Love IV 
Playful, Happy, Sarcastic, Sexy, Crazy
User:Ashley (allsorts46)
location [?]:BH15 1NQ
Music:Roger Waters - Amused To Death
Tuesday 3rd of March, 2009
03:02 AM
Again I'm faced with the problem of where to begin. I know what most of this is going to be about (and so does everybody else), but I still feel I'm supposed to at least pretend to lead into it somehow. Well, the dead plant I started my last entry with survived. I poured a pint of water over it, and a couple of days later it looked healthy again.

So, not-Jennifer. I was actually looking forward (in a silly childish way) to calling her that, but the original reason was that she asked me not to use her name in here, in case anyone she didn't want to find this, found this. Since this isn't exactly secret any more though, there's no need for that any longer. Her name is Diana, I am watching her sleep, and I am very happy.

What happened to 'only friendly intentions'? Well, that was true, but mainly because I believed that was what she wanted. We'd been talking a few months already and I'd come to love our conversations, but there was no question of this. Shanna was still here when we first 'met' anyway. We talked about visiting each other, but this too was a genuine friendly invitation on my part. Being more than friends never even crossed my mind, but it was when she misinterpreted something I'd said as sexually suggestive and reacted strongly and negatively, that I actually started making a concious effort to give the opposite impression, and being very careful not to say anything that could ever be misinterpreted again. There was no way this could ever happen.

Except that it did, in a matter of hours. I met her at Stansted, which is damn inconvenient to get to. It's a five hour journey by coach, although an hour and a half of that is hanging around at Heathrow for a connection. She kept trying to tell me I didn't need to meet her, but it's part of the enjoyment for me - meeting friends is really the only reason I ever travel anywhere. She tells me our meeting was awkward, but I don't know why - I don't remember it being anything of the sort. She was waiting for me at Stansted coach station, I found her easily when I arrived, and she gave me a cup of tea and a brownie, which was an unexpected pleasant surprise. We only had about fifteen minutes to wait for the coach for the return (well, for me) journey so we stayed in the coach station and talked there. It was late, and I started to get worried that we were in the wrong place, but it eventually arrived and we boarded. We talked on the journey back to Heathrow, but it was mainly uneventful. I felt perfectly comfortable.

At Heathrow we had another long wait for the connection, so went into Terminal 1 to sit down, where I got another cup of tea. This was probably where I started to notice my problem. We were talking very easily, and as is normal, I would look at her whilst talking. Then the sentence would end, and then what should I do? To suddenly look away seemed impolite, but then I found myself staring too long instead, and then looking away out of shame, not wanting her to think I was staring at her and give the wrong impression. Still on my mind all the time was the necessity to reassure her that I was safe, that I had no inappropriate intentions, and that was still absolutely true. The fact that I was even worried about looking at her too long shows how intently I was concentrated on making that clear. I don't even know what I do in normal conversation with others, I don't think it's ever been an issue before.

The time passed fairly quickly, and we got on the connecting coach that would take us all the way back to Poole. Again, more natural conversation, and the same comfortable feeling. My awareness of 'staring too much' got a little stronger, and I seem to remember deliberately looking away out of the windows several times. I think it was about half way home that I began to notice the contact. It was small, almost accidental: her hand just happened to be touching mine, or my leg. I still didn't think anything of it, I just assumed she felt comfortable too and was relaxed enough to not try and keep to herself any more. It didn't bother me, so I ignored it.

It started to get a little less 'accidental', and in any other circumstances I might've realised sooner, but the idea that I must reassure her, the memory of her reaction to my comment online, changed my own interpretation. It was obvious enough that she was deliberately touching my hand, but well, there was nothing wrong with that. I was a little confused about why, but it didn't particularly matter at that moment.

We were almost home, somewhere just before Branksome, when it finally became too much for me to just ignore. She took my hand completely, and seeing what she must have taken as a negative reaction from me, withdrew completely. I couldn't ignore the obvious any more, the meaning was very clear, but I wasn't sure what to make of it. All I really decided though, was that this was not the time to deal with it. We were still on the coach, in public, and nearly back in the safety and privacy of home. The only thing on my mind at that moment was that she was clearly worried she had upset me in some way, and I wanted to reassure her that she hadn't. So, I took her hand back, and held it until we arrived in Poole. She asked me some questions about how I felt, which I do not remember, but I didn't want to think about it then; I still felt comfortable, and I wanted it to stay that way. The question of what the hell was happening and why did enter my mind, but I suppressed it. It could wait.

