Love

Let’s go on a date!

I couldn’t wait to text Sharif once I got home to Bath.

Made it home safe, was really nice chatting to you today =) x

….the suspense waiting for a response always drove me crazy…

Heeey, thank you for the text; I’d like to meet up with you, come see me in Bristol x

…Oh wow, very straight to the point, he actually really wants to see me!? **heart pounding** **Breeeathe**

That would be really good, just tell me when and I’ll be there. x

I know some girls probably wouldn’t have sounded so keen and probably would have made the man work harder to earn themselves a date but I was never one to fool around. Besides, what harm could one date do?

I’ll meet you at Bristol train station tomorrow at 1 🙂 x

I took the train to Bristol Temple Meads. I made a little effort with my outfit and attempted to put a little make up on.

I could feel the nerves and excitement rushing through me.

I arrived on time.

I reached for my phone feeling pretty wonderful.

Hey, I’m here! Waiting outside the station now, where are you? x

…no reply…

10 minutes later…

….no reply…

20 minutes later….try calling…

…no reply…

30 minutes later…message again…

..no reply.

I continued to wait on one of the benches with my headphones blasting music in my ears. So many thoughts whirring through my head. ..I’ve been stood up. I thought. Why would he do that to me?

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Love creeps up when you least expect it…

I left mum and dad’s feeling that I had to end things with Karim. I had dedicated too much of my time in this relationship that wasn’t going anywhere. On my way back to the train station, I was thinking how I could break the news to him. I felt a little bit sick inside.

Good. I was on time (made a change!). I was not going to miss my train to Bath. I sat on the bench staring down at my phone when someone caught my eye. Dark hair, Dark skin, handsome. Oh my – who was this?

I caught him looking at me too.

I felt sick again. This time for a different reason.

Finally the train arrived. The guy I noticed was hopping on the same train as me. He waited for me to step into a carriage first. I felt as though he was following me? Should I be worried? No.

I took a window seat and I clocked the mystery guy sat a couple seats back. For some reason, I turned around and smiled at him. (Why did I do that!?) My cheeks felt hot. He cutely smiled back. As the journey progressed, the man moved seats so he was sat opposite me in the other aisle.

“Where are you headed?” he asked

Bath, I have to go back to do my studies

“What are you studying?…”

How on earth have I engaged in conversation with this guy. His voice was sexy, so smooth and calming.

He moved to sit next to me in the empty seat beside me. We laughed and chatted. His name was Sharif. Somehow our hands touched as we compared hand sizes. Apparently he has small hands for a man – or did he just want to touch me? It didn’t matter, I hadn’t felt such closeness with a man in so long.

*This is Bristol Temple Meads* said the conductor on the train.

Shit. Don’t go already. I thought. -“Have a great evening” I said in true Kayleigh style, with a smile.

“It was lovely to meet you” he smiled, as he walked away from me.

I stared out the window trying to get one last glimpse of this stranger …where are you, damn it?

***KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK***

There he was at my window smiling at me. He made a phone call sign at me and I nodded but made a how gesture at him.

Fuck. The train will be leaving again soon. The man held his phone to the window, showing me his number. Quickly, I typed the numbers into my phone, heart beating fast.

The whistle blew, I could feel the train beginning to move. Somehow, I had his number!

I waved and made a phone call sign at him.

What have I just started?

Gawd, I still need to end something first!

Uncategorized

Excuse after Excuse…

what!? serious? I can come to England?

I told Karim that it was possible and that I would support his application for a Visa.

At the time, I was so excited – I was finally going to be with my love. I was so invested in what we had. I couldn’t imagine us ever being just a memory in each others lives.

But of course, things did not go the way I imagined. – They won’t let me get a visa at the embassy, he told me.

That’s crazy, why not?! …I can’t remember the excuse he gave but I wasn’t having any of it.

I contacted the Visa people myself and asked why he would not be granted a visa. They responded to my email and said they had never heard of the reason Karim gave to be an issue.

