what is it?

Didn't a singer or someone ask that once too? I'm sure I'm right as I have a song whizzing around in my head and the words "what is love, baby don't hurt me" are intermingling with the music. I shall look it up and give whoever it is credit for invading my thoughts - it's a brave person who enters my mind!! 

Today marks the 16th anniversary of Louis's leaving his earthly body and heading off to whichever plane he may now vacate (if you believe in such things - otherwise it marks the day he died (that doesn't have such a nice wording to it, does it?)). I miss him and think about him every single day - I think I always will. I often wonder what we would be doing now, where we would be, whether we would have ended up married as we always talked about how we would. These are questions I can never answer, for we never got the chance to find out. 

I loved him so much, yet I am not sure it was the kind of love I hear other people talk of. If I'm being totally honest (which I always try to be - I said try, there are times when I might stretch the truth a little) then I don't think I have ever truly been in love - in the way other people seem to view the word. I've thought myself to be in love in the past; today, I am doubting that.

Louis wasn't my soul mate, he wasn't someone I could rely on (he never intentionally let me down, he was just one-of-those-people; it was who he was and he was accepted for it - we cannot change people, nor should we try). What he always was though was honest; you knew exactly where you stood with him. He made no false promises which is how I knew when he told me that evening we would one day end up married to each other, he was right. Strangely enough I was living with someone else at the time (engaged to that someone else) had no plans to leave him either, but there was always that something between Lou and I, that I truly believed him to be right about what he was saying. After I'd split with the guy I had been living with, Lou and I found our way back to each other (as we always did) and talked more seriously about it. The odd thing is at that point neither of us was ready to 'take-the'plunge' and settle down, so we carried on as we always had. I saw other people, he saw other people, at the times we were both single we'd get together - when we weren't single we'd just hang out as friends. Our relationship was the strangest I have ever had with anyone, yet also the most natural. There was never any jealousy either, which is what made the whole thing even weirder; I am convinced there wasn't any because we knew we would eventually end up together - it could well be that we just didn't feel that way about each other, yet, I know that not to be true, because we loved each other, deeply. It's also to do with the fact neither of us were 'jealous' people.

As I've said above though, it wasn't the kind of love I hear others talk about; my heart didn't skip and jump when his name flashed up on my phone. I didn't catch my breath when I caught sight of him if I was out-and-about with others (the only man (boy) to ever make me feel that way was a certain Mr Campbell)). Louis was extremely gorgeous too (I don't normally like to describe someone by their looks but he truly was what I heard others describe as "drop-dead-gorgeous"). I remember the first time I saw him, and I was definitely at that point attracted to how he looked, rather than who he was (later I was to discover him in a different way; the man showed me the very being of his heart and soul - a privilege I'm not sure any other even got close to seeing). It was the middle of summer and at the time he was working on a building site; I was sitting on the arm of the chair, staring out of my best friends window (something I did often as she liked to know what was going on out there - her estate was great for people watching) when suddenly this guy came into view. I never look at muscly men, I've never really found the whole thing appealing, yet there he was. Tanned, muscled, his black hair almost reaching to his waist (I do love a man with long hair - as long as it's nice hair). He had on a pair of jean shorts, a white vest top and his beige caterpillar work boots. He walked down that street like a man without  a care in the world, full of confidence (I was later to learn this was not his true being at all). I didn't take my eyes off him, watching as he entered the block of flats further down the road. He was, quite frankly, the best looking male I had ever laid eyes on (I still feel that way). I quizzed my friend on him (grilled her) finding out he was the son of one of the neighbours she'd not long become acquainted with - he was also dating her downstairs neighbour! (they broke up a few weeks later :) )

My friend was the one who instigated our first meeting (I miss her sooooo much - she died on March 26th 2012) and to this day I could not be more grateful to her. I don't believe in religion or most other things of a similar vein, but that day fate once again proved to me how it works in ways I could never understand, for me and him clicked from the very second we sat down and spoke to each other. I only wish mobile phones had been what they are today for mine would be filled with images of the 2 of us out, having fun - as it is I have a few his Mum copied for me; all of him, none of the 2 of us). He was the only man I ever allowed to hold my hand in public (I let Darren when we were walking the dog among the sand dunes or over the woods, but would let go the second we got near civilisation, or saw people coming towards us). If I could just turn back the clock 16 years and 1 day; if I could have been out with him the night it happened, rather than him being home, who knows how our lives would be right now? However, I can't turn back time, and I have to believe that it was just "his time" to leave this earth. I hate that it was but know I have to accept we have no control over when we will depart this earth (I'm damn sure if we did then Louis, Donna and my Dad (whose death anniversary comes up next week - yep, this 18 day period of my life is pretty hard to take at times) would all still be here today). 

