In her words
Love in a Foreign Country
Comfort and stability, regardless of location
By: Courtney Beardsworth
William told me he was moving to Prague. It was a dream of his. Suddenly, all my future plans were put on hold. My heart pounded as I said, “Then I’m coming with you!” I convinced myself it was worth giving up the life I had planned, and I started to live his.
I remember walking past an antique shop in Prague. That same diamond ring stared at me every day. I even went in once and tried it on—it was the perfect fit. Size six. I held my hand out and admired the way it sparkled in the dimly lit store. The clerk tried to speak to me, but with my limited Czech and his limited English, nothing was conveyed. I can only imagine him saying, “You like this? Then tell your boyfriend to buy it for you.”
Of course I liked it. That was the easy part. The hard part was reminding myself that marriage was not in the cards for William and me. Not today, not any day soon. I should have known it from the first night I saw him in that bar. He looked like a bad boy, with a black leather coat, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. I’m sure even then I thought I could change him.
It wasn’t until two years later, living in Europe together, that I knew the truth—William never wanted to get married. Not to me. Not to anyone. At first I tried to convince him he would change his mind at some point and that one day he’d see the value in settling down. He’d tell me about how he wanted the two of us to be life partners—to drift along together and travel the windy road of life. Side by side. Like two lovers.
It sounded more like two amigos to me. He never understood the point of an expensive ring. “It’s just a ring, I can offer you the world,” he’d tell me. I believed him; and I believed that marriage was not what I wanted—that a home with a cozy fireplace and a dog at my feet wasn’t for me. That a life of traveling the world together was the best thing I could possibly land.
It was a sad day when I lost William to his wandering soul, because I was afraid that he took my ability to love away. I started to believe this. I even stopped feeling hopeful about my future with another person. That is until I met Jeffrey.
Jeffrey turned this all around for me and changed my mind. I began to love the comfort of coming home and watching a movie on his couch. I loved Saturdays at the bagel shop and running errands together. I felt stability with him—like my feet were planted firmly on the ground. I began to see a future again with someone. And the life I had told myself that I didn’t want anymore—I began to want again. I craved the idea that one day I would come home to him and we’d light a fire while polishing off a bottle of wine. I didn’t need to travel the world with him and keep running because I found adventure and life all in the matter of a 1,000 square foot apartment.
Tell us: In what unexpected places have you found love?