Lockdown Love Stories

#1 – For my best half

“Almond, coconut, a sort of boyish musk…”

It’s not until I tried to describe your scent that I realised how hard it is to put the sensation of smell into words. I struggled to find the right phrases, started to form a sentence but stopped halfway through, finally just settling on “It’s just really comforting!”. You laughed, and insisted again that I try to explain why, how, pinpoint exactly what it was about your natural perfume that calmed my soul and filled my heart. I ran off a list of different elements I thought I could identify, like a connoisseur-in-training naming the aspects of a fine wine. Almond, coconut, a sort of boyish musk… but in a nice way, I promise!

You smile and give up on the questioning, tucking my head back under your chin. I bury my face in your chest, inhale. You smell like home.

#2 – For Michael

“He always remembered me”

My husband became sick during lockdown. One day he was telling me he was going to sleep off an ear infection and then he gets lost trying to find the bathroom and I call an ambulance and we are at the hospital and the doctors tell me the infection spread to his brain.

Michael didn’t know much of what was happening. He’d tell me stories of being a harpist or that someone had poisoned him or aliens saved him from a cult. But he always remembered me. When I arrived in the morning the nurses would ask him who I was as part of his memory tests and he’d say “She’s the love of my life”.

One month later he came home and 5 surgeries later, things aren’t completely better but having him next to me will be my greatest love story.

#3 – For Harry

“I have found perfection”

Dear Harry,

I have met perfection –
I found it in the corner of the window
At a crowded party.

I have met perfection
And it tastes like coffee in the morning
Brewed as the light filters through blinds
Left half open.

I have met perfection
And sunlight on the river, they tell me
Has no comparison.

I have found it in the corners of a soul
That I didn’t seek.
I have reached into pockets and found it
Hiding amongst change.

#4 – For my best half

“Hopeful for your homecoming”

I’m usually not one for cliches, but there’s a phrase I’ve been hanging on to recently: if you love someone, you have to let them go. If they were always yours, they’ll be back; if not, then it just wasn’t meant to be. I watched from my perch as you stretched your wings, set your eyes to the skies and took flight.

I hope the lands you soar over inspire joy, and that you bring me back stories nestled in your feathers. I remain firmly grounded by a fear of heights, but my spirits are high with the warmth of the happiness I see glow in you from afar. You might return with a heart still full of our love, but maybe those feelings will fade to a simple nostalgia.

Either way, I’ll be here, waiting, with the door to our gilded cage wide open and hopeful for your homecoming.

#5 – For Michael

“I find myself again”

So the person I have been trying to avoid all these years is my only company. I am trapped with her; her feelings of inadequacy overwhelm and suffocate me. Her anxiety thrums beneath my veins threatening to burst out and engulf me.

I am alone with myself and it’s terrifying.

But I continue. I remind myself how much worse off other people are and decide to look after myself. I embrace cooking, first comforting banana bread and curries (how have I never learned to make curries before?). Then I make fresh food to nourish myself. I wake up and stretch and embrace the new day with yoga and enthusiasm . I start to love my body, the healthy body that keeps me alive. I comfort myself with soups and stews, ice cream and old films. I find myself again. I love myself again. I am okay.

#6 – For Jessica

“One and a half support bubbles”

Dating in a pandemic is tricky, especially when you don’t live together yet.

I remember the twinge of guilt when I had one and a half support bubbles, and seeing you again felt like it was against the rules. Sometimes in a fun way, and other times more anxious. But that’s just how I am, and we probably weren’t alone in the sneak out to eat out trend. But the time we did manage together was incredible. And your role in this whole thing has been unthinkable, but I’m so incredibly proud of you for doing it.

2020, on paper, was not a good year for so many people. But this is a letter to say thank you for making it one of the best years yet.

#7 – For Amrita

“On that rainy summer’s eve”

It took an entire pandemic, a lockdown, exhausted options and a whole lot of charm, but we finally met. Our eyes locked outside the train station on our first date and it was in this glorious moment that I realised I was not yet ‘friend-zoned’.

By date three we were seated at the local pub as the peak of the summer weather washed over us. She said it felt like we were on holiday.

I swear the first time I saw her, on that rainy summer’s eve, she reached for my umbrella and for a brief moment we touched, and there was an electricity that you can never duplicate. Something so tangible that only the luckiest and most fortunate of us can hope to receive in an entire lifetime, or ten.

From Barney

#8 – For Poppy

“You will do anything to keep me warm, safe, smiling”

Dear my sweet little dog, Poppy,

You anticipate my every move, every single step. You know what I’m going to do next, even before I have realised it myself. You’ve weathered every moment of this recent storm with me, but not once have you left my side nor allowed me to wallow – my beautiful shadow. You know me better than I know myself and you will do anything to keep me warm, safe, smiling.

On the days when I want to hide inside from the rain and the pain, you are there reminding me, forcing me to see that there is still joy to be found in the small things – the trees, the grass and the warmth of your breath as you jump up to say thank you and share your happiness with me. My gorgeous pup, thank you for shining your light and reminding me that your love is always there.

Would you like to share your own Lockdown Love Story?