Today started off like any other normal day, better than what my normal has been actually. I woke up cuddled up to Jules, only for a couple of moments since he had an early shift today and even though he works in a pub, I guess they have work to do in the mornings as well. He kissed me goodbye as I drifted back into sleep for only a little while before I had to get ready for my lecture.
And by get ready I mean literally just throwing on jeans and a sweatshirt with my hair up in a messy bun. It was later that I remembered that I was going on a date with Jules after my lectures but at that point I was already late and couldn’t go back.
It’s little signs like these that show me just how comfortable I am becoming with him, and it’s happening while I am doing nothing; it’s refreshing and I’m proud of myself for not freaking out when I think about it. Baby steps.
The most cliche thoughts keep running through my head the whole day as I wait for my lectures to end, let’s face it even on a normal day I am counting down the minutes. I might be interested in the topic but I have never been one to enjoy being forced inside while only one person talks at you. My concentration does not last very long when I am not engaging with something or someone, even the poor attempts of lecturers to engage the crowd does nothing to fix this as all it causes is anxiety.
Finally, the torture ends and even though I want to run out of the room skipping so I can reach Jules quicker, I hang back and talk with my friends. He hasn’t said that he is going to be picking me up but I’m kind of hoping that I’m going to walk outside and he’s going to be there leaning against his car smiling at me.
“Your man is waiting for you.” Hope nudges me towards a corner of the parking lot and I don’t tell her that she doesn’t need to look out for me since I have a radar for Jules anyway. I don’t know whether I can sense him or feel his gaze but I can always tell when he is nearby and the more time we spend together the better my superpower becomes.
When I meet his eyes, him being a couple of rows, I can’t help but smile because I can see that he has been waiting for me and even something as simple as that is enough to set my heart fluttering. He smiles at me, his green eyes look like they’re shining from where I’m walking but he is momentarily distracted by his phone ringing.
He seems to tense up a little as he picks up but I think nothing of it until I am closer to him and I watch him visibly freeze where he is standing and his hands start to shake as he is still holding onto the phone. His eyes that were shining only a couple of moments ago are now glazed over as if he can’t see anything that is happening in front of him and suddenly my own nerves are going crazy right alongside him.
I quicken my steps to reach him just as the phone drops out of his hand and I am able to catch it before it smashes on the ground. He stays frozen, leaning back against his car and I’m calling his name but he isn’t replying, I don’t even think he realises I’m here. I have never seen him like this, and I realise that I have absolutely no clue what could cause him to react like this, what affects him in this way.
“Jules! Jules, what’s wrong?” I continue to ask as he continues to stare blankly in front of him. My own panic is starting to rise as I don’t know what’s happening or if I should be doing anything to help him.
“He…” is the only word that makes it out of his lips, there is no other sound making it out and I’m beginning to get so worried. Scratch that, I was worried as soon as I saw the look on his face.
“What’s wrong? Who’s he?” I ask a couple times, touching his face and hands, hoping that he is going to react in some way and I can figure out how to help him.
“My dad’s been in an accident.” He says and for the first time his eyes meet mine. It’s like I’m staring down a bottomless pit as I see the fear and desperation in his gaze, I can feel it wash through my own body as I start to feel sick.
“What hospital is he in?” I ask as I pry his keys out of his frozen hands. I have never seen him like this and even though I can recognise the emotions running wild on his face right now, I have never had to try and calm someone else down; I have no idea what to do.
“He’s at St Andrews.” Jules mumbles and I can barely hear his words but it feels like I am holding his whole body from crumbling down to the floor.
“Get in, I’m going to drive us.”I speak even though I’m not too sure that he can hear me right now. If his eyes weren’t open then I might even be questioning if he is even awake right now or conscious.
“I can’t lose him too.” He whispers as I speed out of the university parking lot. I don’t have the most experience driving but right now I have to swallow whatever fear I have of being behind the wheel because Jules needs me, he needs someone.
“Everything is going to be alright.” I find myself saying even though I hate the people that say this over and over when something goes wrong. I know full well that I can’t promise him that everything is going to be okay but somehow saying the words out loud seems to be helping me at least. I need to believe them.
I know a little bit about how Jules lost his mother 5 years ago when a drunk driver killed her and I am now realising that we haven’t shared much of the really painful memories either one of us has had in their life. We have expressed our insecurities and relatively safe things that could get in the way of our relationship but not the things that we have cried ourselves to sleep for.
Just the thought of Jules crying like that, or feeling is so lost is enough to make my own eyes water with unshed tears. I don’t know when I got so attached to him but it’s like he is a part of me now and I need him to be happy no matter what.
He now has his head in his hands, he is muttering something under his breath but it’s too quiet and I can’t hear. I’m trying to not look at him too often because both of our lives are relying on me driving safely right now and I have to follow the navigation, it’s not like I know where every hospital is.
Turns out that St Andrews is not that close to us, every single red light is annoying me and I wish that I could just teleport us there. I’m assuming that the hospital is closer to where his dad lives, and once again I have no idea where that is or if it is the same house he grew up in and shared with his mum or if they moved after her death.
Normally I would be fighting the nerves about meeting his father for the first time but given the current circumstances I hope that his dad is well enough for me to meet. Jules is just 21, there is no way that he is going to lose both of his parents at this young age and both of them because of an accident. What are the chances of that?
We still have 25 minutes until the hospital and there is silence in the car, he has stopped muttering to himself and I have not a single clue how to help him. I feel so helpless and powerless to soothe the man that I am falling for.
“We’re going to be there soon, only a little while to go.” I say to fill the silence even though my words don’t matter and I’m not even sure he is listening to me. How can I be so useless in such a situation?
“With the way you’ve been driving I’m surprised we’re not the ones headed to A&E.” He says from beside me and I have to fight not to swerve as I want to turn and stare at him. Did he just try and make a joke? He’s not laughing or smiling but that sounded like a joke, or at least a full sentence which is a win in my current book.
“Well at least now you have been introduced to my amazing driving.” I joke back without a smile on my face, he’s not even looking at me but I’m going to take anything I can get out of him right now. But I know that silence and support is all you need sometimes.
“You don’t have to come in here with me you know, I’m probably going to be there for hours nor finding out anything new and it’s a lot having to deal with something like this.” He says as I finally find a parking space in the hospital. I don’t wanna think about how much this is going to cost us but a parking ticket really isn’t that important right now.
“There is nothing in the world that is going to make me leave you here to deal with this alone.” I say as I open the door and wait for him. It’s the first time someone I care about is pushing me away on purpose and I now have a little insight as to how he must have felt for all of those weeks.
I just want to be there for him and support him in any way that I can, it doesn’t matter what it’s going to cost me. It doesn’t matter if he’s pushing me, if even a small part of him wants me there then that is more than enough to convince me. Now for once in my life I am going to go with blind faith here and hope for the best, that he does want me here but he’s just acting scared.
“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me Lily, it’s okay if you wanna back out now.” He turns to stare at me, I can see that he means those words. The man that fought for me and with me for weeks just so we can get a little peace of normal thinks that I am just going to leave him to deal with this on his own.
“I don’t care that I don’t know everything about you, I know everything I need to know.” I say and I hope that even in this tough time he can read my eyes because this is as close as I dare to declaring my love for him. It’s not the right time and it’s not the right place but I love this man and you don’t run when things get tough.
You want to run, you want to avoid the possible disappointment and failures, you don’t want your perfect story and perfect life to be forever changed. But, even with these few minutes of realising that I am in love, I am finding out that when you truly love someone, you want to be there for every single painful moment because you wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else.