TOTUD -Chapter Six – The Kiss

Of everything and I mean EVERYTHING, the last thing I thought I would ever miss was Bear’s kiss. Our relationship had a myriad of turbulent times. I was used to not feeling his body pressed against mine, his arm wrapped around me, his hand grasping my face. Alas, I missed it, I missed his kiss. 

To give complete clarity, it was not a kiss in general I missed, it was Bear’s kiss. Rare though it may have been during our time together, I feel that made my yearning for it all the greater. Now if you are not a fan of ‘mushy’ I’d recommend skipping this, as I will now be outlining the story of our first, best and final kiss. 

The paragraph change there was mostly to give me the opportunity to pour a glass of pinot noir as I promise this section will be much harder on me than yourself. All dependant on how invested you are in my emotional stability, without being a stalker. Although, I mean I’m lonely maybe stalkers to the front in actuality… my current address is..no I’m not that lonely YET.

The Kiss

Our first kiss then, no let’s start with our best kiss, well at least in my personal opinion. The only thing bigger than Bear’s beautiful, endless lagoon like eyes was his beautiful lips. Every time he kissed me, making all else fade into the background. . The issue with this? If you have blinders on you completely miss the train, and it’s on fire and hurtling toward you at full speed with no use of the brakes.  A kiss from Bear was as beautiful as it was destructive. 

Do you have a memory, the one you think of when you are scared. When you feel lost, the thought you use to sooth and otherwise ruined moment in time. That was this kiss. Not simply a kiss, but everything, maybe not to him, probably not to him, to me though it was that one minute in time we all dream of having, I had dreamt of having and it happened and bear, bear was the catalyst.

When in Rome

We were in Rome. We were two year’s into our relationship Bear and I. I at this point had given up both my university degree along with my part-time bar job and well moved in. Not after two years mind you, I had actually moved in after the first three months with Bear. Don’t judge, I was in love and to be completely honest with both you and myself. I was in love for the first and only time in my life so far. I pray it happens again.

Better than 100 of me

Bear was proposing. This was something I knew because I picked out my own ring and demanded we were engaged before I turned *cough* an age, we are not playing that game. Fine… 22, not sure why I felt I needed to achieve this by 22 years old and in all honesty I didn’t need to or even feel I did. Why did I demand it happened? Sounds much more aggressive than it was by the way. I did it because I was so terrified I would lose Bear. I did not deserve this man, not by any stretch of the imagination. Bear was perfect, Bear came from good breeding (eww a middle-class term he taught me).He was handsome albeit a tad short, more book smart than anyone I had ever met. He couldn’t just do better than me, he could do better than 100 of me, for some reason though, some obscure, ridiculous, almost experimental reason. He wanted me! Was I going to let that slip through my fingers? Was I FCUK!  

Acting Posh

Now, this was not the first time I had forced myself upon Bear out of a sheer and completely ridiculous lack of self-worth. When I say we moved in together after three-month’s, this was because I quite both job and degree without his knowledge and showed up on his doorstep with a bag, meanwhile he was having a drug fuelled night with friends at home. Bear, he just always accepted me, for all his faults and for everyone else always before and after him saying I was ‘too much’ he never did. I will always love Bear for that, amongst other reasons of course, it’s simply this reason always made me feel like I finally fit, I fit. 

The ring, well it had to be DeBeers. Why? I was trying to act posh, knowing nothing about being posh. Therefore I Googled ‘best diamond merchant’ and DeBeerswas the obvious choice. I will reiterate I am many negatives connotations of a gay man, gold digger is not one of them. Yes, of course I know all the lyrics to the classic Kanye anthem, mostly due to my love of Jamie Foxx, but gold digger I am not. Simply a Pretty Woman, in over her head with this human. I can honestly say when asked to choose anything in store (thank you Bear), I must have chosen the smallest, understated ring DeBeers sell. I chose a  simple 1.5 carat diamond set in black gold. Yes, I had no idea black gold was even a thing I really thought it was tarnished silver to be honest. All the same it was, it was, I actually can’t place words upon it.

I never though anyone would give me something like this, nothing required in return, simply for being me and I am really not that great.Keye is not some 6-foot, model like goddess, a regular guy, brown skin, nice (paid for) smile and an aptitude for landing on his feet. 

Earth Shaking Kiss

Right, you have the back story now for the best kiss of Bear and my relationship and to be completely honest, the best, most incredible, earth shaking kiss of my entire life. Want to date me? I mean, firstly, what’s wrong with you, I’m a crazy person, either way you have your work cut out for you to compete with this. 

Rome, sorry, we are in Rome, Bear and I. We stayed at the Hotel Savoy Roma, for me this way exciting, I was in Italy, the hotel or town/city/village meant nothing. My third date with Bear and first trip with Bear had been five days in Venice, this was our country, it’s where our love belonged. The hotel suite was amazing, this was our 5th or 6th trip in two years and I was still owe stuck by business class flights and hotel suites. How did people live their lives and think this was normal? I was, I was one of them. 