It was then that it dawned on me. He just wasn’t coming. We were never going to meet. We were never going to embrace or kiss. It had all been dreams.

No baby, I love you.

You aren’t even online as much as you use to be.

I can’t afforrd the cyber cafe. I need money.

…I can send money to help with your visa…

That would be amazing baby.

so i did.

They still wont accept my application…

I was frustrated. I was tired. I wanted out of this relationship now. I had been crying too much for this guy…He was only 19, he wasnt ready to be with me.

I needed time away myself from the laptop, clear my head. I went back home to the comforts of mum and dad for a while.

Love

Happy 21st Birthday!?

April 8th – My birthday! I have recently just celebrated my 29th birthday…my last birthday as a 20 something year old! I can’t believe how I have reached 29 already when I can remember my 21st so well.

For whatever reason, the 21st birthday was or is suppose to be an extra special birthday here in England… I don’t really know why that is because not much changes in terms of becoming more of an adult as 18 really is the ‘becoming a grown up milestone’. I assume becoming 21 is more significant in the US as it is the ticket into legal drinking, smoking etc….

Anyhoooo

Rewind about a year from Karim getting a VISA plan, – My 21st. I felt as though I was entering young adulthood on a high. I was doing well in my studies, enjoying life away from home, living in a lovely house with my 2 beautiful housemates, I had a boyfriend who adored me (though we had not yet physically met -yet!) and a loving family. Things were pretty good.

The morning of my birthday, the girls called me into the living room to sing happy birthday to me and give me some pressies. I was given a moo cow cookie themed gift (it actually came with a cow shaped cookie cutter!) I forgot to say, I had/have an adoration for cows! Rosie had made me some gorgeous earrings and I received a lush clutch bag to take with me on future nights out. Rosie had also made a delicious cake to enjoy later that day. (She was always a fantastic cook and taught me quite a lot about cooking whilst we lived together).

The plan for the day was to go out to the Parade Gardens in the Centre in Bath and simply take in the sun rays. It was a hot summer’s day so that idea made sense and the prospect of grabbing an ice cream in the park made the whole idea even more appealing!

The walk and the ice cream was right up my street and I enjoyed spending the morning with my 2 housemates. We finally made the walk back home. I’m not the most observant of people and I failed to notice the increased number of cars outside my house. Rosie led me out to the garden. I was shocked to see ALL of my 5 siblings waiting for me in the garden! ….I burst into tears. Anyone with a large family would know how getting everyone together in the same place at the same time a mighty challenge! I was so happy. I couldn’t believe how much effort my friends went through to make my birthday so special. I was not use to people being so thoughtful about me!

We ate far too much food and laughed A LOT. I was sad to see everyone go.

However; once everyone had gone and the house had become quiet, I retreated to my room – logged onto my laptop to see if Karim was there.

Hey baby, are you there?

I was not expecting the response that I got back –

Where have you been? Do you not love me? I have been waiting all day! …etc etc etc

Wooooah. You knew it was my birthday and I have been busy. I have had a wonderful day and I don’t expect you to be accusing me of doing bad things. You should be wishing me a happy birthday!

I don’t think Karim was expecting me to be so feisty back as usually I would be apologetic. I was not going to be apologetic on my birthday. In fact, I’m not going to apologise anymore for living my life away from a laptop.

I’m sorry baby, happy bithday – tell me about your day..

That was more like it. I let my defences down and told Karim all about my day, about how much fun it was and how everyone came to the house to see me.

I wish I could have been there too

Me too baby. Me too. But we will be together soon – I can just feel it.

FAST FORWARD LITTLE OVER A YEAR…(Karim and I have been in a cyber relationship for roughly 2 years or more, our hands still haven’t touched!)

Hey baby, I have some exciting news…

How would you feel about coming to England?!

Love

So where was I?

Things have been a little hectic in the life of Kay at the moment and I have now finally succumbed to a raging cold! (When the weather is gorgeous too!) So where was I in my love drama?….

