Sitting on the porch with my morning smoke, first day off in ages. It's cool, grey and raining. I'm grateful at not having to be anywhere as it's first days of my period, which always comes with cramping and heavy bleeding. *ugh* Still, I'm thinking I need to get to the store. Guess who got everything on her list EXCEPT for the zucchini.. which she forgot to list? Duh
Around the corner comes the little red Royal Mail van. It stops in front of our flat and I give the driver a wry grin at having been caught out in my robe. As he comes up the covered walkway, something clicks in my brain. He's carrying a parcel, identically sized to the file we sent four weeks ago to the Home Office. 'Is that for number three?', I ask him?
He says 'yes', I jolt and he hands it to me. I print my name and sign... and can't even remember him walking or driving away. All focus is on the parcel cradled in my lap. This is it.
I'd agreed with Lynne that I'd not open it if it came, until we could open it together. Because all along I'd refused to speak of a 'what-if' plan... and I thought how awful it could have been, for one of us to carry the knowledge alone.. no matter how small the span of time, if I'd been refused.
So I sat, and finished my smoke, looking out at the view that so often accompanies my quieter moments. The side of the neighbor's house, the fence, a bit of my garden. Beyond that are the trees in the park, the highrise, the sky.. and I wondered about the views in my future.
Back inside, I went straight for the cellphone, to text Lynne. But my mind was scrambled. How do I say the file's been returned without scaring her to death? Doesn't 'returned' sound a lot like refusal? And I found my hands shaking. The first text I abandoned, having turned all the words into garble.
I'm at the desk, parcel back in my lap. The thought comes to me, this can't be a refusal. If Home Office had had any questions regarding the app, they'd have written for further information. If anything had been found 'iffy', wouldn't we have been given a chance?
I had to know. Making soul-felt apologies to Lynne, I ripped the package open with my hands. Yep, the file. Opening the cover, our first few pages fall to the floor as the clasp has come opened in transit. But it's the buff colored envelope inside that has my attention. It's got;
Ms My Full Name
United States of America
My birthdate, written european-style.
.. showing through the little plasticine window.
Our passports are in there too. The letter reads;
Dear Ms My Last Name
I am writing about your application to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis of your relationship with Ms Lynne Breath of My Heart.
You may now stay...
OMG!!!! I'm allowed to stay! There's a Residence Permit in my passpost now.. *laughing* it even has that god-awful picture I didn't want to use, but didn't want to wait to have retaken.
The text Lynne DID get was still a bit garbled. I hope she can forgive me .. but I had to know.
This country has given us a place where we CAN be together. No matter what we might like to try in the future, we can have a home here. Together. Our relationship is valid, our love is valid. What we are together, has been acknowledged. We are no less than..
I am completely bowled over.
*two fingers to George Bush and his Christian Coalition*
I can't wait to see Lynne.
*tears, goosebumps and the biggest fucking grin ever*