I've had the following words hastily strung together creating messy paragraphs scribbled in a note book for nearly two months. They are words I never imagined I'd write, if you'd have given me this post to read last year I'd have giggled and shaken my head whilst thinking "huh?!". You may remember that back at the beginning of May I wrote a post entitled "Do you have a boyfriend yet?" .This post was all about a particular class of girls who became obsessed with my relationship status last year. Every time any of them saw me, be it in class, in the corridors or even out and about in town at weekends, they would ask the dreaded question; "Peta, do you have a boyfriend yet?!" No, I'd reply lecturing them on how having a boyfriend wasn't the be all and end all of life.
Once Upon A Time...
On a warm Summer evening in June I sat in the town square enjoying a glass of Cava and chatting about everything and nothing in particular with a person I have known the majority of my life. We've sat and chatted in the same way countless times, poking fun at each other, laughing at each other and falling into comfortable silences as we watched the world go by. Except this time was different in every way possible yet nothing had really changed.
Suddenly, two of my students running across the square towards us caught my attention. The excited glint in their eyes bursting with questions sent waves of panic down my spine . I quickly glanced at him and groaned "Oh dear god."
Before he could question my unusual reaction to two little, beautiful, angelic girls running towards me, they launched their not so angelic personalities upon us. Mischievously glancing from him to me, one whispered in my ear "Is he your boyfriend?"
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no. Not now, why now?! Ground please please swallow me up.
I tried my best to distract them with questions regarding their Summer holidays. They, of course, were having none of it. Spanish women are known for being outgoing, confident individuals who speak their mind and their younger counterparts are just as good, if not better, at filling those particular, stereotypical shoes.
"WHO IS HE?! PETA WHO IIIIIIIIIIS?!" They chorused together unabashed by the presence of the 'He' in question. I glowered at them begging them with my eyes not to ask this question right now. They smiled, what I am sure they thought were expressions of pure innocence, and continued to question.
"I....ummm....he's..." I struggled to find any words. I looked up at him over the top of my glasses, he shrugged at me and playfully said "Who is he Peta?". Their eyes widened as soon as they heard him speak. I could see their brains ticking over, he was obviously British and after two years of studying English with me they understood that very similar accent well.
"Is she your girlfriend? What's your name? Who is? Who is? Have you got a girlfriiiiiiiennnnnnnnd? Is Peta your Giiiiiiirlfriendddddd?" They interrogated hands on hips, smirking knowingly.
Taken aback at first he replied "I don't know".
Holy crap! That's not the right answer, this is bait. PURE BAIT TO THEM. THEY ARE SHARKS, BACKTRACK BACKTRACK BACKTRACK.
"Do you have boyfriends?" He quickly asked them.
Okay, good, this is better, turn it round on them, good thinking very good thinking. He always has been good at distraction and changing the subject.
They quickly brushed this question aside with looks of disdain and turned back to their loyal teacher who was bound to give them the goss, persevering with the never ending questions.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and took a deep breath. "Girls he's my friend."
"Yesssss! Your boyfriend." They replied deliberately emphasising the word that would become taboo over the following week. How could I answer their questions when I didn't even know the answer?!
"Oh look! There's your mum" I exclaimed a little too enthusiastically to one of the girls. They scowled at me and begrudgingly walked off huddled in their little bubble of gossip about their teacher and the mysterious man sat opposite her.
I let out the breath I hadn't even realised I'd been holding and took a sip (large gulp) of the bubbly goodness clasped in the vice like grip of my hand.
"Who is he?!" I asked shaking my head.
"I don't know, who is he?!" He replied.
We finished our drinks, stood up to go home hand in hand and kissed. As we turned around the girls were watching, unbeknown to us, they were sneakily sat right behind us, arms folded grinning from ear to ear. Great.
We proceeded to question this for the following week as we explored Barcelona, drank a little too much Cava and ate far too much tapas.
"I think I know who he is." He said to me out of the blue one evening as we cuddled up on the sofa watching a film.
"Me too..." I whispered.
So, who is he?!
He is the person that has picked up the pieces of every failed relationship I have ever had. He's listened to me complain about silly things, cry about the big things and cuddled me when words of reassurance weren't enough. He has challenged me to do ridiculous dares, one resulting in hypothermia on my part another resulting in snorting pepper on his part (ouch!). He has seen me at my very worst, my most drunk (on far too many occasions), my heaviest, my lightest, my illest and my healthiest. He has known the ins and outs of my life for so long that there are few chapters he doesn't know about or hasn't been a part of.
In the past few years he went from being a good friend to one of my best friends and I had never even considered anything happening between us.
He has received a few too many 3am drunken phone calls from me and repaid me with his own 5am drunken calls during our late teens and early twenties...ahem....mid twenties.
He has always made everything better. He'll somehow extract a smile from me at any time, even during complete meltdowns on the kitchen floor because it's winter, my fingers wont work and I can't unzip my coat and the only thing I could think of doing in my snotty teary state is calling him. Isn't that a nice image.
I'm not going to go on because he'll read this and say I'm being way too soppy. (Insert cheesy grin emoji here.)
For some reason it works, it feels right and that's all that counts.
Who is he? He's my boyfriend. (insert monkey covering eyes emoji here.)
I'm off to go and do something not so soppy now.