Let me tell you a love story (grab the tissues and prepare for some sickly love).
When I moved from my hometown to start university in 2005, I started work at a bar. This is where I met Michelle. We weren't friends instantly but once we realised how much we had in common, we started hanging out, going to club nights and living the student lifestyle together. She had told me about her friend Andi, how he plays the drums in a band, is an amazing artist studying animation in London and has lots of tattoos and piercings. She thought he'd be my type of guy and was desperate for us to meet. In 2006 Michelle had lots of friends come visit for her birthday, Andi being one of them. They were all going out to a club night and I was invited. I never made it out to the party as I'd just had a tooth taken out and was suffering from a condition called dry-root. I was in sheer bloody agony for about a fortnight and never met all her friends from her hometown who had come to visit.
|My surprise party Andi arranged in 2008|
In 2006 I went to The Glade, an incredible music festival that pretty much changed my life. I went with my housemates and Michelle was there with her friends, sure enough, Andi was there. I had stumbled over to their camping area in a bit of a drunken mess but I do remember seeing Andi. I don't think he saw me. He was gorgeous. He had bum-length dreadlocks, was topless and looked so happy. I didn't know at the time that this was the Andi Michelle had told me about, I just thought he was lovely. We didn't get the chance to speak to each other that festival but he remembers watching 65 Days of Static in a tent with a few people in. Years later we realised we were stood next to each other.
Fast forward to 2007.
I had started seeing a guy who was fun and we were having a good time. We'd only been hanging out for a few weeks when the next Glade Festival approached. In said boy's company, Michelle mentioned how Andi was going to be there and how we should still meet up because we'd get along. I was excited to meet him and said boyfriend had kinda picked up on this. He decided to get himself a ticket to the festival and basically acted like my chaperone the whole time.
|Me at the festival with Andi in the white shirt in the background|
I left the festival feeling like I'd missed an opportunity to meet a friend. I had no idea that my love for him would grow over the coming months and drive me to almost a breakdown. I was in love with someone I'd only said hello to. I thought I was going crazy. The chaperone remained my boyfriend until things started to get rocky, after all, I was in love with someone else. I ended the relationship the fairest way I could but he knew why and who I was terminating it for.
A few weeks passed and Michelle was gearing up for her first (of many) DJ sets. I knew this would be my chance to invite Andi to come visit, hang out and who knew what else. I sent him a message on the now redundant My Space, explaining Michelle's gig and how great it would be if he came. A few days went past with no reply, then suddenly, when I thought he'd never reply to me because I was crazy, he said he'd come. I was sweaty and excited and Michelle was elated when Andi had told her he was coming to Bristol. She KNEW I 'd asked him to.
The day he came was Friday 9th November, 2007.
|Michelle during her DJ set|
We came back to my student house and I realised that he was little, just like me. I kept looking at the boy I'd been thinking about all this time and realised that I'd remembered every little detail about him perfectly. His eye colour, hair style, even all his piercings and tattoo placement. Michelle had to get her things together at the gig venue and left me at her house with Andi. We were both nervous. I was shaking. We kept meeting eachothers glances but then looking away like shy school children. We slowly started talking about anything and everything and I resisted the urge to blurt out "I've been thinking about you for months, I love you!". I think he would have ran a mile.
On our walk to the gig venue he said the strangest thing. "I bet you're born on the 9th of a month, aren't you?". I was a little shocked and replied "yes, 9th of June". "Mine's the 9th of May" he retorted. He also pointed out, with such obviousness it made my knees week, "today is the 9th". Holy cow!
We talked and joked and felt so comfortable together that night. We played pool, had a few drinks, and danced together. We had our first kiss that night. It was amazing. I wanted to tell him exactly how I felt but held back.
I should have, because he felt the same way.
He stayed the weekend and travelled back to London on the Sunday. I thought he'd never come back, that what I felt was one sided and he probably had a girlfriend in London or something...
He came back, twice more, the following weekend. When I visited him in London that cold December weekend, he blurted "I love you!" as I was leaving. He'd stolen my idea! I wanted to go all rom-com on him and whisper it in his ear before I left. He beat me to it.
What happened the next time he visited after that?
He didn't go back to London.
|Our first house|
He later confessed that he'd been thinking about me since 2006. Always too afraid to say anything, just like a net stalker flicking through My Space images. I was doing the same. The 9th of November is as important to me as our wedding anniversary as this was the day I overcame my fears and he came to visit.
I'm so glad he came.
|Our wedding day|
|On honeymoon in Egypt|