Since that initial reconnection we’ve been in much more regular contact, mostly by message but we did have another FaceTime call too. Not quite the epic marathon that we had before, but it was still really nice to see and talk to you. For the most part, it feels much better to have cleared the air — somewhat — and be on good terms. Of course there’s a niggle of the negativity creeping in too.
I won’t deny that increasingly I’ve been running scenarios in my head that lead back to us being together. We’ve kind of hinted at it in our messages to one another without really pressing the subject too much, I think that’s probably for the best for both of us. You’ve hopefully found the injection solution that doesn’t make your hormones go haywire, and well, I suppose I’ve had some mental gymnastics to re-assimilate / re-assess the extent to which that might have been the root cause of what happened.
Because — on the face of it — if that’s what caused everything, and it’s under control, then with a cool logical head on that does change things somewhat, doesn’t it? Of course the other factor is how we both feel about each other, we’ve both spent a good few weeks now coming to terms with not being together, trying it on for size, and whilst I’ve found that devastating in many ways there have also been some pluses for it.
But having said all that, all relationships are about compromise — and if we’re able to communicate more freely without falling out then some of those potential cons could be things we can work out. I’m sure you must have had your own internal weighing up of pros and cons too as you came to terms with things. I might not have done anything obviously wrong, but I’m well aware like anyone I come with my own challenges and faults too!
So yeah, I won’t deny I have been idly fantasising about things going back to how they were. Part of it is because you seem to have found that person I loved again, part of it is comfort in the familiar — I know when things are good between us they’re very good. I know we’re physically compatible, I know we have a huge crossover of interests, and some of our own too. Sherlock Bert’s forays onto Twitter and Twitch did confirm that you do indeed seem to have cut down on that stuff too.
Of course there is the white lie of you blocking him on your socials because you haven’t on Twitter, but well, it’s a fairly small thing and — as I noted before — if he did take things badly and badmouth you as you described on our lengthy call then I can understand the urge to want to be able to check. I’m hardly one to talk on that front, am I? I’m trying to be philosophical.
I went to a gig at the Arboretum in Nottingham yesterday — we went there once to do a treasure hunt thing, we had great fun doing those (you reminded me actually when I said I was going). We’ve been reminiscing quite a lot about the good times we’ve had in the past. There have been a lot of them, and it’s actually been really nice to just pleasantly remember them together — each recalling random little details the other might have forgotten.
The gig was great but by the same token, it does occasionally get to me that I’m once again at these things alone. Of course friends are there, and I went to gigs like this on my own before us, and occasionally when we were together if you were working etc — so it’s not like it’s beyond me. Just now and again it occurred to me — of course, peopling and socialising still feels a bit weird anyway, so that could be a factor too as we ease out of the pandemic.
So after forty something letters of coming to terms with not only our relationship crashing apart, but also coming to terms with us really only likely to manage to maintain a cursory friendship, it’s a bit of a head-fuck to backtrack on elements of that. Certainly it feels like we will be able to remain friends which I’m really happy about, but there’s certainly an underpinning of more lurking there for me, and I think for you.
I have lots of doubts about that, I won’t rake over it all again — but I’m still very mindful of all of it. I think that actually seeing each other properly and spending some time together will help — is the spark still there? For both of us? I don’t think we’ll know that until we’re in the same space. If it is then it’s important that we don’t let that drive everything, we each need to review what it is we want honestly and appraise if there’s enough that’s the same.
Of course, this might just be me. You might have already decided there’s no way back to how things were — and of course that’s okay. I’d worry how my family would react if we did try again, they weren’t the most approving of us anyway. I’ve even imagined scenarios of a kind of reverse intervention — I never really stood up to them properly before, choosing instead to be a typical conflict avoider. I always put you first, but by doing that and not confronting the family inevitably distanced myself from them.
Your family would be delighted — you told me your Nan and Grandad were really sad when you told them, they’re both so lovely. I loved spending time with them, like all your family. So it would be much easier in that direction! But well, I’m getting ahead of myself and yourself aren’t I? I’m not actually plotting or thinking how things will be — just scenario planning, learning from past mistakes. That’s how we grow!
But yeah — I think the next acid test will be next weekend when we actually get to see each other. My reason for heading down there is to try to trim your sister’s parrot’s claws, of course. Your Mum told you I was doing that after you told her we’d been communicating more openly again — like me, she was presumably not sure how to tackle that particular subject! I’ve not had any contact with her since we’ve been talking.
I’m choosing to see this is a bit of a no-lose situation — I’ve largely spent the last few weeks coming to terms with a loss, and accepting that whilst of course it hurts, there is life beyond it. If it turns out there’s a way back, then fantastic, if not, but I retain a dear friendship which I also thought I’d lost, then that’s a bonus too. If it all fizzles away then I know that’s not the end of the world either.
Part of me was tempted to speculatively book a cheap hotel nearby next weekend, but that would be rash. However things end up going when we see each other I don’t want us to rush into anything too quickly, we both owe ourselves some time to process the ridiculously complicated web of feelings we wind around ourselves. You’re working on the Sunday anyway so overly romantic notions of whisking you away for a happy ever after would be limited anyway.
So yes — trying hard to not get carried away, but by the same token it would be churlish not to consider the possibility of us rekindling something. Couples have come back from worse than what we’ve been through. But definitely wary, and definitely need a solid dose of head leading decisions as well as heart (and other body parts!) in whatever next steps we decide comes next for us.
I’m both excited and trepidatious about next week, it will be lovely to see your family — the parrot exercise will be pretty stressful. Loki isn’t tame and will be difficult to catch, but I am looking forward to spending some time with you afterwards so that we can try on being in the same space, talk about things that just seem easier to talk about in person and just see how things go. I hadn’t been expecting this twist in our tale, but I do think on the whole it’s a positive as things stand — whilst trying not to get too carried away with where things might lead.
I hope you’re doing okay, Bert