I had eaten and showered and was dressed nicely, wearing a little lipstick, sitting by the window where I would see Tom walk by. I was writing a few last words when I saw him, but he wasn’t looking up and walked by to the garden gate. I just saved my writing and wanted to get up to open the door when Tom appeared under the window, waving. I smiled and waved back and went to open the door, pulling him in and embracing him. He took something from his bag, it was a chocolate heart. ‚You are sweet enough already, but I brought you this anyway,’ he said. I said he was such a dear and laid the chocolate aside and hugged him and may have kissed him, no idea. We were soon sitting on the chaise longue again. I told him how strange it had been to mention him as my boyfriend for the first time that morning. Just the concept of it.
Then it was twilight and we went out to the church terrace where we had first kissed. The western sky was still yellow and pink after a winter sunset, and the first stars were appearing, Vega and Altair. The moon was so new we weren’t sure it was the moon, a sickle so thin it looked like a thread of light. We looked out over the city and talked some more about our first kiss. Tom said there had been an older couple a few metres away, whom I never noticed, but he isn’t sure they saw or heard us. And he said that he told his friend who works and studies with him (she is older and married with a son) about the kiss and she was almost jealous because it was so special. We were holding hands and after some time when I wanted to go back, Tom said wait, and kissed me again, just like that first time. It was nice and symbolic, re-living that moment. My wish, namely to make his birthday, my first kiss and our first kiss something unforgettable, seems to have come true. We walked back hand in hand just like that night.
At home, we made a pizza for dinner and embraced and kissed again, standing before the oven. After dinner and clearing up together, we went into the living room and lay down on the bed. We continued where we had left off two days ago. I had taken off my jumper but still wore a top and a lace top, and after some time Tom slowly moved his hand over my chest, a little lower. I was on my back so my bosom was pretty flat, and I said that there wasn’t much, unfortunately, but Tom said it didn’t matter. Then he whispered that he wanted to kiss my stomach, from the bottom up. I said ok, but when he started untucking my clothes, I felt as if I couldn’t go on. Any moment now, he must see or at least feel the loose skin. So I stopped him and whispered, ‘Tom, you must know: my whole body is disfigured,’ He said it didn’t matter and I think I said it was really bad, and he said he didn’t care, and, ‘trust me. Do you trust me?’ I said yes, that I wanted to trust him, and in that moment I did. So I let him go on and lift up my shirts and he softly kissed my stomach, up to my ribs. I was tense because I’m very ticklish, and because there were these two conflicting emotions: shame at my ugliness and fear of judgement, and love and trust and happiness because Tom was caressing my body as if it was beautiful. I stopped him pretty soon however and told him that I found it so horrible, and that I wished I could be beautiful for him. He was so sweet and told me that I was beautiful, and maybe that he cared for me, and that I should never change for him? Something sweet and affirming along these lines, as I had always secretly hoped my lover would tell me when the topic came up. Maybe it was this that made me cry. I held onto him and told him that it was just so difficult because I hated that ugliness about me and couldn’t imagine anybody not minding, or being able to still find me desirable. He was tender and tried to comfort me which really broke me, so that I sobbed a few times, but soon calmed down. It wasn’t fair, I thought, ruining the moment and making him uncomfortable. After some time and some tender embraces and kisses, I let him kiss my stomach and was half able to enjoy it.
By then, hours had gone by and I was thirsty, so we went into the kitchen and drank some water and ate a little chocolate. I showed him the stretch marks in the crook of my arm and told him that my whole body looked like that because I had been so fat for so long, and that it wouldn’t go away, unless with many surgeries. He said they were the scars of life, and nothing to be ashamed about. And he told me in confidence about his younger sister, who is severely anorexic and has irreparably damaged her health and will probably die young. He told me to stay as I am, and that it wasn’t worth it. He himself is skinny and said he often wished he was more muscular and tried to change his body, but couldn’t. When he finally accepted himself, things began to shift, other areas of his life suddenly fell into place, like University, and love. Law of Attraction, I thought. It was the same with me, in the beginning of my weight loss and again in a smaller way this summer: I found a way to love and accept myself somehow, and then there came love and the weight went down, too. We sat there facing each other, holding hands, very close emotionally. I told him that I did not expect him to save me or to complete me, that it was not his responsibility, that I did not believe we should seek love out of a sense of need, but out of abundance. All I needed from him was his help in the area of intimacy. And he was understanding and accepting and said he would, but that I had to trust him. I do trust him, for the most part, and the part that doubts is all my own fear, nothing he has said or done. I want to get rid of my fear and insecurity, and be intimate and be able to enjoy it.
We went back and lay down and it all began again. During a lull, I asked him if he still had a train, or if he wanted to stay. He said he was certain there was a night train, but that he could stay if I wanted, I said I would like that very much. I had hoped he would stay and bought two bread rolls for breakfast and washed the pillowcases that day. He had apparently thought about this, too, and brought some things. We lay there, happy and close and tired, and almost dozed off. I remember saying that by allowing closeness, you made yourself so vulnerable. Tom answered something understanding and positive, I think. Later, I got up and said we should get ready for bed. Tom wanted to take a shower, but I just washed and changed into clean pyjamas, brushed my teeth and then cleared up the kitchen, fed Gina and aired the room while he showered.
