This was an extravagant Valentines Day! You see we have our own special day, the 17th of February is the day we met and we like to celebrate it so we don’t bother much with valentines but we both remembered to buy a card and I got flowers.. Of course I asked for the flowers while doing the shopping. I spotted my favourite flowers of the moment, Alstromeria, had never seen them in such a vibrant shade of red before and so armed with the fact they were on offer I stated that oh wouldn’t these be nice for valentines day! Hahaha! He plucked out the two bunches so technically he got them for me! Although I am a very romantic soul and I know my husband is too; he used to surprise me with beautiful little poems or love notes left around the house for me to find while he was at work. While these days I often find a post it note on my pc monitor in the middle of the night!
When I was little I had a prince and princesses colouring in book. In every single picture I made either the one of them dying or dead! The happy cuddling couple soon became a distraught prince cradling his dying love or vice versa. I usually killed them off with a sword or dagger to the heart and drew in lots of blood and tears! I imagined them taking the killing blow that was meant for their love. This is the effect Romeo and Juliet had on me! Those star crossed lovers!
Heartbreak surrounded me in the news, in films and books and it called to me. Hans Christian Andersons’ The Little Mermaid, Watership Down, Bambi, Dumbo, etc. I would always find the heartache in any film or book. It called out to me and then it would cling to me. As an older child.. Love Story, The Last Unicorn, E.T. and as an adult, The Last of the Mohicans, Edward Scissorhands, City of Angels, Meet Joe Black, etc, etc. I cried my eyes out for hours in the season two finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where to save the world she has to kill Angelus, a bad vampire, but his soul is restored to him and he turns back into Angel; the good vampire whom Buffy loves. Realising the world destroying portal is still opening up behind him she asks him to close his eyes before plunging a sword through him and he falls into the portal sealing it and saving humanity. It was even worse in the last ever episode of Angel when Wesley meets his end. Stabbed through the chest and lying on the floor bleeding out he is found by Illyria, who was the human girl “Fred” whom Wesley loved but died and was taken over by Illyria, this demon with no feelings. However she has slowly been developing human feelings and before Wesley dies she asks him “Would you like me to lie to you now?” She takes the form of Fred and talks lovingly to him as he passes and I am just one great heaving wreck on the sofa!!
I felt the fragility of life from a young age, it tore at my heart and my imagination. I would play act the dying bride of the grieving lover, bringing myself to real heartbroken sobs. I would find a quiet place up the park and put on one girl plays, sing sad songs and cry. Sometimes I would be discovered and a concerned adult would ask if I was okay. Sometimes I would say “Oh yes I am fine” and other times I would tell them my dog had died or my friend was ill and would accept their sympathy happily! I realise now that heartache called to heartache.. And my heart did ache. The secrets I could not tell consumed my happiness. I would play with other children but I always felt different, a step away from a real child. I preferred to be on my own, I was safer on my own. I didn’t realise at the time just how far away from a normal child I was, just how damaged I was.
I couldn’t tell anyone that my mother was Mistress Jekyll and Mrs Hyde. I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone the extent of the school kids bullying. I couldn’t tell anyone about the dirty old man who would lay in wait for me to pass him by as I ran home from school, even though I would get such a hiding from my mother for arriving home late; Or the dirty young lad that pretended to be my friend for a price; Or that the babysitter my mother trusted liked to hurt me, firing pellets at my feet and yelling at me to “dance”, tying me up and shoving me into a dark cupboard, having me stand on one leg for what felt like hours and hitting me if I put my other foot down. Power games, a young man with obvious problems taking his issues out on a child.
I dreamed of an unbreakable trust, a love so great someone would be willing to die for me! That to die to save someone would mean you were loved eternally. Imgine how it would feel to be loved so much a person would die to rescue me, to save me. I couldn’t tell the truth so I made up stories, lived in a dream world where lies were so much better than the truth. Lies would get me some loving attention and even the times I was found out and got into a whole heap of trouble it was worth it!
We are surrounded by tales of tragedy in all forms of media. Touted as the epitome of romance, the pinnacle of love. But it is not! Tragic romance is dead to me now.. I can still cry at a sad film or book but it doesn’t call to me anymore. The height of love is trust. The apex of love is togetherness. I believed dying for each other was as good as it got.. I was never more wrong. I would never ever want my husband to sacrifice himself to save me! i’d want to find a way through together! The greatest love is living for each other! Living the years of your life out together. It will always end in pain but by then you have a lifetime of love at your back to guide you forward.