16 Vernon Park

I’ve been thinking recently about starting this up again. Not on a daily basis, but more than the three (3) times I’ve managed in the 300 or so days that have already passed this year. A few writing ideas have flittered across my consciousness recently, and today feels as good a day as any to actually commit to.

This weekend just gone will have marked the first few pages in the next chapter of my life. I’m sitting in bed, alone, but under Christina’s duvet, surrounded by the amalgamation of two lives. Her teddy, Chi-woo, sits on my bedside table, while my quilt nestles in among some of her bedclothes. It’s something I’ve waited for for months.

This weekend has seen us move into our new house, the titular 16 Vernon Park. It’s a two-bed mid-terrace house in Oldfield Park, a stone’s throw from the much more impressive Victoria Park and, conveniently, Christina’s new office. It already feels like my home. Our living/dining room is set up brilliantly, and we’re already vying for wall space for posters and paintings. The bedrooms are both in a bit of a state, but having lugged two sets of belongings in and out of Rory’s van, I’m too tired to do anything about it now.

Our move-in is somewhat disrupted. The let started on Monday, but I couldn’t pick up the keys until Friday. Christina and family came down this weekend, but she’s gone back to work this week, so I’m here by myself with plenty of annual leave to use up. She’ll move in properly on Sunday, at which point we’ll have a day and a half here before I have to go to Atlanta. It’s safe to say things haven’t quite come together as well as we might have liked, but I think that’s ok.

As a side note, it is quite weird being here by myself. I don’t really people are designed to be in houses by themselves, given how we’re raised for so long – I’ve gone from house full of people to house full of people for the last 23 years, with very few times in between. I think the only notable exception is when I first moved into Russell Terrace and was there by myself for a few days, and I’m feeling some pretty significant deja vu for that time right now, as I potter around the empty house, almost trying not to be noticed as I adjust things to just how I’d like them.

I don’t really know what happens now. Neither of us has ever lived with a partner, and it still feels not so much like something that’s happening too quickly, but definitely something that’s sudden, a little unexpected. Had we been together a few months longer, this moment might have come a year and a half ago. As it is, we’ll celebrate two years together just three weeks after Christina’s first ‘official’ day here. I’m sure there’ll be a lot to adjust to, but I think there’ll be a lot to celebrate – it’s so difficult for us to just chill out in one another’s company for any lengthy period of time. Any time we have spent together up to this point has been limited, and that means you feel like you have to use it. From now, there’ll be so many extra hours to enjoy one another’s company in, to relax and have our own space and not have to try as hard to be seen to be doing something with every moment we get. I’ve had a girlfriend for a long time – and I’m lucky that Christina is my best friend – but now I think I have a partner instead.


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