We arrived home and said hello to Graham, and had a cup of tea. We stayed downstairs for a little while, but both of us were really tired from all the travelling, so we agreed we should get some sleep and then go out later. I took Diana upstairs to show her where her room was and the general layout of the house. As always happens to me whenever something worth remembering occurs, I can recall very little of what happened, or at least the order in which it happened. All I know is that at some point, we were in the hallway outside the door of my room, she was standing very close to me, and she kissed me. I was too surprised to do anything about it, and didn't know how to react. Eventually I just asked her to follow me, and took her to her room. I sat down on the bed and asked her to sit next to me, which she did. My thoughts were fairly useless at that time, consisting mainly of 'what the hell is happening?', 'why?', and 'but this contradicts everything I was expecting!'. The correct thing to do seemed to be to talk about it, but I didn't have a clue where to begin or what to say, so I asked the only thing I could really think to ask: why?.

I can remember very little of the conversation now. She told me she 'liked' me, which I found vaguely amusing, because nobody has ever said that to me before. She was asking if I was okay with that, whether I felt the same, and I was generally refusing to answer and demanding more explanation and time to think, and these were my thoughts: I tried to work out exactly how I did feel, from the beginning. I hadn't felt anything but completely comfortable on the coach, or with her in general so far. I hadn't stopped her kissing me, but I was so surprised I couldn't have if I'd wanted to. I thought about the idea of starting a relationship, and got no particular. That puzzled me, so I wondered why. Then I realised that it wouldn't constitute much of a change in how I saw her anyway, as a friend. I already loved her company and her conversation, I looked forward to the next time we would talk, she made me smile and laugh, and I'd found us to be incredibly alike in many ways. I'd already realised that she was going to be a very good friend to me. I felt like a relationship would just be the same thing under a different name, so I certainly had no objection to that. This was impossible though! Out of all the things that could've happened, this was the one thing that never would. She'd made it so clear to me that she wanted nothing more than friendship, and I'd gone out of my way to reassure her that I agreed with that, and it had been an absolute certainty up until a couple of hours ago. Now she was contradicting everything I knew about where we stood.

I was also worried that I wasn't thinking straight, and that any answer I came up with couldn't be trusted. I didn't want to decide anything until I'd had time to calm down, and think properly. I couldn't answer her completely, but she asked if I could give a yes, no or maybe, and I had to tell her honestly that whilst I couldn't say yes, it definitely wasn't no. Maybe. Which really meant 'probably, but I don't trust myself to be sure at the moment'.

The tiredness was still there, so we agreed once again to get some sleep. She asked me to stay with her, and I didn't mind that idea at all. After a little while, she wanted to get up for something, I don't remember what, and then she wanted to change clothes, so I left and went into my room to wait until she was finished. She came in a few minutes later, and we got into bed. She'd changed into some kind of... sleep-related clothing, but I don't have anything like that, so I just stayed in whatever I'd been wearing that day.

There followed many (I don't remember, but many) hours of an alternating mix of sleep, talking, and me trying unsuccessful to convince Diana that this was already plenty for me to deal with and that we really shouldn't go any further. I wanted more, I knew that, but still didn't trust myself to be thinking clearly. Desire is not a reason for anything. I could hardly claim to love her so soon, could I? I thought about that. I have a very clear definition of love, and as I've seen before, time doesn't really have anything to do with it. It's about a feeling of safety and trust, having someone that I can share anything with. She'd been that before she even came here - there's nothing I would've ever felt I couldn't tell her. My love doesn't have to be earned over time, it just has requirements, and it's those prerequisites that usually have to be earned, but she already had. I shared these thoughts with her.

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that whatever I called it, whether I could actually say "I love you" or not, it was the same feeling. Every second we talked I felt a bit more certain of it. The previous paragraph was more about me trying to control my desire for her and resist her constant temptation, but I should explain that that (and the sleep, unfortunately) were the minority. Most of that time was filled with wonderful conversation, throughout which I just found myself astounded at the constant stream of mutual agreement. I knew from online that we agreed on a lot of things, but with conversation turning to more serious subjects, that didn't change. We are so unbelievably similar in all the ways that matter, it's incredible. I was still trying to explain my thoughts, that I could never enter any relationship without a solid belief in a future, but she just endlessly surprised me by saying all the things I was about to say before I even got to them. We just... want the same things.

The four days of her visit are a blur, just one big long day to me, partially due to getting very little sleep. There was roast chicken (courtesy of Graham), chocolate fudge caek, the beach, Ghettopoly, music, HTML coding, shopping, Portal, and generally much happiness all over.

It's been a while since she left now, I've had plenty of time to think about all that has happened, and there really is no doubt: I am very much in love with her, in a way that reminds me of the first time I felt love, so many years ago. She is the best bits of all I've known so far, and so much more as well. Studying maths and computer science, a mind of logic and reasoning. So many aspects of me that I've never found in anyone before. Someone who agrees with me on what love should be, shares my dream of the future. Someone who'll not only understand a love note written in C++, but understand why the hell I would do something like that at all. We've seen a sample of how we'll resolve any disagreements, which pleased me a lot. My 'if you're going to argue, do it early' philosophy might not seem like the best thing for a new relationship, but experience seems to confirm that it is a good idea to get all the important stuff out of the way in the beginning. I could say so much more, though there are some things best kept between us, but the point is that she's shown me a lot to make me feel very good about us, and a future between us.

