I remember the day I met you like it was yesterday.
I had just moved into a flat after living in a hostel for nine months. It was a few short months after my Mum had died and at 21 years old, the staff at the hostel felt I had finally got my act together, that I was ready to move on, into one of the "satellite" flats. Where support staff turned up once a week to collect the service charge and rent and to go over any issues. I was nervous because in a block of five flats, I was to become the only female. I wasn't sure if I was ready to be around so many men. I had never really had any male friends, much less live with a man.
Our first meeting was brief but you made an impression. You were lying on your sofa in one your flat when we were introduced and you just glanced at me, smiled and said hello. I didn't see you for a few weeks after that between my working and partying, staying out late, leaving early. I learned later that you often dropped by to see my flat mate but it was an excuse to try to catch me at home.
The next time I saw you was on my return from a family break in Hope Cove. I was exhausted, the car journey home had felt like it had taken an age and it was raining. It was late evening and when I walked in my flat you were there. You and most of the men that lived in the building, all drinking and listening to music. It was unexpected and I felt vulnerable, uneasy. Once I'd bundled my stuff into my bedroom you offered me a drink and I said I didn't drink lager. So you asked what I did drink and merrily went to the off licence, in the storm, returning with three bottles of wine.
Later, as the party dwindled, I made my excuses and went to bed. You soon followed, knocking on my bedroom door, insisting you wanted to come in and talk to me some more. I protested, my bedroom looked like a bomb had gone off in it and I just wanted to get myself ready for bed and sleep. You wore me down and I let you in. We sat on my bed, talking and the next thing I knew, I'd woken up and you had gone to work.
That night was ten years ago today. Much of our early relationship was allegedly casual, yet there was no one else for either of us. I even ran away for a bit, confused as I was at the depth of my feelings. I visited family, only telling work I needed some time off for a few a days. The day after my return, I got back from work and you had remembered a conversation during which I said one of my favourite flowers was pink roses, that I thought a single rose was more romantic and thoughtful than a bunch and you'd left one for me outside my bedroom door, with a note asking to meet me at a local bar. Some point that night, this was played on the juke box and you attempted to sing it to me, told me that you loved me and knew you had from that night in my flat.
The rest, as they say, is history.