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#Bondstories: Counting Days Till Christmas

#Bondstories: Counting Days Till Christmas

Two years ago I met my best friend through an organization we were both in. We'll call him Tony, like Tony Stark. Both of us were trying out for a team within it and I had dragged my friend along. We walked in and the first thing she said was "Oh my, look at all the cute guys" and of course being me I shrugged it off and just laughed. Eventually her and I started talking to this one guy, and I honestly just thought he was doing it to be polite. But one night we exchanged social handles and phone numbers and then slowly but surely we started talking regularly. We would talk from 7ish in the morning to sometimes 2 - 3am. Within only a few months I found myself trusting him with stuff that it normally takes me years to share.

He's changed my life in so many positive ways. He helped me through so much, he's been like a light in the dark and I could never thank him enough for that. We both ended up making that team and I made it to provincials, but due to lack of care on my part and lack of training with skis I pushed myself and ended up falling. I ended up injured to the point that walking was impossible without extreme pain in my knees. Throughout that Tony was helping me whether it was carrying me to the bus or just assisting me in routine tasks. He was always there and it meant so much to me. Eventually I had to go to physio so he suggested I go to the same place as him and we made our appointments the same. One night went to see a hockey game together and then us hanging out really began.

Eventually we were constantly together doing things like going to get subs at 11:30pm, going on random adventures, watching movies, volunteering, practicing softball/baseball, cheering each other, playing PS3 etc. But overall I travel a fair bit, so when one day me and him were just fooling around on my computer and came across the Bond Touch bracelets, I thought it was a cool idea seeming how much I was out of the country. Eventually it sort of went to the back of our minds when it seemed they wouldn't be coming for awhile.

For two years we were constantly hanging out and it was to the point a lot of people would refer to us as one person or consult me for example if they wanted him for something. Eventually we both started dating other people, neither of us 100% content with our relationships. Then one day when we were hanging out doing our normal nap sess after a long day we realized how much we actually cared for each other. We ended our relationships and got together.

Around this time the bracelets became a reality and we were pumped. We were constantly asking questions and keeping up to date with the updates and then this summer we both went away - I went to one province in Canada and him to another. I was gone for only 3 weeks but he was gone for 6. Of course we called and were constantly texting when we were free. But once I got home after my 3 weeks I discovered that I was moving across the country due to my father's work.

Worst part was I was leaving the end of August, so by time Tony got home I would have one last week with him until I came home Christmas time. So one week before he got back I called him and told him I was leaving. It was a heartbreaking moment and the one I will never forget. I cried for hours and the messages were very heartfelt that night.

The day Tony got home I went to the airport to see him, my last week with him was definitely one of my most favourite weeks no matter how sad it was deep down. I didn't tell him how much it really made everything seem so unreal and how much I enjoyed it in a bittersweet way. I could never ask for a better best friend nor a better partner. But now I'm across the country from him and it's been hard, transitioning from being one with him to struggling to find time to call for more than 10 minutes. I'm sitting here day in and day out and my one constant wish is that I had hugged him longer in our final hug before I left. But I am so grateful to know we'll have our bracelets soon. Even that little buzz is something to remind us that we're still here for each other, that we miss each other, and that Christmas will be here sooner than we know. Because I hope he sees this - happy 5 months (as of October 14th)!

Angel, see you Christmas time

#Bondstories: Platonic Friends No More

#Bondstories: Platonic Friends No More
7 years ago, we met each other in an online video game. Though our first impressions were far from our actual personalities, we got along and ended up as friends. Over the years, we talked outside of that particular game and played other games, watched movies, showed each other our cats, and gradually became best friends. 

But nothing more than that. For 7 years, we never saw each other in a romantic way. Neither of us thought anything would happen between us - we had a great friendship, and it was completely comfortable to feel more like siblings and have full trust in one another. We had our differences, and we acknowledged them. The relationship topic never came up simply because neither of us was considering it. 

We had wanted to meet in real life for quite some time, but neither of us cemented the thought because, as we're both introverts, we were quite comfortable interacting online. However, in the summer of 2017, we finally discussed to make it happen. He confided in me about his overall feelings of loneliness when seeing his family going about their lives and being more social, and he wanted to hang out with a friend. Of course, I had mentioned before that he had a place to stay and food to eat if he ever comes to visit, so we excitedly set the time for 3 weeks.

I started meticulously planning what to do every day - it was the most stressful and simultaneously fun task I've ever done! I knew he wouldn't mind if I didn't have an activity planned for some days, but I really wanted to make sure he had a good time and would feel better when he returned to the US. We were genuinely just looking forward to having fun as like-minded friends. 

