It’s June 2017.
Jo and I are travelling from Faro to Seville. We’ve just reached our one year anniversary of being a couple, preceded by four-and-a-half years of being in various degrees of love with each other. Through some miracle we have managed years of long distance friendship and travel, and then, finally, a relationship.
It’s been a year, but it doesn’t feel like it. Brexit happened only weeks after we got together and it shook us both. We haven’t figured out yet which country to live in, let alone everything else. I moved to Liverpool, then moved back. I feel the aching sense that I want to be with her, but it’s hard, so hard. We are stuck, turning circles around each other and our relationship.
We talk about everything and nothing, wandering through bright blue Faro, then the sand-coloured squares of Seville. It’s in a restaurant there, tucked away in some small street, that I say it.
“After I have my degree, I plan on having a baby.”
I already know it’s too much while I announce it, in-between the white linen tablecloths and overly large, thin-edged wine glasses. But I desperately want a point in the distance that is clear for both of us. Something we can live towards, something sure and wonderful.
I want to be bold because when I’m without her I obsess and plan mercilessly. I want to know what will happen, what we will be. I want to leaf through the book and see the final pages just to read her name there and know that it worked out. But at the same time I lie awake each night, dreaming up a dozen nightmares for us. There’s so much that’s hard, so much that we need to think about that straight-couples-from-the-same-town just don’t.
And then I say things like that in restaurants.
I instantly hope she doesn’t run away screaming, because I probably deserve it after putting that on her. But she has much more patience than I deserve, and over time, she asks on. We talk about it.
And as it turns out, that’s how we work. I shock her, and then she comes back to me later and says ‘right, tell me about this.’ So I do.
We have talked, and dreamed, and weighed it up for about a year, and well… Yes. It’s a yes.
Let’s have a baby!