminated by blue light in a second floor bedroom at 3am. Safe and secure and certain of who I am. Who I am going to be.

I thank you for these scars. So deep and so true that they took a decade to discover. Marks to remind me of me.

Wise words

Family, Love, Uncategorized

Somewhere at the start of my twenties I broke into the stale shell of a Chinese fortune cookie and read these words;

Time, nature and patience are the three great healers.

And I was lonely and in need of healing and those words spoke to me. They seemed to make sense. And I folded the slip of paper, sipped my complimentary Baileys and tucked them safely in to my purse.

I carried them with me. I carried them with me on good days and bad. I carried them with me to work. They were there when I was proud and determined and positive. They were there when I was tired and bored. I took them with me when I travelled. Nestled in my hand luggage they bypassed passport control and went straight through security. They were there on nights out. As I waited at the bar they rested alongside my lipgloss and listened in to the girly chat. They were there with me at 3am in the bedroom of a stranger. They were there on first dates and on last. They saw it all. I carried them with me closely and cast my eyes over their italic font again and again and again. I forgot about their presence. I forgot about the pain. They were a constant; solid and safe. They were there all day, everyday.

I thought the words were guiding me. Time was on my side. Time kept passing me by. I felt a bit better. I went outside. I walked. I breathed in the fresh air. And I waited. And waited. And waited still.

Then today I took this picture;

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My daughter proudly holding high her first strawberry. Planted weeks ago by her own fair hand, she has checked on them daily, each time turning to me to say firmly, ‘Not yet.’

I have no idea where the words from the fortune cookie have ended up. I can’t remember the meal where I acquired them. Who I was with or why I was there. I laugh that I chose to keep them.

But I see those words in her smile. I understand them. And I know that a part of me has been healed.

A second chance?

Love, Uncategorized

I stumbled my way through the years. Lost without you. I wonder now if you could feel it too?

I had cut you from my life with blunt, childish scissors. Attempted to repair the tear with false confidence and ever failing dreams. We were too young. Another time, another place.

But time came and went and places passed us by. Alone again (or often not) I would catch myself wishing for you by my side. Finding your face and your voice and your touch absent when I needed them most. Finding that void.

Too proud. Too fearful. Too ashamed. There could only ever be one second chance.

But time had patience and worked in its way. Places have pulled us apart again and again and again.

And all that time finding it hard we let that happen.

The best dress I never wore

Family, Fashion, Love, Uncategorized

I am single.

Yes, I have a child and am in a, generally loving, mainly stable, relationship with her father. We live together and share a Tesco clubcard. I wash his dirty clothes and he kisses my make-up-free-face goodnight at 8.32pm when I tire of small talk and head off to my clearly defined side of our shared bed.

But give me a form to complete and (married/single/divorced) I can’t argue with the facts. I’m single. Miss.

And, most of the time, I am fine with this. I see the escalating costs of the average wedding and rattle off a list of everything I could do or buy if I had that sort of money. I remind myself of how utterly useless I am at parties; how I wouldn’t know how to talk or behave, would get drunk, do something I would undoubtedly regret, make a complete fool of myself, remember nothing of it the next day and spend at least a fortnight berating myself for everything I had ever said or done. I tell myself that it is just a meaningless bit of paper. I laugh when joint post arrives with my would be married name printed proudly next to his. And, most of the time, I am fine.

Most of the time.

At Christmas my brother got married. And almost every day since my daughter has insisted on watching the video of their first dance. Mariah Carey warbles those opening lines as the photographer clicks away in the background and the happy couple launch in to some very dubious moves. Then, the other day, as the video froze to a still screen, she looked down at her white muslin draped across her chest and asked me the question:

Mummy, where’s your princess dress?

And the words sounded like they had travelled straight from my distant heart.

For a second I froze before finding my smile. From there I explained how Mummy doesn’t have a dress like that. How Mummy doesn’t need one. How one dress and one day aren’t important. How Mummy is special anyway.

Too much information for someone not quite two.

And then she turned and headed towards the wardrobe to pull skirts from their hangers and climb amongst high heels.

And I’m fine with these too.

Most of the time.

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The first.

Love, Uncategorized

I hadn’t ever met anyone like you. I guess I had been a little sheltered. Or a little blind. You weren’t.

You opened my eyes. You made me smile. And I needed that.

I never thought I would end up with you.

In the end, I guess I didn’t.

When I picture your face now I see it in close up; pretty eyes and a crooked smile. Dated songs and cigarette smoke flood a pub that has long since faded away. Soft lips as you take hold of my face in your hands and claim the rest with your words. Words that scared me because I knew we had both said them before.

But I fell. So deeply and so completely that I forgot my fear and I grew. We grew. Together. And day by day, month after month and in to years you taught me how to become me.

And then I forgot.

Far from ordinary

Love, Uncategorized

Before he was the boy I lived with, he was something much more complicated…

I had known him for a while but never even dreamt of kissing him. And then I dreamt it and I knew that was it. But he wasn’t so sure.

We were on. We were off. We were secret. We were scared. We were text messages. Were were dinners out. We were silent. We were tears.

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And sometimes I think I dreamt our relationship in to life.

I can’t sleep. Lying close up against the wall, wrapped in my bed sheets, in my own little house, the opening notes of the piano play again and each time something else is there. I loved the song since I first heard it. But each time I press repeat the feeling builds with each bar. The lyrics resonate in different parts of my body and I cry. And I breathe. I press play again. And again. And something else is there.

“And we’ll make this thing work but I think we should take it slow”

The song taught me patience and faith and how to remain calm. It gave me time and hope. I began to understand that I cannot force perfection and that maybe it will never be. But that’s ok.

“No fairytale conclusion, it gets more confusing every day…As our love advances we take second chances, though it’s not a fantasy I still want you to stay”

And now, when we argue, which we inevitably do, I storm up to our shared bedroom and, like a child, slam the door. Hot tears burn my puffy eyes and I bite my tongue. I write angry letters full of half-meant words.

And I press repeat.

And it’s ok.

Ordinary People – John Legend (2005)