So I've met my best friend, I've fallen in love with him, I've had his baby and I've married him. Time to fill in a few gaps in this pavement.
Whilst H was in Afghanistan my birthday was looming. I was pregnant with T, so I could hardly drown my sorrows and forget the pain of spending a birthday without him by my side.
The anxiety whilst a loved one is away is very hard, and with a special occasion on the horizon, you crave for them more than ever. I remember it well. H had called a few days before the date of my birthday, he warned me so that I wouldn't be upset. He told me that he wouldn't talk to me now for over a week as he was very very busy and out on the ground a lot, he said he didn't have a phone in the base he was heading. My heart sank, even though he was able to wish me a wonderful birthday during that conversation, I knew it wouldn't be enough when it came to my actually birthday. I cried when I got off the phone to him. I cried because of the anxiety I felt about not talking to him for several days, and I cried because I wouldn't hear his voice on my birthday.
My birthday came, I stayed at my mothers. I was surrounded by family, but felt completely alone and separate from the world. I put on smiles whilst I opened gifts, and even though I really did appreciate my gifts, I tried so hard to look happy that I may have come across as spoilt, unappreciative, and rude. False smiles never win, they do not shine.
It was approaching evening time, my mother was taking me and J for a meal down the beach front. We could walk there from her house. I was merely 10 steps away from my mothers front door when my phone started ringing, could it be? I ran in front of J and my mum, fumbling in my bag to reach my phone in time. I looked down at it, tears filling my eyes. That satellite number flashed on my screen. "Hello?"
"Happy Birthday baby". I cried. If my mum and my son hadn't have been a few pace behind me I think I would have collapsed in excitement. He explained to me how he couldn't not call me, it had been killing him all of that day, knowing I would have been feeling alone. He told me how he'd had to run to a nearby base to use there phone, and stupidly told me that he'd been shot at whilst running there. He laughed it off. I cried.
I didn't need flowers, diamonds, lavish gifts. All I needed on that day was to hear my mans voice, and my wish was granted. H will never know what those 3 little opening words did for me that day - "Happy Birthday baby"!
My mum hugged me when I got off the phone. And we walked (I almost skipped, I felt that good) down the beach. I looked out at the sea. I asked for a moment, and I walked to the end of the pier, in my head the further out into the sea I was the closer I was to him, my man. I looked up at the skies, "Thank you" I whispered.
My birthday didn't feel so lonely after all. That one call made me forget the anxiety of the day that night. I slept well. I had heard from my best friend.
Think of a wonderful thought...