When I went to meet Tom at the station, I was quite nervous for several reasons. For one, I would see Tom again after a whole week apart and it always feels strange to see him after a separation, it strikes me as extraordinary that this person truly exists and that we are together and I always have to get used to him again. Then I also knew he would be with his colleagues from University, his good friend and maybe his professor. He told them about me, not sure how much, but maybe they would watch me and judge me. I was wearing a dress and my red coat and my hair was still damp and curly, and I was wearing a bit of lipstick and felt prettier than usual and shy at the same time. Then I was too early and was looking at shops and magazines and suddenly was almost too late and had to hurry to the platform. The train arrived and I positioned myself near the front and looked for Tom in the sea of people walking by. He finally came into view and saw me a little after I saw him. That was the moment of worst nervousness. I saw him, but found it awkward to look at him while he walked towards me, and yet didn’t want to look away, nor go to him (my bags were on a bench beside me). In all of this, I had no capacity to look at the people who were with him and wonder who they were and what they might think of me. Tom came and I think we both smiled and said hello, and we kissed quickly and hugged. I was outside of myself, noticing that I was smiling and wondering how I had looked kissing him (cross-eyed and fish-mouthed, probably), and couldn’t really feel anything. The others were walking by and a woman’s voice called, ‘Goodbye, Tom’ and he said, ‘Goodbye, Anika’. That is the name of his friend who studies and also works with him at the casino, the one with the husband and son whom Tom told about our first kiss. I didn’t see her and wasn’t introduced to anybody, which made me feel relieved on one hand and disappointed on the other. Tom and I walked to the tram station and I was talking to him, but felt still nervous and awkward. In the tram, we sat side by side and were holding hands and I eventually laid my head on his shoulder. We walked home, washed Tom’s clothes, ate dinner and went to bed. Tom had brought me some gifts, olive oil, lavender honey, a mug and even a gift for Sissy, even though they have never met. It was really sweet of him, but he hadn’t done the one thing I had asked from him, namely to send me a postcard. We talked and asked questions, and soon I didn’t feel strange anymore. In bed, finally lying in his arms again, cuddling and talking in the dark, there was only sweetness and gratitude.
We slept very long and once, when I turned away from Tom, he repeatedly kissed my shoulders and whispered, ‘So pretty’, and later spooned up to me. A part of me felt wonderfully safe and loved, but a small, mean part kept telling me I was huge compared to him and ‘spooning’ was only for thinner women. I listened to the voice, but refused to give it power. When we finally woke up, we enjoyed caressing each other’s warm silky skin and face and snuggling together. He whispered that he loved me and I whispered it back, or maybe that was before we went to sleep, I’m not sure. I finally got up and went to buy fresh rolls at the bakery, while Tom took a shower. He said he had to go home to get some books and do work for University, and said sorry he couldn’t stay. I was just glad to have had him with me for the first night and morning, as I had feared he would go straight home from the station.
We ate breakfast and cleared up and then I asked him if he had to go right away. He said no, and I said good, because then I could smooch him a little, and I turned words into actions. We were standing in the hall and I moved a little until I was with my back against the wardrobe. After some time, we went to lie down on the bed and continued, and then we were lying on our sides, legs and arms entwined, his hand was on my bare waist and I was cradling his head. Was it some time around then that he whispered that he loved me and I said, ‘And I you,’ again? Anyway, he said that it had been nice and then closed his eyes and seemed to start falling asleep. I asked him if he was still tired and he said yes, and that he couldn’t go home right now, anyway, and didn’t feel capable of doing any work because he was so tired, so he would go later to get his things and come back to spend the night with me. I held him close and even though a part of me was frustrated and didn’t want to just lie there doing nothing, I was grateful for every second with Tom, grateful for his love and this closeness, and held him while he fell asleep and then finally dozed off myself. We awoke and talked a little, and finally got up. When he was gone, I made lunch and almost binged and then decided in the last minute that I would go to AS to do some cardio. It was wonderful and did much for my self-esteem and peace of mind. I went back home, took a shower and paid all my bills, which calmed me down as well.
Tom came back late and we ate dinner and went to bed, where we talked some more. Tom had told me that he and his colleagues had talked a lot about relationships on the excursion. That they had all agreed that it was different to have a relationship at twenty and now, and that what may have seemed unusual in the way our relationship developed really was common. Here I asked him what he meant and he couldn’t tell and said he didn’t really think we were unusual. I have nothing to compare, but think maybe the fact that we are taking physical intimacy really slow is unusual. He said he was very happy with me and gave me a quick hug. Some time that night, not sure when, I had something on my tongue again and didn’t know if or when or how to say it. ‘I do want to sleep with you some time’. I said it in my head a few times and it was true and somehow felt right, so I went ahead and said exactly that. Tom responded by saying that he would like that, too. We didn’t make any plans, but in my mind I was considering the next weekend, when we would both have a lot of time. We’ve been in a relationship for over five months now, we love and trust each other, and it seems right and natural to explore this side as well, even though we are shy and inexperienced. Another thing time seems ripe for is meeting our respective families. I suggested visiting my family the next weekend and Tom took it well, saying he would come, even though he would be nervous. He was considering visiting his mother soon, too, and bringing me with him.