My best form of denial is to rationalise and I have so many theories. And yet when I see this man I love, this man I thought I wanted to hold forever and I admit to myself that our romance has faded and crumbled, I can only grieve. Until now, I have not. I haven’t admitted how much loss I feel. Still, I can only let it out a little bit at a time, otherwise the avalanche would bury me. I still get lost in the gun metal blue of his eyes. I still admire him from afar when he walks into the room. And when he reads to our kids, I still gaze at him feeling a surge of pride.
I’m lucky. Lucky to still have him by my side, being the parents we always wanted to be. And the best friends we thought we would never be.
We stand together at the foot of the bed, clasping one another’s hands and looking at the rising and falling of our children’s chests. Our other partners are away. Sophia is in London. Janus is in Budapest. Right now, it’s just us. Him and me. And them.
We made them, I whisper.
Right now, our children refuse to sleep apart. Freddie’s nose touches Maya’s arm. Their grubby little feet are intertwined. Right now, despite the squabbles, they adore each other. But I know only too well that no one knows what the future holds.
Morten says nothing, but his hand tightens ever so slightly over mine. Our hearts are full. We have not made a mistake in being with each other. We will never regret our life together, whatever come next. I know in that second, we will never abandon each other. It’s all about them, which means it’s all about us too. They are deeply and intrinsically us. They are pure love, our pure love. We would move heaven and earth for them. It’s these moments where waves of love and yearning sweep over me so powerful that I wonder why, why when we love each other so much, why can we also not be lovers?
I think about it. I think about it all until I am exhausted. And when my mind has no reasons, nothing left, all I have is my love, my loss and my grief. My heart breaks and out of the shattered pieces comes still more love for him.
We have never broken up. We have rarely argued. We have just observed silently, calmly, the reality of our changing relationship. The passion slipped away over the seas and we stood together on the beach watching it go. Knowing that we could not stop it from leaving any more than we could stop the sun from setting. The cogs turned faultlessly. They ground relentlessly.
But I will never hold him like I used to. We won’t flirt with each other over the dinner plate, food forgotten as we only hunger for each other’s touch. We had the red bloom of passion once. Now it’s the white rose of friendship. I am not for him anymore. I met Janus and in our starry union, I changed.
All the other stuff, it’s excuses.
I’ve grown into the person I was meant to be. I have become too pragmatic, too reasonable, too rational. My curiosity has been awakened. My passion is no longer the passion of physicality if it ever was. My passion has become the quiet intensity of the mind. My passion is in the never ending quest to know ourselves. To experiment with the edges of life, with power paradigms in an unknown land. I’m a traveller in our inner space. And my physicality is now only accessible to people I meet there. I cannot, do not want to let anyone in unless they journey with me. But Morten loves the familiar. He is wise and content with all the complexity that life brings to his door. He loves, but he does not hunt.
His is the passion of smouldering touch. He needs hands on his skin, caught breath in his hair and glorious abandoned love. Love, bubbling passion which appears unbidden and sweeps everything else aside. I can’t give him that anymore.
We have lived so much that was hard to bear, so much that was pure joy. It brought us closer whilst tearing us apart. I couldn’t, wouldn’t have it differently. Our dance together has been perfect and we took each step consciously to grow in our integrity. I want to believe we’ve left the door open to our future. But I can’t see the future to know whether he’ll be in it. Will our roads bring us back together? Will our passion sail back over the horizon some day?
Blinded by tears, I squeeze his hand in reply. He turns and holds me hard. It’s what we both want, but after all this time the only thing left is hope.