When our bus (16, to Victoria) invariably got stuck in the unmoving queue of cars, we got off at the next bus stop, along with almost everyone else on the bus, and walked along Constitution Hill towards St James's Park. It was 10 minutes to midnight; the festive glow of the London Eye was like a beacon to lost revellers. I trotted along the cobbled streets in my high-heeled boots (wool-lined, however) and he struggled with my broken umbrella - the same umbrella, incidentally, that I "lent" him so many months ago, on what eventually turned out to be that fateful night in the library when he spoke to me for the first time.
We tried to find the perfect spot but we were out of time, and so we settled for a reasonably clear view of the London Eye. At midnight, the first burst of fireworks lit up the dark, foggy London night sky. He cried out, 'Whoa!', drowning out the whoops and cheers of those around us. I merely stood with a big smile on my face.
Our view of the fireworks was obscured by the trees, and so he led me to the gates of St James's Park where we could see it more clearly. He said, jokingly, 'Let's take a picture!' I said, seriously, 'Okay!' When I made him take a picture of him kissing me on the cheek, he said, 'You're so cheesy!'
I'm really not a cheesy person at all. In the same vein, I am also not romantic or affectionate or particularly forthcoming with my emotions. The fireworks in London were quite spectacular: at times they were like fire bursting into sparks; at other times they were like sprinkles of gold dust slowly drifting through the atmosphere; at yet other times they were sparkling drops of red and green dotting the sky like an empty canvas. Through it all, I smiled, albeit rather maniacally; but smile was all I did.
Maybe we are drawn to, and excited by, displays of fireworks despite the banal, generic nature of most displays, because they provide provide the temporal thrill that most of us subconsciously seek; the kind of thrill that is devastating in its transience because of how wholly exciting it is. Yet, we don't quite consider the flip side of the coin: that, in the grander scheme of things, life is a bit like fireworks, going out as quickly as it appears, only a lot more dull, and sometimes less colourful.
So is love. So is romance. So are relationships. I have become quite rational about these things. I know that it is an empirical fact that there will be another if the current one doesn't work out, and that I will get over my sadness and move on - just like I have done four times previously. It is perhaps my jadedness that has dulled my ability to be affectionate, or expressive, or simply, just to feel.
Still - I know it is there, and I know this because he brings it out of me, even - especially? - when I don't expect it. He met my parents over dinner in Chinatown during their last night in London. Since it was their last night in London, my original plan was to go home with them after dinner and spend time with them; but watching him converse quite smoothly with my parents (more accurately, my mom) and simply feeling his presence next to me made me want to spend more time with him. I ended up ditching my folks that night to spend an extra 2 hours with him.
His sweetness is unparalleled. He is pedantic in the way that he cares about me. In the course of the short dinner, my mom could sense that he could take care of me. I cannot help but be affectionate - in the way that I know best, that is - with him. I cannot help but love him, albeit in the way that I know best; but I love him all the same.
On another note, he gave me quite a scare on the bus this evening. We sat on the upper deck of Bus 6 from Oxford Circus, and two idiots got on the bus and sat at the back. I call them idiots because that was what they were: they made a ruckus, played something on their mobile devices that sounded like porn, and I spent half the bus ride muttering to Arnaud about how retarded they were. Everything was fine...until one of them said loudly (deliberately loudly) something along the lines of, 'I love sucking your big cock!'
Before I knew what was happening, Arnaud had gotten out of his seat, let out a yell of frustration, and marched to the back of the bus. I got there a few seconds later to see that he was almost grabbing one of them by the collar. They were like, 'Who the fuck are you? Are you drunk?' The guy that Arnaud was almost grabbing shouted at me, 'Is he drunk? Control your man or get off the bus.'
I told them to stop. Arnaud told me to get back to the front of the bus. All I could see in that instant was him getting punched in the face, his nose bloodied, and so I told him to stop, let's go; and I told the two guys to keep it down. They shouted something; I don't remember what. I wanted to leave the bus but Arnaud sat down (perhaps stubbornly) and turned to me, said, 'Did you think that I didn't know what I was doing? You should have let me do my thing.'
I replied, quite incredulously, 'What the fuck were you trying to do? They are fucking retarded so just fucking ignore them, and no, I'm not going to sit back and watch you get punched in the face.'
Those idiots got off at my stop, and they taunted him as they got off the bus. I told them to shut up. A lady in front (whom I sat next to one time) told them, 'Just get off the bus.'
The funny thing is, in one of my frequent daydreams (i.e. when I stare into space and play scenes in my head), I'd envisioned myself doing exactly what I did on the bus tonight. I'd never seen this side of him on display prior to this incident, but I knew that it was definitely in him somewhere. Inappropriate as it sounds, it's kind of what makes him interesting, even exciting, to me. Of course, I didn't think it was that exciting in the moment; but benefit of hindsight and all that, innit?