The club was the nicest I’d ever seen: fancy filament light bulbs and chandeliers hung from the tropical trees of the jungle, and the DJ played psychedelic house tunes from a wooden shack to a young crowd of dreamers from around the world. Whether it was the expensive sound-system or just the way the sound was bouncing off the trees I don’t know, but the music sounded intensified in my ear drums. It felt like how I imagine being on ecstasy is, and everyone around me had taken the same hit as they tried to catch each other’s attention in the dark. I felt several male eyes on me, and I tried to smile back, but I was disinterested and found myself looking around. I was looking for you…
“I realised I was thinking of you, and I began to wonder how long you’d been on my mind. Then it occurred to me: Since I met you, you’ve never left.” Unknown
Like many great love stories, I first met you in unusual circumstances. We were in the secret karaoke room of a popular London nightclub and you were on the microphone enthusiastically rapping along to your favourite artist (not that I knew who that was yet). You weren’t my usual type; you were white, young, and slightly dorky, but I was drawn to you straight away. We got chatting and swapped numbers, but you travelled with work a lot and so that was that, until I saw you again at Glastonbury nearly a year later. We only talked for a minute, but it was enough for my boyfriend at the time to fly into a jealous rage and he made us leave the festival early. I never did get to see Coldplay. At the time I thought he was irrational to react in such a way, but four months later I understood why he did. My now-ex-boyfriend had known I liked you even before I did. I didn’t realise the extent of my feelings until we first kissed.
According to science, kissing causes our brain to create a chemical cocktail of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. The release of each of these chemicals creates feelings of love, attachment, and euphoria, which is why many people remember the feeling of a first kiss so powerfully. Our kiss wasn’t rom-com worthy, it was actually kind of clumsy and awkward; I suppose that sums us up well. I’d been out in London with you and your friends dancing and having fun, and at the end of the night you came back to mine. At this stage we were just friends and I didn’t think it was a friendship that could turn physical, we both just wanted to drink a little bit more. We finally got into my bed, and it was then that you kissed me. “Fuck!” I thought, and it was that moment I realised that I liked you. I had always liked you. But I was drunk and tired, my mouth was dry, plus I wasn’t going to make it so easy for you, so I pushed you away. But you’d kissed me, and it had changed everything.
From that moment, I saw you whenever you were free. We snuck around London, and stayed up until the early hours drinking and talking and kissing. If I was drunk on the chemical cocktail of our kisses, then I was high on your soul. The more I got to know you, the more addicted to you I became. Like any stimulant, you made me feel good, but unlike other stimulants you weren’t bad or toxic. In fact, you were the first man in a longtime who I trusted, and in you I saw only good. My past experiences usually made it very difficult for me to be honest about my feelings, but with you it was easy.
You were good in a way that restored my faith in humanity. The way I felt about you had restored my faith in love. I loved the way you got nervous and awkward around me, the way I’d catch you looking at me when you thought I wasn’t looking, the way your bottom tooth stuck out awkwardly. I love that you were grounded, family-orientated, and used your platform to do good. Most importantly, I loved who I was when I was around you.
I’m painting a romantic picture, but loving you was difficult because when I say I saw you whenever you were free, sadly you weren’t free very often. And whilst work took you away from me physically, it also took you away emotionally. You were my drug but I couldn’t get my regular fix, and so I battled through the highs and lows, and I did so silently. I usually have a short fuse with men and would be quick to anger or move on if I wasn’t getting what I desired, but you were different. You were worth suffering for. And also, my intense highs were surely irrational, I mean we hadn’t been seeing each other long and there had been no talk of commitment?
But eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, and so I talked to you. I never told you exactly how much you meant to me, but I told you enough. And you told me you liked me but couldn’t give me what I deserved. And so I walked away, I changed my number (admittedly that was for a combination of reasons), and almost a year since that first kiss I found myself on the other side of the world in an outdoor club called Gitano’s in Tulum in Mexico. And here I was, drunk on alcohol and high on psychedelic music surrounded by young dreamers, and as I caught the eyes of my would-be suitors, I felt sad. Even in paradise it’s still you I’m craving. My love. My stimulant. I miss you. Damn.