So, I have a flight to Bremen on the 12th. It's strange to be back in long-distance-relationship mode after several years, although it's not really much like before. We don't know dates very far in advance, but we already know Diana is coming back here very early in April, and although May is a busy month for her, it looks like we're going to be able to see each other pretty frequently. It's also a lot easier than before because we're not confined to talking any particular time each day - we see each other around all day, in between whatever each of us is doing (work, university), which I like, and then perhaps talk properly in the evening when we're both free. Of course, then there are the long-term plans, but I won't discuss those here until we're ready. It'll be at least a year and a half before there's any possibility of anything other than this, but I'm sure we'll be able to spend a lot of that time together.

There've been other positive side effects too: I've actually been successful at maintaining a vaguely normal routine. The week she was here I did only ten hours of work, and then made it all up by doing seventy hours the following week, but even during that time we were getting up between 9-10am, at work by 11 and doing a twelve hour day and going home by bus, instead of wasting money on taxis. I've strayed out of it for a couple of days this weekend, but we'll be back on early (relatively, for me) starts for all of this week. It keeps surprising me when I've been home for a few hours after work, and noticed that it's only just past 10pm. I don't think I've been home so early so consistently for months and months. I might never make a 9-5, but it's a big step towards stability, and it won't be far off.

Emotional stability too; I haven't been angry. All the rage, and the dreams, the constant memories... forgotten. I can look back now and just calmly examine facts, analyse what happened, talk about it. I don't feel differently about Shanna and I don't think anything is going to change that, but I somehow feel free of it all now, it doesn't concern me any more. When I'm talking to Diana I'm happy, and the rest of the time I have a goal again. A destination, to work towards, and that makes a big difference to me. It provides motivation, something I really lack by myself, and when motivated I achieve more. Work is better. Everything is better. And then... I'm not ready to go into detail yet, but... my dæmon has been on my mind a lot. There is a connection here. She has brought me peace again.

Hopefully I'll be seeing Adele, Willow and Merlin some time this coming week. It's been much longer than I intended since the last time, but hopefully we'll make another whole day or two of it. I'm thinking this time will be different in some way, though I'm not sure I can explain how yet. I'm sure I'll write about it afterwards, and I'm sure I'll struggle to describe what I want to say again. I don't know the date yet, because she has a guest at the moment, but it'll be before I leave for Bremen. I'm looking forward to it.

This reminds me I actually still owe some people Christmas presents, specifically Adele and Connor. I had something specific in mind for both, but failed to get either in time because I left it to the last moment only to discover I couldn't get them when I thought I could. Now might be a good opportunity to correct that.

Work is... interesting lately. I'll probably make that a separate entry, since this one is long enough already, but the main thing I've been pleased with is that my generic object framework, RAWR, has been used successfully. Darius asked me to write a very simple supplier tracking system which records what they buy from various suppliers, for how much, and who's offering the best deals and such. It only took a couple of days anyway (C# and .net pwn), but I initially wrote it to use SQL server for storage, and wrote separate code for each object to be written and read to and from the database. After it was finished, as an experiment I tried to convert it to use RAWR, since it was a good test project. It took about two hours, and it worked. Now each business object class just has to describe it's fields and their types, and RAWR handles the rest. There's now only one set of read/write code which can work with any RAWR object. Objects populate their fields in batches only when they're needed, and things such as nested objects (fields which reference other objects) are also automatically supported. Basically it works like Vantage has for a long time, but in a much simpler way.

After this success, I'm going to start converting Vantage to be based upon RAWR. All object storage, to and from the server, to and from local offline storage, caching, instance tracking, will all be managed by one piece of code that works with all objects, rather than having to maintain code for each class. There's a lot of things I could potentially do with this, and I'm quite excited to get started.

I'm going to get some sleep for now. I've left out a million things, but there can be other entries for those. I just wanted to tell the story of Diana's visit, really. Cynical as I am, I expect to be met with scepticism from most people, but eh... I don't care. Say you've heard it all before if you like, but I feel really good about this.

User:Graham (tentuxius)
Date:Tuesday, 3rd March, 2009 10:40 am
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User:Rachel (anglophile2007)
Date:Tuesday, 3rd March, 2009 02:40 pm
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:D Thrilled for you. And I told you, you'd get it done for today. lol
User:vicstaroonie (vicstaroonie)
Date:Wednesday, 4th March, 2009 01:31 pm
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I am pleased that you've found someone who is so much like you and who you can connect with. I have to say that, yes, I am a little sceptic but I trust that you know how you feel and what you're doing. I only erge you to take your time this time. Don't rush anything, just enjoy being happy.
User:Graham (tentuxius)
Date:Wednesday, 4th March, 2009 04:41 pm
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I second that.
User:Anonymous ()
Date:Wednesday, 13th May, 2009 04:42 am
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Update please!!!!
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