I asked my Lover to buy a one-way ticket to Paris, so that I could pretend he was here to stay for good.
I had been cautioned, by many of the people who read petite anglaise and wish me well, that after the desolate lows of last week, I should be aware that spending time with my Lover would no doubt prove to be a palliative therapy, relieving the symptoms and reducing the suffering without curing the root causes. Problems would be forgotten, temporarily, but would not miraculously dissipate.
They were not wrong.
I spent a simply heavenly weekend in his company. The most mundane things, like shopping for food in the supermarket, or fetching a DVD, were blissful. We talked. We strolled around my neighbourhood. We went to bed at unlikely times of day. Happiness was pottering in my flat, knowing he was in the next room making a cup of tea.
Sometimes I almost had to pinch myself to see whether it was all real. I think he felt the same. A couple of months ago all he knew of me was what I had written. Now there he was in my apartment, contemplating the strangely familiar view from my balcony, known to him previously only as the header image at the top of this page.
I was however conscious of the demons lurking just on the periphery of my vision. I would catch sight of them, fleetingly, out of the corner of my eye, and knew they were waiting to pounce in a moment of vulnerability.
From time to time I would wobble dangerously: some trifling thing would bring sudden, unnecessary tears to my eyes and my spirits would plummet. A sensation of falling, similar to that which I get sometimes when hovering between sleep and wakefulness, ‘landing’ on my bed with a sudden jolt. I was torn between attempting to put on a brave face for my Lover, or baring my soul and running the risk of wounding him, making him feel powerless. Because even when he is with me, holding me in his strong arms, and not stranded at the other end of a phone line, there is only so much he can do to help.
I chose honesty. Because that is what we do best. Love might not make me invincible, but as long as I am mindful of this, and know that I do still need to exorcise my demons without his help, we can weather this storm together.