Isn’t it funny? Love. One minute it has you leaping down the street hand in hand, all pink cheeked and blossoming smugness; feeling sorry for the poor plebs who cannot ever be a part of your bubble of coupledom and who’s love for each other, should there be such a thing surrounding the people in your immediate vicinity, cannot ever know the unbounded, rampant intensity of your own. For you are the perfect pair, matched by the stars and thrown together by methods you neither understand nor believe in, but which must have undoubtedly been present to thrust the two of you into such harmony. Chance could never have ensured that your beating, love-filled hearts would meet as yours did, to overflow the red juices of togetherness into each other like sweet wine made from the fruits of knowledge and understanding; no – it was something far more profound that allowed your love to bloom. You are one. You are perfect. You were made to be together.
Ten minutes later, you’re in Ikea ogling cheaply manufactured furniture and carrying a bag of tealights you don’t need whilst other people’s grotty children swing around your legs. And you look at your lover; see them obliviously texting whilst you do the leg work; see them completely unaware that you’re in a lamp-related funk and need someone to understand what merry Swedish hell is taking place all around… and suddenly, you’re overcome with bile. And you try to reign it in, this seething mass of dislike (unless you’re drunk*, in which case, you probably just clobber them over the head with something and scream gobbledygook until you burst into tears and ask why they hate you over and over again whilst grappling at their arms).
“Darling,” you say, in clipped tones. “Is that strictly necessary right now?”
“I’m just sending a…”
But how could you let your partner finish now that you’re on the ascent of the catastrophe curve?
“Are you? Really? Hm? And is that… hm… absolutely essential?”
“Well, no, but…”
“So why the bloody hell are you doing it?! We’re supposed to be doing this together,” you wail. “I can’t do this by myself. It was you that wanted to come here in the first place.”
And the whole inevitable and exceptionally boring scene unfolds. You go home, and continue to argue; initially about flat-packed furniture, but really getting to the crux of the matter by bringing it all around to whatever it is that you always argue about whenever you argue. It’s probably made worse when someone starts drinking, and then the whole thing becomes blurry and rather frightening and you can’t remember the point you made two minutes ago, but it seems to have been something rather inflammatory by all accounts.
And then comes the angry, make-up sex and it’s the best sex you’ve ever had in your life, although you’re now both slightly bruised and not entirely sure which one made the first move and whether that move was a concession or a declaration of war. Then you fall asleep in each other’s arms and wake up refreshed with a rosy glow on your cheeks. And you look over at your gently slumbering partner and realise just how amazing they are; they are so wonderful – you can’t believe that you ever could have felt that nasty hatred for them. Where would you ever find such a magnificent person again? Why would you ever want to be parted from such an understanding, generous, kind and faithful mate? You may even lean over and stroke their face, and they open their eyes and see you and smile like you are the most beautiful vision they’ve ever seen.
Your partner rolls over to spoon you and you nestle in as their breathing becomes regular; the warm rise and fall of their chest against your back is comforting and reassuring. And that small puff of breath that’s streaming chill air down your back is fine because the argument’s over and you’re happy and in love… it’s fine… it’s really fine…
Five minutes later, you’re still wide awake and the breathing of the partner has turned into a distinct snore; you need a pee, but you can’t escape because the arms of your bastard partner have closed around you like a vice and you’re all tangled up in their legs. The once gentle warmth against your back has become an overbearing heat of volcanic proportions and you’re glued together with sweat; the sweat means that, when they snort it feels like they’re prodding you with an icicle that spikes at the nape of your neck (the only part of your body that isn’t burning up). You finally extricate yourself from the leech and move yourself into the spare room (or sofa, should you not have a spare room) and from there you are monarch of all you survey. You start to wonder whether separate bedrooms are the way forward, or even separate houses. In the calm breath-less silence, you spread-eagle on the surprisingly comfortable fold out bed at just the right temperature and sink into a deep sleep.
Two hours later, you wake with a start having dreamt that the partner in question has run off with some gorgeous creature that you certainly don’t resemble right now. You wave your arms around for comfort and find only a cool, indifferent sheet on a surprisingly uncomfortable fold out bed. You run through yesterday’s proceedings in your head: you had a row, but it was only a little one… at first, but, oh God, you got home and started banging on about that thing again, didn’t you? And now you’re in the spare room. You must have broken up! No! It couldn’t be true. You didn’t even mean it…
The stream of consciousness is broken by a dull, painful throbbing in your genitalia (and other remarkable places) and you remember the sex. That animalistic violent sex. You didn’t break up! That was it – your partner was snoring and you were just trying to get some sleep. That was all. Oh, how silly you were to consider moving to your own place when there was someone as wonderful as the person currently lying alone in the bed you usually share. Oh, you want to see them. You bound stiffly out of bed, run to the master bedroom and attempt to leap in, ignoring the fact that said partner is resolutely prostrate, still happily snoring away and has contorted themselves into a swastika in the middle of the bed.
You shuffle in and roll them over and spoon them and the nice, warm smell of their hair is on your inhale and it’s glorious. How could you ever doubt your love, stable and true as it is? Everything will be wonderful from now on. You barely even notice the fact that your partner is swiping irritably at the nape of their neck as you drift off into a love-filled sleep.
* Often a necessity if a trip to Ikea is to be embarked upon.