So last night I couldn’t sleep. My mind was a constant whir. This hasn’t happened in a while. I’ve been sleeping so much better since I started doing cross stitch. It keeps my mind active and makes me feel tired enough to sleep.

One thing exploring your feelings does is throws up situations from your past. In order to complete the CBT course I’ve had to do a lot of soul-searching. It’s also made me think about people and situations from my past.

I was given the email address last week of a guy I used to work with. The first man I ever fell in love with. My secret crush. He sat opposite me everyday and I could hardly bear to look at him cause I knew I wouldn’t want to stop.

We flirted a lot. He always pushed me to tell him how I felt. We’d talk about what we wanted for the future and I would never say what I wanted. He’d look at me with those big blue eyes, smile, lower his voice and say it’s ok you can tell me whatever it is. But I never did.

The reason I never did was because he was living with his girlfriend and I could never bear to be rejected by him. If he wanted to leave her that was his choice but I wouldn’t be the one to ruin it. So I never told him in words how I felt, but my eyes and my actions betrayed me every time.

There were times when we would have to work closely together. He would sit so close to me at my PC that I could feel the heat radiating from his body. He would always sit with one hand next to the mouse so I would brush his hand when I moved it. It was so erotic. I would be sitting typing and I could feel the heat from his body and the way he was staring at me.

How did I know he was staring at me? Because he always made me read what I was typing. He said it made better sense that way and he liked hearing me read. He would sit and stare at me while I did it. I would feel myself blushing with embarrassment as I tripped over the words losing my thoughts in the emotions.

One day at our work Christmas lunch he was really ill and sitting in a draft so I took off my scarf and blocked the door frame with it. We both left early and walked back to the office together chatting. He slipped on some ice and I grabbed him round the waist to steady him. He was heading off to America for Christmas and I wanted to spend as much time as I could with him as I knew I wouldn’t see him for weeks.

Back in the office we were packing up to go, both taking our time, dragging out the small talk. We got to the door and started saying goodbye when he held out his arms and pulled me in for a hug. I just went for a quick hug, you know head over the shoulder, squeeze and release but I felt his arms tighten around me and I held him tighter and laid my head on his shoulder. We stood there not saying a word for what felt like hours but was probably only a minute at the most.

As he let me go I saw him take a deep breath and smile. But I knew something had changed. As we walked out I slipped and he grabbed me to stop me from falling. He squeezed my shoulder and said bye, have a nice Christmas, look after yourself and that was that.

We went our separate ways. I cried all the way home. I knew he had said goodbye, he had gotten tired of waiting to hear how I felt. I was so upset, he was the first person I ever let in and I couldn’t ever bring myself to tell him how I felt.

That Christmas he got engaged to his girlfriend and in the office continued to flirt with me. We never spoke about her, although I know he did with the others in the office. To me it felt she drove the relationship and he went along with it. Even now probably 4 years later they still aren’t married.

I couldn’t resist messaging him now I had his email to say Hi. We messaged back and forth all afternoon. I told him I was leaving my job after 10 years and he said it was the best thing for me and I would get another job easily. He asked if I was still checking everyone’s work for them. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in over a year and yet it felt like it hadn’t been that long.

I said I missed our Friday singalongs and movie quote sessions and how nobody ever whistles the Minder theme tune for me anymore to cheer me up. He laughed and said yeah we had some fun but I don’t think you’ll find anyone else to whistle the theme tune for you.

He is right about that, the Minder theme tune was our thing. We’d be sitting working and all of a sudden he would start playing it and whistling along to make me laugh.

He talked me into writing and helped inspire my first characters, I even said I would dedicate my first novel to him. Which if I ever get it published I still plan to do.

He talked me into flying to Nashville with a bunch of complete strangers I had only spoken to online and when I came back to the office after the trip he made me tell him every detail of what happened.

It’s funny how he came back into my thoughts after all this time. I was trying to work out how I felt about people in my life now and I couldn’t help but compare to how I felt then. But there wasn’t any comparison.

The feelings I had then and how I feel now are completely different. Both times I developed strong feelings, both times I was made to feel safe enough to take down my walls. But there the similarities end.

All I know is I need to stop worrying about the mistakes I made in the past. I can’t change them. I can only forgive myself for them. I need to let everything go and trust in myself.  I need to stop thinking about people who let me go and appreciate the things they gave me.

I promised myself back then that next time I felt something for someone I would let them know because I’ll never know what would have happened if I’d told my crush how I felt back then. It took me a really long time to stop wondering about it too.

It was nice to know that if nothing else after all this time he still thinks kindly of me and remembers how things were between us and that made me smile.

I just hope by putting it all to rest I can sleep again because I can’t be heading off to interviews with black eyes from lack of sleep and stress headaches.


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