Three Years of Pleasure and Pain

By Emma Pearson

June 22, 2024

Main image by Zygimantas Dukauskas on Unsplash

12 June 2022

Yesterday, 11th June, is the day that Medjool has named “La Journée du ‘Oui’” (“’Yes’ day”).

It is the day when, three years ago, in 2019, he chose me. I had already chosen him. Not chosen by default, simply because my sample size of prospective Medjools was One, but because I knew that this Medjool, of all possible Medjools that were alive and healthy and available in that moment, was the right Medjool. I didn’t need to do any more research. Not that more research was possible because no-one wanted to meet me. (Good. Less time wasted).

We had been to see the spectacular film, “Free Solo”, at the cinema. My second viewing. I had told him and his climber-daughter that they should both see it, and I just tagged along, wanting more time with him. It was a weeknight/school night. I was about to head home and we said our goodbyes next to my car, standing in the pouring and chilly-for-June rain, outside his apartment.

And suddenly he blurted out, in English, “I want you in my life”. And I swooned. I almost literally swooned. For sure, I felt my legs buckle, and I bent and collapsed into him.

(I just checked the definition of “to swoon” and realised that I have been misusing the word my entire life. It actually means “to faint”. I thought it meant to “sort of faint” which is rather different. So, I “almost swooned”. I “nearly swooned”).

He didn’t say, “I choose you”, or “Alright – you’re on”, or “Erm… so, erm… will you…. erm… be my girlfriend?” or anything of that ilk. He said, very specifically, “I want you in my life”.

Which had been the words that had popped out of my mouth in our first sexually intimate encounter. I was on top, as one does, and just looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I want you in my life”.

The words popped out as ‘Complete Truth’.

I didn’t think it through. I didn’t contemplate, consider or wonder about the ramifications of saying it vs not saying it. I just said it. It seemed as if the words were just living there, in me. Right at the surface. In my heart and mind and body and mouth. Ripe for being expressed as “Truth with a capital T”.

I had rarely been so serious. Or convinced. Or playful. No explanation needed. No excuses or other ramblings either. It didn’t much matter to me what he said back. Whether he agreed or disagreed or became embarrassed or scared or affronted.

I don’t remember how he reacted. I think he just lay there, stunned. Not scared or embarrassed, but a tad speechless, nonetheless.

Perhaps simply aware of being in a momentous moment of Truth. My Truth. Not his. (Not yet). But we know Truth. We recognise Truth, when we hear it. When we see it. When we feel it. Even if it is someone else’s Truth.

Back to the Swooning… the buckling of the legs…. so very unlike me. I am not the Swooning-over-a-man-type. And yet I did – ‘almost literally’. My legs did actually buckle. I did semi-collapse into him. I must have felt relieved. I must have felt like I could let go a little of what I was holding – already holding – and start to lean into to someone who might share something of the load, the pain, the fear and stress, of what was to come.

Not knowing. Being wholly oblivious, of what more was to come, just 19 days later, when Julia took her life. Not having the slightest inkling that both I, and to some degree he, would be asked to carry so much more than should a “still new widow”, and a “separated-not-divorced-man-who-really-did-want-to-meet-someone-special-but-kept-on-meeting-far-too-many-women-who-he-really-liked-and-who-adored-him-and-so-he-was-spoilt-for-choice-and-more-than-a-tad-confused….” should have to carry.

I cannot go there. To that night when Julia died. Or the immediate aftermath.
Very few people have heard the story.

Actually, no-one knows the full story – no-one except for Julia.

Some of us know bits of it. There are huge parts I don’t know. Even more that Medjool doesn’t know.

The start of so much more pain-on-top-of-the-pain. The pain I am still barely able to scratch the surface of.

And so, these past three years since “La Journée du Oui”. So deliciously gorgeous in a million ways. So excruciatingly painful in a gazillion ways… I feel bowed, humbled – indeed I buckle – under the Gratitude I feel for the words Medjool spoke, for the choice he made. For choosing me. And not the other, equally interesting/talented/worthy/deserving woman he was also quite smitten by.

So much Pleasure these past three years.

So much Pain too – for more than these past three years.

But most of all, so much Gratitude – now, then, and always.

Thank you for saying ‘Yes’ to me, to us.

I am grateful every moment of every day.

A photo from Friday evening at dinner with our friend Nelly-Aylen, on 10 June 2022 – Medjool wrapped in cosy blanket – with subsequent note from me to him yesterday, 11 June.

About Emma Pearson

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