There are many great love letters in the world. This is not one of them. But, it is a realistic one. (If it’s a great love letter you’re after, then I suggest you check out Beethoven and his anonymous ‘Immortal Beloved’… Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours… Word porn on a plate, that one.)
On 19th February, it will be the 10th anniversary of when my husband and I first met. It will also be the 30th anniversary of Eastenders, and the fact that I am excited to watch the live shows is probably indicative that things have changed since our first meeting. We met in Tiger Tiger, that beacon of understated romance. I was with my friend, Alison, and I dumped her unceremoniously on the sidelines so that I could dance with ‘the one who looks like Lee from Blue’.
I took his number, got his name wrong (I was sure he’d said it was ‘Tom’), and got a cab home with Al. Three nights later, I texted him out of curiosity, and within two months we were engaged. A fortnight later and we had decided that we were so in love, we should have a baby as soon as was physically possible, and our eldest daughter was one week old on the year anniversary of our first meeting.
For the avoidance of doubt, if either of our daughters ever suggest a relationship timeline such as ours for a partner of their own, I shall lock them up somewhere and only allow them out once their sanity has returned and their legs are crossed. However, it does irk me somewhat to say this, because my husband and I knew our own feelings. And so, perhaps one day, we should trust our children to know the same.
In early 2005, when I woke up in the morning, I would be so excited at the prospect of spending a day with him, that I could not get back to sleep. The expanse of blue in a spring sunlit sky reminds me each year of our meeting. Pools of sunlight on the bedroom floor and dust motes dancing as the rays peep through the window, fill me with memories of him.
Our relationship, like all relationships, requires effort and a resolution to not take each other for granted. We both work hard and the children try our patience, and these days Eastenders fills me with TV-induced excitement, but he is my best friend. He is the person that I want to see at the end of the day, and each morning when he leaves for work, I can honestly say that I begin to miss him immediately.
I love you all the world, Ashley.
“And so it is, just like you said it would be.” Damien Rice.
First published in The Portsmouth News, Tuesday 24th February 2015