We both got into bed, he choosing to lie against the wall, and lay there on our sides facing each other, holding hands. Our naked feet touched. He wore a black t-shirt and his trousers. The light was out and he lay smiling with his eyes closed. His face looked unlike himself, almost comical. It was strange but nice to have him lie there in person after imagining it for so many nights, to sleep next to him, and I found it hard to totally relax. At first we held hands, and later let go and sometimes exchanged caresses when we were awake. We both woke up often. Once, he got up and said he had a headache and had drunk too little, and I heard him unwrap a pill. I somehow felt bad because he didn’t feel well. He came back to bed and said he was very warm and if I minded him taking off his shirt. I said no and he said he always slept like this. I liked that. I saw his other tattoo and stroked his shoulder and upper arm and we went back to sleep. Towards morning, I turned away from him because I was worried about breathing my stale breath onto him, and then I slept more soundly and for longer intervals.
When it got light and I woke and saw that I had slept for about seven hours, I was relieved. The night had not been restful, too new and strange, and I had found myself looking at the time and wanting it to pass faster. I sneaked out to brush my teeth and use the loo. Tom was awake when I returned and we cuddled a bit and I said jokingly that it was a strange concept to have a half-naked man in my bed. Then he told me to stay where I was and went into the bathroom, and I half got up but made sure to be where he had told me as he came back. He climbed into bed again, now smelling of Listerine, and we cuddled a little more and kissed. I told Tom to sleep a little longer and got up. I showered and got ready, making sure to be fast, but look pretty, and then made breakfast while he showered, too. He came into the kitchen and seemed pleased with the breakfast, and apologised for wearing his old shirt which was quite crumpled. I smiled and said I would add a few creases, and embraced him and maybe kissed him. We made soft-boiled eggs and ate breakfast together and it was lovely.
I suggested going out for a walk in the forest and to the Sun Mountain, and he agreed, so we got ready and walked all the way to the special train station. We were holding hands during most of the walk, and Tom sometimes took my arm, too. I told him how often I had wished for and imagined a partner by my side, holding my hand, sharing the experience of beauty all around. How glad I was for his presence. And I told him lots of little things from my childhood that came into my mind again, and I realised then – and said – that I had had a happy childhood. We came down to the playground and stood hand in hand looking at the view over the city. It was sunny and quite warm, and just wonderful. I kissed him again and then we went to the swings to swing a little. I swung high and leaned back as I always do, but it is only half as nice without music. Then we walked down and I showed him my parents’ house on the way back.
We walked back and passed an anorexic woman and I thought about Tom’s sister again and shyly asked him if his sister looked as ill as that woman had, and he said she was even thinner. We talked a little more about her. He told me that he had thought he no longer loved her, but when the news came that she was in hospital far away, dangerously ill, he almost collapsed. This hit me hard and there was nothing to say, so I just squeezed his hand, but my heart went out to him in a surge of sympathy. He was alone through all of this. His whole childhood had not been as happy as mine, at least considering all the circumstances. And he is so much more sensitive than I thought. And yet he remains positive and is not bitter, but says hard times can shape a person and make them stronger. He also talked about his friend. They are apparently close, they also often eat together and he told her about me. Her husband, who works with them, is apparently slightly jealous and subtly suspicious about the nature of their friendship. Nothing was ever said, but Tom said it was easier now that he had me since that whole complication fell away. I realised I still don’t have a clear picture of Tom’s friendships or important people in his life.
When we got back, we had a drink and cleared up the kitchen. Then we embraced and kissed, and kissed a little more. We went over into the living room after some time, to lie down on the bed again. Time passed very fast in this way. In the end, we had found a very comfortable position with me lying half on his chest, and we were so close and relaxed. We both dozed off for a short time. And we held each other tightly for a long time and both said how much we cared for each other. Oxytocin again. I felt such love for him. I don’t think that love is only ’I like you because you make me love myself’ anymore. That is only one aspect, but there is more to it. I felt true, deep appreciation for him. It was almost the best part of the weekend.
And we talked some more. I said that I loved feeling the energy between us and we talked pretty openly about physical intimacy and taking things slowly. Then it was already growing dark outside and I was hungry and we agreed to get up and make some food, but it was so nice to lie there in each other’s arms, so we stayed. When we finally had to get up, we made a nice meal and ate together and then held hands again and talked some more. About how nice it had been, but how close and unusual I found it. I said that we would probably hurt each other one day. And that I regretted needing time alone, and ‘throwing him out’, so to say, but that I needed to adjust, to grow into this closeness. After some time, we cleared up the kitchen and Tom got ready to leave. I found it hard to part from him and we kissed one last time and he left. I ran to the window and waved until he was gone.
Soon after, I binged, after fighting for a little, and then decided to forgive myself because the time with Tom had obviously been too much, too soon, too long, I don’t know. I obviously needed a release and for me, unfortunately that is still eating. I tidied everything up and took a shower and went to bed and started writing. I felt a strong desire to tell somebody everything that had happened. But June would not have time or not understand, and I felt shy to talk to Mother about the topic, but there was nobody else. So I asked her to call me later and told her as much as I felt ok with, and it helped a little.