It was, if you hadn’t guessed, my first time in Rome and I was pretty excited, we did everything, from cocktails, to the pantheon to Segway’s in the park, it truly was magical. 

The Good Stuff

Then the first evening, no the second, wait… not the second, sorry it’s not that I don’t remember, more that despite everything I have so many happy memories with Bear. More than the bad? I’m not sure, but so many great ones and they merge, not in a way in which I don’t care. I simply remember the feeling over the memory. If you say Venice for example I have photograph’s which show Bear giving me 100 roses, after buying all the roses one of those street vendors had, but me, I remember the feeling, that feeling I had never felt before, not from any man in my life, boyfriend, male friend, father, this man loved me.   

It was the second, I checked social media I won’t be naming as my divorce settlement doesn’t cover legal fees for litigation from a social media giant in all honesty. Don’t worry I haven’t given the ending away, whilst I write this Bear and I are still married, although separated, still talking/dating… it’s complicated okay? Bear simply gave me my settlement before the divorce even started to help me, yeah, I know, I may have lost out here, Bear might be perfect. 

There I was getting dressed in the suite, as was Bear, but dressing ‘UP’, now you don’t know Bear, this is the man who needed me to help him dress for events, work, social, he didn’t know what he was doing, he was doing it and well. What is going on!? At this stage in the evening it was around 19:00/19:30 we had been out all day being ‘cultured’ also being ‘British’ and bar hopping. I couldn’t have been more oblivious. Bear led me to the roof top.

“Why is there no one else here” I questioned this looking at the empty rooftop restaurant.

“It’s still really early Keke” Bear said with such reassurance, as he often did.

 

A Rooftop Fairytale

 

We stepped out, Bear ordered Champagne, but not the normal stuff, the good stuff, the stuff I can’t spell, so won’t embarrass myself. Then the sun begun setting. Bear took me to the top terrace, the roof terrace, above the roof terrace. My heart was like a parrot gone crazy in captivity banging its head against the cage, yes I know I could have used a sweeter metaphor, but I enjoyed that one.  

We got to the top, both empty handed. Watching the sunset, he leaned in… nope calm down our best kiss is a little way off I’m afraid. The waitress came up the stair with Crystal, two glasses, in the bottom of my glass (I know, cheesy) *face in hands* he proposed, Bear as always words, simple yet meaningful. 

“I love you Keye, will you marry me”.

It is all he needed to say, I had no need for a speech, no need for a fairy tale, marrying Bear was my fairy tale and it was a better happy ending than any other. 

I know, I know, I haven’t got to my best kiss yet, it’s coming, I needed to set the scene. We went Bear and I and enjoyed a dinner together, me smiling like the mad hatter and bear looking at me, in the way he used to look at me, the way that made me feel like the only person in existence, I miss that look, we are dating, not with that look anymore, that died a long time ago, maybe not for ever, for now though… yes. 

The Heavens Open

The skies opened, as they so often do and the rain came through, not a little rain, the most rain id ever seen in my life.

“Let’s walk around Rome together”.

Erm, was Bear not aware it was now around 23:00 in the night and pouring down with rain. A LOT of rain.

“Let’s just do it Keye, come on”.

How could I not? We went, we walked for miles with no umbrella, than it happened, the best kiss of my entire adult, no entire life. 

In my mind the rain had disappeared, Rome was no longer, I did not even know who I was, in that moment there was no Bear and I, there was only us, us. In a bust Rome, soaking wet, hundred walking past, there was a minute and only a minute of just an ‘us’ and nothing else. No one can have more than a minute of time stopping around them, but that was my minute, our minute and no matter how many minutes more I live, there will never be one which compares. Bear’s two hands on my face pulling me into him like a force of nature like the sea bring the tide, I had no choice and I didn’t want one. I could feel his heartbeat, I could feel his soul. 

That was the moment I knew, Bear, my Bear, had me forever and he would be the man to break my heart one day.

Last Kiss

Lighter note guys, lighter note, the first kiss! You know the story, I have told you of our first ‘date’ me at Jamaica Winehouse, the debonair man at the end of the bar with the umbrella all suited and booted, who stole my heart at that moment. I spoke so much, why would I not shut up?  We arrived back at Bear’s house in ‘North London’, and he found the way to stop me talking, he grasped my face with both hands and Bear kissed me. That was it, I was in, no escape, no parachute. I was his, I belonged to Bear from that moment on. It was something had never felt before, I lost myself, I never lost myself. I wasn’t lost, of course he had taken a piece of me, a big piece of me. My heart. My being. He is my everything.

Now our final kiss. We have had many a ‘final’ kiss, sadly for you and maybe for my emotional stability, I am not willing to comment on our ‘final’ kiss until the very end, as I believe in hope, soulmates and the idea that sometimes going through everything, even multiple time can make you stronger, so no, we have not had our final, final kiss yet and I hope by the final page we will be having our last first kiss with someone and not our first and final last kiss together.   

By Keye Tortice-Lunn