Why have I told you so much about Louis when I started with the subject of love? Because I wanted you to know that what I felt for him was the closest I have ever come to being in love with someone (properly) and yet, as you can see, what I felt for him wasn't the kind of love I hear others talk about - do the people you live with, are married to, or are in love with fall into my category, or the one which my relationships should have fallen into? Can you ever imagine your life without your loved one in it? Would you give up all you have for your loved one? Does your heart still skip a beat when you loved one looks at you in a certain way? Do you get jealous if you see them look at another person in a certain way? (I don't do jealousy in any way, shape or form so really can't add that to my "Have I ever been properly in love" pile). 

I knew I was never in love with my previous boyfriends because I always said it wouldn't matter if I was 90 years old, married with 10 kids, 30 grandchildren. If I lived in the perfect house, had the perfect husband, and had the best life anyone could wish for; if a certain Mr Campbell had knocked on my door and asked me to run away with him, I would have done (except for Louis; I would never have left him for anyone if we were in a proper relationship) That proves a couple of things to me, one of which being that I never truly loved whoever I was with at the time (even though I thought I was in love and really enjoyed being part of the couple me and whoever made up). I obviously didn't love them enough though to even consider walking away from them for someone else. The other being that I'm not a very nice person to have got involved with someone I knew I could never properly love. 

I believed I was in love with my first ever boyfriend (don't we all believe we love our first?) However, when I found out he cheated on me it didn't really upset me (I didn't like him doing it and didn't like the thought of missing out on what he had to offer but I wasn't upset or disappointed he'd done it to me - in fact he kind of gave me an excuse to make a move on Mr C). After we split we did try again a few weeks later, but we'd gone past the point of 'no-return'. He was dependable, he was always going to go far in his life, he was a great prospect for someone like me, I didn't 'feel it' (all my friends still say to this day they thought we would end up together for life). As an adult, I know now I should have made more of an effort. At this point in my life, he is everything in a man I would be more-than-happy with; back then though, as a teenager? No way; I wanted bells, whistles, flutes and unbound excitement. I think that's why I was so drawn to Mr C - he was everything my first had not been.

He was from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks (not to my parents who always accepted everyone for who they were/are, not where they come from, religion they belong to, or colour their skin is - to others though he didn't fit "the mould"). To me? Well, he was the full package. He had the looks, he had the character, he made my heart skip (not just skip - it lurched, it spun, it back-flipped; I'm sure at times it burst out of my chest). Just the thought of him would make me catch my breath (still does). I was 12 years old when our eyes first me; he was horrible to me (really mean - the way 15 year old boys are to 12 year old girls) but I fell in love (or what I believed was love) right there-and-then. I would have gone to the ends-of-the-earth for him. The only thing I would have ever refused to do for him would be to take drugs - other than that if he'd asked it of me, I honestly think I would have done it. He treated me so bad. Not in a nasty way, he was never violent (in fact when I with him he made me feel like the most important person in the world) but he was never going to enter into a serious relationship with me. He knew that, yet he also knew how I felt about him, so would use those feelings (and me) for his own entertainment. If he was bored and fancied company, he knew he could pick up the phone and like a little lost puppy I would go running. As an adult I can see how pathetic my behaviour was, however, I honestly can't say if he called me now I'd still not go running. The only difference now, is that I am older, wiser and would know exactly what I would be getting myself into. Back then when he first kissed me (oh what a kiss - the best first kiss I've experienced (so far)) I thought that was it. If I had died right there-and-then I would have died happy (thankfully, I never). Until this very morning I believed he was "the one" still. I loved him in a way that I've never loved another (as with Louis, but a different love). I know now, all I really felt for him was lust and wanting. I knew I would never truly have him (and if I had got him I think he would have been a horrible person to live with) and it has been that wanting which has kept me stupidly thinking I was in love with him all these years. My life with him (had I got him) would not have been my life. It would have been his life with me tagging along. It was only when I was thinking about Lou this morning, how our marriage would have been on an equal footing, both of us allowing the other to be who we truly are (as we did throughout our whole friendship/relationship) that I realised what I felt for Mr C was nothing more than lust. It's taken me 36 years to make that realisation; I never was very quick at learning things :)

So, what is love? Will I ever find out?

As for the song? Well, it was by someone called Haddaway, and it's still whizzing around in my head.