He is the first boy I ever went out with who had proper shoes. Before him there’d only been skate shoes or beach sandals. His were shiny and grown up.
I was working in an office as a Recruitment Consultant on a posh street in Edinburgh living a life with no schedule. Days filled with nothing or shopping, lie-ins or watching telly, skinning up or eating cereal for tea.
I’d not long been dumped, my heart mashed up. As luck would have it my best friend had had hers mashed up too so we were saving for a trip round the world. A much needed focus. I wasn’t looking for a boy.
Then – into the office – walked The Boy. Subtle Northern Irish accent. Expensive blue pin striped suit lined with orange and a fat tie. Good hair. Shiny proper shoes. With a massive football kit bag over his shoulder.
He’d moved over from the Belfast office to the Edinburgh one to be with a girl. But luckily she dumped him.
At the end of that first day seeing him, I asked him out for a drink. He was the first boy I ever asked out for a drink. He said yes and, together with the office manager, we went to the pub across the road and started drinking, not stopping for about two weeks.
He kissed me that first night. I can remember phoning my best friend from my taxi home, after 11pm, whispering that I’d kissed someone. She remembers me calling and first thinking – never mind the kiss – how come she’s not in bed when it’s after 11pm?
Six months and he’d proposed. Fifteen months later – ten years today – we were married in a beautiful bright room, with bird wallpaper, full of our closest friends and family.
As I walked down the aisle I felt invincible, tall and strong and sure.
Your Dad, well, he started crying when he saw me and carried on throughout the whole ceremony, his best man handing him tissues to stem the flow of tears and snot.
Somewhere in between me driving him crazy by being a messy cow, that I loathe dancing and he loves it, or that I still can’t believe he doesn’t smooth the sheets before getting into bed, we meet in the middle. We very happily and perfectly meet in the middle.
Ten years today. It makes me feel like a grown up. Like I’ve always been married. Like they were different lives, the ones before we were together. But it makes me ever so excited about what lives we’ll have next, together.
I want to go on a long train journey, see more countries, camp more, have adventures, laugh, keep drinking Toro Loco, be with friends, stick close to family and – of course – watch you two grow and fly.