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A Life Less Lost: Chapter 14

...Gradually, the exercise and the familiarity of the closeness loosen the stranglehold enough for me to grip hold of every scrap of courage I possess. I whisper the question that is torturing me. ‘We’re not going to lose him, are we?’

There is silence and I hold my breath. I can imagine the clenched muscles of Howard’s face.

‘We might,’ is his choked reply...

Kimm Walker continues her profoundly moving account of her 15-year-old-son's battle with cancer.

To purchase a copy A Life Less Lost click on http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+Life+Less+Lost

And do visit Kimm's Web site http://kbwalker-lifelesslost.blogspot.com/

Never one to to swear much, I find a torrent of obscenities scream through my mind and sense that something akin to the alien is growing in my chest. Fear makes us restless and TV isn’t able to distract. In the evening, Howard and I set out in the dark for our regular walk. We skirt round the subject that monopolises our minds and talk about everyday things, details.

‘Did you pay the milk man?’

‘I have to go to Stratford on Monday.’

‘David needs some more trousers.’

It’s lonely and I’ve never felt like this with Howard. I’m blind to the scattering of lights shimmering in the valley below us and the moon silvering the edges of the clouds above. I shiver in the darkness, although it isn’t cold.

Gradually, the exercise and the familiarity of the closeness loosen the stranglehold enough for me to grip hold of every scrap of courage I possess. I whisper the question that is torturing me. ‘We’re not going to lose him, are we?’

There is silence and I hold my breath. I can imagine the clenched muscles of Howard’s face.

‘We might,’ is his choked reply.

It’s not the answer I want, and I gasp as it slices through me, but it’s honest. Somehow, voicing that dreadful fear, forces the monster filling my chest into the open where we can share the burden of it.

*

Trust is essential. When I was growing up, casual sex was common in my high school. But it wasn’t something I aspired to. I’d seen the devastation experienced by my friends when immature boys treated their ‘gifts’ with disdain. I wanted something better for myself. My older, long-term boyfriend was not enamoured by this but went along with it. When he went off to university, I suffered the drama of a long distance relationship.

He only lasted a term away then came back home. But within a few weeks he stopped phoning or calling round.

Eventually, I phoned him. I felt like I was handling an unexploded bomb and tried to keep my tone as light as possible. ‘Hi Bill. It’s me.’

‘Uh… hi.’ His reply was stiff, guarded.

‘Is everything OK? Only I haven’t seen or heard from you for ages.’ My stomach was twisting painfully but I was determined to escape the limbo of uncertainty I’d been living in.

‘You wouldn’t understand,’ he said.

Now sweaty anger stamped on my quivering heart and gave me the grit to voice the fear I didn’t want to admit.

‘Let’s see if this is what you mean. There is someone else and you don’t want to see me anymore. Is that about right?’

‘Yeah,’ he said in a small voice.

The blazing strength had nearly dissipated and I was only able to manage a feeble slamming down of the phone. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t eat, sleep or imagine my life without him. Seeing him with his new pretty blonde girlfriend was like being wrapped in razor wire.

Then suddenly, after a few months, he was back. I felt triumphant, absolved. But it wasn’t long before I realised I actually didn’t want him anymore. The relationship had changed. I couldn’t trust him.

Howard and I began our relationship in complete honesty. We each tried to give the other as full a picture as possible of our past life experiences. This was painful and quite challenging as it brought out jealousies, insecurity and disapproval. I don’t know if this was absolutely necessary but, for us, we started as we meant to go on. We had no secrets that could ambush us and I don’t think there’s anything that we can’t discuss.


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