Oh yes. Karim. He sent me a devoting love letter that once again clouded my judgement of continuing a relationship with him. I HAD to be with him. I was tired of spending endless nights staring at a computer screen. I was tired of the times he spent away from me because he hadn’t any internet and was resulting in using the internet cafe. I was sick of people around me telling me he was using me and just wanted to be with me so he could come to England. I needed him and I to be together for real. I believed that is what he wanted to.

Come to Morocco? he asked me. Yes. I will, I need to be with you.

I broke the news that I was planning on going to Morocco to meet Karim and you can imagine the hysteria it caused.

YOU CAN’T GO.

YOU ARE CRAZY

IT’S UNSAFE

YOU SILLY COW

I can’t let you put yourself in so much danger.

My eldest sister was probably the most supportive of me and saying that I should follow my heart but to be sensible/ take precautions. She said she would have even travelled with me to meet him if she didn’t have 2 young babies to look after.

I was feeling determined to be with Karim but I hated seeing the upset it was causing in my family. Even my dad had an opinion on my outburst and said I wasn’t to go and that was final.

I can be a right stubborn so and so sometimes and I hate being told that I can’t do something. No one in my family or any one of my friends knew Karim like I did. He wasn’t a predator, he was a gorgeous human being and I felt love for him. I wanted to see if our love for each other was real in the physical world and not just the cyber world.

I arranged to have my necessary jabs at the doctors so that I could then go ahead and book my flights. I spent endless amount of days looking up flights, checking prices and saving my money.

My brother Matthew who was not living in England because he had moved to America to earn the real big bucks at the time, called me on Skype. The news had finally reached him. He told me that he didn’t want me to go to Morocco but he was happy to help us understand how Karim could get a VISA for a holiday in England instead.

Oh my gawd. That would be perfect. I know everyone would be so much happier if it was him travelling to me and not the other way round. I couldn’t wait to tell Karim the news…

Love

A love letter

I remember arriving one afternoon after a lecture to find a letter addressed to me. The handwriting on the envelope wasn’t one that I recognised but to my surprise it had Karim’s name was written on the back! I couldn’t believe it! He had actually sent me a letter like he said he would.

My heart was pounding, hands shaking slightly, I opened the envelope. I can tell you all what he write because I have held onto this letter. I don’t know why I have held onto his words for all these years despite how things ended between us….but I guess this was the only real thing that I ever had from him and I still cherish it.

It said..

My Love,

Hey what’s up sweety here is a big feeling today is amazing about you nothing in this world could ever be as wonderful as you ❤

you’ve given me your love makes my days so very bright just knowing that you are my darling you are the twinkle of my eyes.

I always say it because I know why I am saying it. Day and night your absence bothers me. I don’t know if one day be able to face but I know in my heart you are always the big place for you and for what we have in this time. I’ll send it you to make you sure I’m living hahah cause you wasn’t always sure about it, you always have something not complete in your life but today I will make it complete forever baby. I will show you how much I love you and how you are lovely in my life 😉 hehehe. I wanted to send you all my love but the postman said it was too big heheh. Your outer beauty attracted me to you but it’s your inner beauty that kept me

Imagine with me if my love for you was like money account, you’ll be the richest woman on earth.

I wish you like my work and my words. Big kiss for you.

I was really impressed with how much Karim had written even though some of what he had written was jumbled and didn’t make sense haha! But that was probably google translate for you! Karim had tried teaching me how to write in arabic once before and for me that was just a disaster!

At the time, I was really grateful for my letter. I could smell him on the paper. I slept with his letter under my pillow for a good while after receiving it. His letter was the push I needed to speak to my family about making our dream of being together a reality. I wanted to be with Karim that summer. I needed to be with him.

Love

The perfect gift…

I thought for a long time about what I could send Karim that he would appreciate and make him feel special. Valentines day was approaching so I began by choosing a card which I could write sweet words in. I remember writing all sorts of promises to Karim about how we would be together soon. I told him how I longed to touch him, to kiss him and be with him. I sprayed the card with my perfume so it could help him feel I was in the room with him. I placed the card inside a bigger envelope and filled it with more.