For the first few days, it was pure bliss to spend time with my best friend. I just appreciated his presence in the most sincere, platonic way... But, as many wild stories unfold, one night we got drunk. It is worth mentioning that he had only recently started drinking alcohol, and I had never tried it. Well, things escalated and we started hugging, which was already more physical contact than we would both be otherwise comfortable with. Then things escalated to kissing... But nothing more happened because I felt too sick, and we needed to get home to sleep it off. 
Next day we had a conversation at which we agreed that it was nothing more than just craving some physical contact with someone we cared about, and though it was truly nice to have that feeling, we both agreed that nothing else would happen. 
Fast forward through a couple more ambiguously fun days, when both of us were secretly considering whether the drunk night incident meant nothing more, he asked me, ''Do we have feelings for each other?'' Suddenly it became very clear that we had been suppressing our true feelings until then, and we discussed the possibility of being in a relationship. This was something neither of us expected or even wanted before he came to visit, but everything after that just felt so right.. We never thought we'd see each other again, and yet that felt more right than anything else. 

After the most gut-wrenching experience I've ever had - saying goodbye and returning to our normal routines - we planned to book my flight to visit him in the US. I don't anticipate the second goodbye to be any easier because I still have to finish my studies before we can plan to live together. It's only a few months to wait, but it feels too long every day we have to spend apart, missing the mundane things like brushing our teeth together, going to the store, holding hands as we walk.. It gets heavy to remember everything we're no longer able to do.

With Bond Touch, we would be able to feel a reminder of each other's presence even when living far apart, and it would make the wait for our permanent happy end a little more easier.
Kristine Dejus

#Bondstories: You're One in 100 Million

#Bondstories: You're One in 100 Million

My chances of meeting Cas were so unlikely it worries me to think about it. We met on an online game that hosts 100 million monthly players across the world... scary, right? Yet, on the 23rd of December, we played and laughed and argued about the definition of “Christmas Eve” (I was right, it’s not just the evening), and even though we lost every single game we played from then on, we kept on laughing.

Daily conversations became gentle routine that we both settled into willingly and it struck me how undeniably safe Cas felt. He was always there for me, smiling and humouring my awful dad jokes. I became aware that if Cas were a flower, he’d be the tallest, warmest Dutch sunflower you’d ever see.

Time between us began to pass comfortably, and soon we were eager to meet. I was absolutely bricking it, yet so excited too. I worried about incredibly irrational stuff, like his possible distaste for English water and maybe all this time he actually runs like an ostrich? For the record, I’d still like him, ostrich and all. School had been hard for both of us, and we’d done immense studying as exam season was about to begin.

3 days before he was due to arrive, Cas informed me through tears that his lung had collapsed and he wouldn’t be able to fly. The disappointment we felt from that was immense. It honestly felt like we had been cheated out of something that would’ve made everything okay.  We healed slowly, but quickly booked for the next school break and focused on his health. It was another 50 day wait and that stung.

Eventually we were at the airport - him smiling and me sweating! It was awkward at first, but soon enough we relaxed into each other, and it was so nice to finally be able to hold and smell him after everything we had shared through our screens. Being around each other was surreal; I spent so much time just smiling and staring.

Before long, our time was up and saying goodbye was the hardest thing I had done for a while. The words “I miss you” held an entirely new level of depth. I missed our time together, but I also missed contact and breakfast in bed, morning coffee cups and our adventures. I missed the immense feeling of safety and home Cas carried on his back. Sometimes, in the hardest moments, words aren’t enough. But words are all we have.

Fast forward months and we’ve booked again, my flight to the Netherlands saved onto our calendars and a lung-collapsing-prevention surgery planned after our exams and before our holiday together. The surgery went well, but two weeks before I was due to arrive, an artery under Cas’ lung had leaked 1.5L of blood. It was terrifying. His Mum told me the ambulance was on the way and not to worry too much... Finally, in the evening, I received a morphine induced Cas photo from his mama and I could finally breathe again (thankfully so could he!). He was weak and very often in pain, but he was okay. By the time I arrived, he was healthy enough to explore his country with me and give me the best 2 weeks I could’ve imagined.

Our next flights are booked and we’re counting down the days. I miss him with all of the 687.3 miles between us, and in all of the everyday moments. Even smelly socks. It would be amazing to be able to send a touch to each other in our busiest moments, when we’re so caught up with school and work.

“If I had to spend another 3500 hours playing a video game just to find her again I would in a heartbeat. And I wouldn’t consider a second of that time wasted.”

Lissy Jones