Well I am loved through sickness

Today I am courage at the track

It’s so peaceful here

No one to fuck it up

I could lay here for hours and hours

And not ask you for much

– Ben Howard, Murmurations

It’s still so surreal, seeing my love next to me. It’s been a year of not seeing each other physically. An uncertain year, a year of fighting and yelling and crying, but a year of smiling, calling for hours and sweet talks in the middle of the night for one of us. A year of “fuck you”s and “I miss you”s and one day I skip lunch to drive to a bus stop and there he is.

The trip down south is fun this time, listening to podcasts like True Crime Garage and stopping to get coffee. I still get tired, but at least I have someone to talk to.

Originally, I was going to take this roadtrip by myself to see the love of my life Ben Howard live at the Eden Project, but then Cesar turned up and things turned – for the better.

The day before the concert is spent exploring – we walk through Mevagissey’s tiny streets and find the port. The Royal Coast Guard is doing a performance of their rescue helicopters and a friendly coastguard, Simon, stands next to us to explain the procedures in detail.

Later that day, we find a lonely stretch of coastal path. I love how the SW coast path just follows the ocean all around Cornwall. I take pictures of roaming cows and Cesar asks me to not get too close, in case they attack. I laugh and the cows stay friendly. It’s golden hour, the sun is setting behind the cliffs. No one is around.

He takes pictures of me and I hate the way I look in all of them. He tells me I’m beautiful and I try to let those words resonate in my heart.

We lay in the field, in the sun and I put on a Ben Howard song. “It’s so peaceful here, no one to fuck it up.” We talk about the future and I avoid the big questions, because my heart is scared.

(Image of me taken by my love)

The concert itself is a dream. I don’t mind being by myself and I feel strangely at home in the crowd. A young girl from Wales sings songs about cheese in Cornish and Ben shows up before dusk. I sit next to a beautiful girl named Dee. She is traveling with a friend. We talk about how Ben has saved us with his music and I see that I am not alone in my feelings.

As he plays, I feel the music tug at my heartstrings. I think to myself, never before has music touched me in the same way. I knew, years ago, that these sounds would be of importance for me, as Ben’s voice followed me through some of the darkest hours of my life, but to be sitting in the warm sunshine at sunset in a nature reserve hearing his deep voice sing those songs that resonate so much, brings me to tears. I tell myself to never forget these moments. Dee and I hold hands and dance as we cry at different moments – End of the Affair and Small Things making me howl with happiness and sadness alike, Murmurations making me feel like my heart will explode.

The next day we explore around Falmouth. We don’t actually go into the city but I think of my friend Emmy, who lives there. We visit castles and lighthouses and hike to secret coves. It’s hot, and despite feeling uncomfortable, I spend some time hiking in my bikini. I tell myself, the only way to love your body is to let her do the things that make you happy.

We swim in a cove. The sea is still cold, sun hasn’t reached the bottom quite yet. It never actually gets hot in Cornwall, the locals say, but this year is different. We are in a heatwave. The whole world is hot. Cesar’s skin is warm to the touch, goosebumps gracing his arms. He doesn’t like coming into the cold water, but I lure him in anyway. He takes pictures of me.

At night, when the shivers come, he takes me in his arms and holds me till it passes. It’s good to not have to do this by myself. We’re still no steps further when it comes to the future, but is anyone ever?