I sent some sweets and chocolate, some pocket money toys and a pair of my undies! ….I wonder what he did with those haha! Although the package wasn’t that heavy it was quite expensive to post and was going to take weeks to arrive. I was forever asking Karim if my parcel arrived yet and was worried he would never receive it.

Eventually the package did arrive at his door. He was overjoyed with what he received and thanked me greatly. He was of course most happy with the panties! He told me that he was going to send me something too! I couldn’t have been happier.

The trouble with Karim, was that when things were good – they were amazing but the bumps in the road were becoming more frequent. It was the Summer Fayre at University and I was planning on going. I modelled my dress for Karim and he said I was beautiful and that he wanted to go with me. I went with my friends, had a good dance and listened to some great live music however my night was cut short as I received missed calls/messages from Karim. I couldn’t call him back as I was out of credit. I remember panicking and telling my friends I had to go. I hopped on then next bus. I had to get to my laptop and fast! I was wearing quite high wedges at the time, I tried to run in them once I got off my stop. – BAD IDEA. I fell to the ground hard, I tore my tights completely, my knees were bleeding. I hobbled as quickly as I could home, crying with fear.

Karim was waiting for me. He was upset with me for not answering his calls. It was the same old story. I was upset with him too for spoiling my evening. But as always, we talked about it and made up. Thinking back now, I probably should have given up on the relationship sooner but when living it, you are blinded by the in-practicalities of it all and are simply holding onto the love. I was expecting out love story to play out like the movies, love conquers all and all that. I think that is how Karim felt too.

He didn’t understand why people were so afraid of me talking to him and wanting to be with him.

“Look up out at the sky. What do you see?”

I can see the stars and the moon

“And in the morning, what will you see?”

The sun

“I don’t understand why your family don’t like me, I’m not scary or bad, we share the same moon, the same sun, the same stars, the same sky. I’m just a person…I’m with you”

I know, I said as I fell asleep once again with my laptop on my pillow where his head should have been.

Love

Where are you?

Karim was lovely, he was always saying such beautiful things about me, about the way I looked, the way I talked and the things I did. He always said that I was going to make a fantastic teacher. I taught him how to speak better English after all!

However, Karim did have a jealous streak which he did not keep secret. If I hadn’t been online and he was, he would sometimes leave me several messages asking me where I was and who I was with. I never hid anything from Karim so I was confused about why he would think I could be cheating on him. It never occurred to me that Karim could be seeing other women as we were so in love.

I’m going to be visiting Zak today I told Karim.

Zak?! Who is Zak?

I could sense that he felt threatened by Zak straight away so I did my best to reassure him that things between Zak and I was ancient history.

We are just meeting to see the steam trains and get some lunch, you don’t need to worry about Zak – he has a girlfriend and I have you. He is just a friend.

It was so good seeing Zak again, it had been a while. He did still look as handsome as ever and I did feel nervous about meeting up, but I promised myself never to go ‘there’ again. It was nice having some real male company for a change though. We had a good time travelling on the steam train, stopping off near the sea to get a bite to eat. Zak bought me the cutest teddy bear key-ring as a souvenir of our time together (I still have it tucked away somewhere!).

It was good. There was no funny business, we just chatted and laughed together. He gave me one of his toasty hugs and I said goodbye. We make better friends I thought to myself convincingly. I wanted to get back to Karim.

I got home and got online. Karim wasn’t there. He left a message saying he was going out and didn’t know when he would be back. This was him trying to get back at me for going out I thought. I felt a rush of panic overwhelm me as I started to type to Karim. Where are you? I’m back now, I’m sorry for going, come back and we can talk…I was just as jealous as he was.

