And then I saw them hold hands. I immediately went over and asked if they wanted a photo taken together. Michael and I have weeks of vacation photos where we take turns taking pictures of each other but very few together and my luggage is usually too overweight with an unreasonable amount of shoes to even think about packing a tripod.
They gazed into each other's eyes in that familiar way that reminded me of my youth. Definitely lovers.
Later that evening we would cross paths at an all white themed beach party. We started chatting and the four of us danced and joked around like old chums. Maybe it was the tequila, but I could have sat and listened to their British accents all night long.
We discovered that Tim and Ben were in their early 20's, and both studying to become Barristers in the U.K. This was their first real trip together and they were also excited about their new flat back home.
We live in a modern society of mixed marriages, races and sex but I can honestly say I've never really had any gay couple friends. Man, have I been missing out.
We spent our second week with these two gents and seemed to keep crossing paths. I am known for asking a lot of questions. How can I ever learn if I don't ask? Michael often gives me scolding looks as if to say you're going too far. I wanted to know if they had ever dated women or if they always knew about their preference. They just knew.
On our last night together, there was a fiesta on the beach, complete with colourful triangular Mexican flags, streamers and tables dressed in linen cloth. We decided the four of us would dine together. We shared life stories, hopes and dreams. They taught me to speak proper English and we had many laughs about my feeble attempts to sound like Queen Lizzie. I borrowed Ben's hair straightener. These were the perfect BFF's who so happened to live on the other side of the pond, happened to be 15 years my junior and somehow just so happened to be in the very same spot in the world as us. At one point, Michael said to me that Ben could be our son and this could be his boyfriend. Realistically at 40 years old, that was the truth.
As in any relationship you could start to see that each partner brought something different to the table. Ben is the budget conscious one who helped Tim save 300 quid per paycheque to sock away for their trips. Tim is the strong and quiet type. Ben is definitely sensitive. When we were at dinner, he quietly and tearfully mentioned how happy it made him to watch Tim swim with the dolphins, because it's always something he had wanted to do. One night in the late night pool, a group of obnoxious guys showed up. They were heckling the bartender, spitting and I sensed trouble. Ben and I craned our necks in fear while Michael and Tim teased that we looked like two giraffes in the pool. Tim was not at all afraid. He calmed Ben.
During the two weeks we were away, there were daily soccer matches in the sports pub. Ben and Tim would hang out with me and we would talk about fun things like Adele, celebrity gossip and what life was like in the U.K. When I asked if they wanted to join Michael and the other Brits to watch the game, they responded Oh God no.
In a world where little is of shock or surprise, it was interesting to still see some old fashioned guys giving disapproving looks to these two kind hearted souls. I spent a week with them. They weren't bothersome. They didn't flaunt. I had to literally drag them on the dance floor. They were quiet and reserved and most importantly.....so in love. Truly, madly, deeply in love.
When our bus pulled away, my heart yet again wrenched at goodbye. I hate goodbye. I saw through the window that Tim was wiping his eyes. Ben ran back onto the bus and chirped in his glorious proper accent, I told you he was sensitive!
They told us they were lost without us and that we made their first week of their trip very special. In fact it was us who were unbelievably blessed to be in their company. Ben & Tim....your love is inspiring and special. May you always treasure each other the way you do now. Others should stop passing judgement and instead look to you both as an example of what true love and loyalty is all about.
Until we meet again,
I've made up my mind, don't need to think it over
If I'm wrong I am right, don't need to look no further
This aint' lust, I know this is love
~ Adele ~