By the second date, I knew. I also knew that I wanted to share the words. I wanted to proclaim it to the World. But first, I needed to inform Gill. That was easier said than done. I’d danced around the subject. I’d alluded to it. Yet, I hadn’t said the words. Not the actual words. It was not for the lack of trying. Each of my verbal thrusts were skilfully parried. She’d change the subject. She’d distract me. As sixth senses go, it’s a pretty specific one. I deployed cunning by being less obvious. Yet, somehow, she sensed it and deflected me once more.
One question lingered. One negative thought. One unbearable possibility. Reciprocation. What other reason could there be? She was protecting me from a reality I couldn’t handle. While the thought crushed me, it deepened the feeling of the words I wanted to share. I was oblivious to the fact that it was too soon. And, I was blind to the possibility that she might be as scared as I was. Maybe she also had scars? I resolved to dial down the intensity, to retreat from the words I wanted to say. I broke my resolution just hours after making it. In ‘The Glens’, a classic working class pub on Constitution Road, Dundee, I said it.
“I know you don’t want me to say it, but I’m saying it - I love you.”
I said it fast, leaving no gaps where she could wedge a distraction. Without hesitation Gill repeated the final three words of my proclamation. I have never felt a joy like it. The relief in knowing we were on the same page and that our life, together, could begin.