Karim was hiding from me, he saw my messages and eventually decided to reply – back then you could ‘appear offline’ but really be online. We talked and soon made up. These sorts of arguments happened a fair few times in our relationship. Looking back now, I realise how insecure I was about my image and my self esteem was pretty much non existent. Karim had something over me – we had never met in real life but he had some form of control over me. I needed him and I was desperate not to lose him.

I do not want you seeing Zak ever again. He told me.

What? I can’t do that?!

Why not? Do you love him?

What?! No! It’s not like that but he is my friend, I can’t stop seeing him or talking to him.

..I was so afraid of losing Zak, I didn’t want to be without him but I didn’t want to be without Karim either. I needed to convince Karim to forget about it.

…I do not like him.

I’ll think about it.

How can I keep him interested and stop worrying? I’ll send him a parcel, that way he will have something REAL from me, something sweet that will keep him smiling even though we are apart. I just need to think of the most perfect gifts to send…

Love

Long Distance Love

Karim and I were in love. I don’t know how we could feel so much love for each other when we had never touched. He truly was a beautiful soul. I kept Karim a secret from my family at first because although my heart was telling me he was the one, my head was telling me to run, it won’t work! My family would NEVER accept him. I knew it.

I would lie in bed with my laptop beside me, where his pillow would have been. We would lie together and talk and talk all night. We pulled many all nighters just talking even if I had lectures to go to in the morning! Sometimes he would sing to me sweetly until I fell asleep and when I woke I would see cute little night night messages before he signed off. He would call me ‘Habibi’ which he said meant ‘my love’. But the way he said my real name was also like music.

Being ‘with’ Karim was the hardest and most intense kind of love I have experienced. I lost count of the amount of times I cried just lying there with him. ‘It is so unfair that you are so far away, I wish I could touch you, hug you, kiss you – why are you so far away?!’ I would say to him. He would cry to me as well, saying how he missed me and wanted to be beside me. So many tears but there was more laughs and smiles that kept us holding on.

Come to Morocco in the Summer he said.

It’s NOT that easy – I would say – I’ve never been on a plane before…

It is easy, I will be waiting on the other side and I will look after you when you are here…

You need to give me more time – I would say. – I need to talk to my family first…

Religion

Finding Faith

While at university, I really began to think about religion and what I believed in. When I was small, I always enjoyed reading the stories from the children’s bible and embraced the ‘worship’ we did at our C of E primary school. I even use to love going to ‘Monday’ school in the hall across the road from my house. However as I grew older my connection with God was no longer a part of my life.

While living in halls, I use to sing my heart out whilst taking a break from my studies – there was nothing else I could do as I had no TV and Netflix wasn’t a thing then! I use to sing all sorts but I still liked to sing songs from the Christian bands such as – Casting Crowns and Skillet

Hadrian said that he heard me singing in my room and that he liked what he heard. We had a conversation about faith and I was honest with Hadrian in saying that I was unsure about what I believed in. He suggested I join him and his friends in their bible study and perhaps attend the church he attended. My curiosity got the better of me, so I happily agreed.

My visit to his church was an experience that I would never forget. It was not the sort of church I was use to. It felt modern. It felt sort of cool. Real musicians were playing their guitars and drums at the front. The service was powerful. Part of me felt like an impostor huddled in with the crowd, I was surrounded by so much faith and love for God. I wasn’t like everyone else.

I began to cry by the power of the service that was held. It was phenomenal. I looked around me as people of all ages closed their eyes and held their hands to the sky, embracing God’s love. I couldn’t do it and it upset me. Until… people who were new to the church community was asked, if willing to make their way to the front to be blessed. Out of nowhere, I just got up and followed a few others confidently down the steps and onto the stage. I remember he marked my head with his thumb and BAM my heart felt as though it was beginning to beat differently.

It is hard to describe the feeling I felt that day, but I felt new, different somehow. I felt stronger.

I didn’t go back to the church very often after that while I was at university but I also didn’t feel the need to. I found my faith again. Looking back now though, I wish I continued to embrace the community vibes as collective worship somehow, in my opinion made the Christian faith that I had resonate more, was more empowering.