We first met on Fulham High Street.
The only reason that I was on that side of London was because we’d just been to a red wine night at Tim and Gi’s. We had discussed the usual; life’s curiosities, how to put wrongs to rights and when the guys were going to open their own pie and mash shop on the high street. The next morning, over a perfectly brewed cup of tea from a teapot, they told us about you.
I wasn’t particularly interested in you at first. You were just lying there, ginormous. You seemed high maintenance and quite dull, lacking in energy. Something that only old people would be interested in.
I had absolutely no idea.
The sales guy told me how supportive you would be, how you would conform to my being in a way that I had never experienced before. Each individual aspect of you would enable two of us to make it through the night, without even a peep. He encouraged us to get closer to you. I significantly remember how disappointingly little bounce you had on first impact. As I laid there just waiting, with sales man talking away, everything gradually began to go quiet… I could feel your cushioning moulding around me, a gentle yet sturdy pressure. The way you pressed against my waist and yet gave way to my hips. I had never felt anything like it.
I knew then that I had to have you in my life.
You took weeks to come. There were so many painful, early mornings, waking up with the cold, hard feeling of the faux wooden floor beneath as the last of the air leaked out from under us.
We go through life, completely unaware of what we may be lacking sometimes. What beautiful things are out there that could add so much value and joy to our lives, things which we may have never even considered. But then one day, someone or something enters your life and from that moment, you can barely picture your life without them.
I think I cried with joy when you arrived.
Over the first couple of years, I remember how well you held up. I really was able to sleep, undisturbed throughout the entire night for one of the first times in my life. I hadn’t known I was capable of it. But however fantastic you were at night, during the day you were gradually becoming the mark of things going sour. Or perhaps you simply highlighted the fact that there was and would always be something a little sour.
Gradually, these sour occasions evolved into something much larger than yourself, and resulted in the huge upheaval that followed. From here, I no longer even associated you with the bitterness. Instead, you became my rock. For a few weeks, I barely left your side, and you stayed with me, supporting me through the longest, darkest nights I’ve ever had.
When it was time to move, I insisted on you coming with me. So you did. I made space for you in my life and you stayed with me, as a constant, through the most changeable and mind-shifting year of my life. Together we experienced a succession of new things, you were open and welcoming to them all.
But you remained mine. You were mine to come home to at the end of every stupid, wonderful and disastrous day. Throughout the new, you and I stuck together. I didn’t need anyone else and I didn’t want to share you with anyone else.
When it was time to move again, this time I couldn’t take you with me but I refused to give you up. So my parents agreed they would look after you until I came back at some point.
And while I was away, I never forgot about you. Every night I was acutely aware of what I was missing. Because once you have knowledge of how great something can be, you can’t undo that. So I longed for you. I would tell strangers about you. You were the only thing that I missed from home. The routine of having you in my life, was something that I knew I wanted for myself again one day.
The first time I got you back, almost 10 months later, I can remember falling into you. I laid there smiling for almost an hour, just appreciating having you back. I felt such enormous gratitude for having you there. As you are now still, here in this room with me.
But now, the time has come to give you up.
I can’t say that I’m excited about it. We have gone through so much together.
More recently, you have kept me company whilst going through a whole new range of challenges. Challenges which I would never have suspected that I’d take on when I first met you. As I said, I had absolutely no idea what future was to lay ahead of us.
And contrary to my first years with you, my last year with you has been scattered with the sweetest and most beautiful of occasions. Reminding me, that it was never your fault all that time ago. And now that I’m willing to share you with someone else, I think it’s time to let you go.
Be good to your new home because they’re good friends of mine and most of all, because I know you can be. You beautiful, life-changing object.