A Long Engagement

Written by  clumsylawyer
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Me and Mr CL aged 17 Me and Mr CL aged 17

Mr CL and I met when we were 14.  We went to different schools in the same town in South-West England and were both pretty geeky.  We were invited by the schools board to a week-long gifted and talented camp for advanced mathematics.  Yup, that's right - we met at maths camp.

Me and Mr CL aged 17

We quickly became best friends and would meet up as often as we possibly could.  I met his friends, he met mine and everybody got on really well together.  He even invited my then boyfriend to go with him and his dad to a tractor rally (oh, the joys of living in rural England!) and they bonded in a caravan while golf-ball sized hail dented its roof.

Little did I know that Mr CL was in love with me.  I was totally oblivious; we were just friends.  Sure we'd had the conversation that if we were both single at 40, we'd marry one another, but that was just because we were both Friends addicts (I mean, who wasn't in the 2000s?!) and decided that their back-ups were a good plan.  Just in case.  My mum even thought we should get together, but was always met with the same refrain "But we're just friends, that'd be really weird!".

On New Year's Eve 2005/06 I had a few friends over.  My parents were out, but we just stayed in and played board games and had a few drinks - it was pretty low-key.  My then boyfriend was at a do with some of his guy friends, so it was nice that Mr CL had no other plans - it meant I had some company.  Mr CL stayed over and we slept in the same bed because it was no different to sharing with any of my girl-friends.  The following morning I went and made us a cup of tea and we sat in my room chatting.

I asked him whether he had any New Year's resolutions and he said he didn't.  I pushed him.  "Go on, what's the one thing you didn't do or didn't have last year that you want from this year?  If you put your mind to it you can do it."  Mr CL went quiet, so I kept pushing him and playfighting to try and get it out of him.  Eventually, he mumbled "It's you".  I went crazy.  He knew I'd been having problems with my boyfriend and this just made my whole situation even more confusing.  I shouted at him.  He left not long after.

3 weeks later, my boyfriend and I broke up.  It had been happening for 4 months or so and eventually I realised that there was no point in prolonging it and making myself more unhappy.  Mr CL was there to support me.  He held me as I cried.  And one day, we kissed.

A few weeks after that, we made ourselves 'official'.  Apparently, everybody else had just been waiting for it to happen and we were the only ones who hadn't known we were together already.  And 5 months after we told the world we were together, Mr CL proposed.  6 years down the line and our wedding is finally being planned for next July.  I can't wait to marry my best friend.


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