On 13th September 2018, that is one year ago, I received a letter. A simple—but cute—letter on someone who had cooked too many pancakes, and nicely inviting me to eat some.
How much can a life change in one single year? When looked in detail, one year is no more than 9.000 hours; it does not sound that much, right?
Being shy, I tried a couple of apps about meeting new people; not to date someone, but just to connect a bit more. All of them before Slowly failed somehow to make the relationships work. Now, I understand that to meet someone, you need time. Time is the key. We both hated and loved the 2 hours and 49 minutes of the letter travelling time between us. Hated, because it made us so far from each other. Loved, because it forced us to write more than just a short letter and pushed us to be more honest with each other.
It worked very fast between us: in less than a week, we were constantly sending letters to each other. Despite this travelling time, she always was there for me, and I hope I always was there for her.
There were so many reasons why it might have not worked between us, but we went through most of them remarkably easily.
First, the language: she is Italian, I am French, so we talk in English. It is hard to explain for people who never actually lived it, but the very first time you hear the voice of the person you talked with for months is truly unique. You have this tremendous relief when you know that you can understand her accent, and she can understand yours. Then, you discover for the first time how to pronounce her name, this very name you already repeated a million times in your head, for yourself—and badly.
Second, the distance: after a couple of months, she suggested me to come. I was as much terrified than I was excited. She took a plane and drove 200km by car to see… me? Just… me? She did what I desired for basically my whole life, but I finally had come to think that I didn’t deserve this attention. I cannot picture the courage needed for such a move; I am so deeply happy she did it. Before seeing each other, my head was a mess: “What if she doesn’t like me?” She did like me. “What if I don’t like her?” I did like her. “What if there are blanks in the conversation?” There were, but these blanks were full of tender glances, real smiles, and pure happiness. It was so obvious between us; we start dating.
Since then, we saw each other at least once per month. We count every remaining day before the next moment we see because each time is better than the previous one. I can easily claim that I am spending the best days of my life with her by my side. Everything is simpler with her; life is beautiful when she’s around. Together, we create a bubble around us; just the two of us.
It is been one year today, one year of laughs, of happy tears when we met, of sorrowful tears when we leave. One year of memories together, of cuddles, of kisses, of smiles, of letters, of us. The letter she sent letter changed both of us profoundly. She is so smart, could it be possible that she did guess already what would happen, this year?
Everything from a simple—but cute—letter on pancakes for two. Did she know she might share more than just pancakes? One thing is for sure: exactly one year letter, I wait for her at the station. With pancakes, obviously.
P.S.: I love you, Lili.