As I sit here writing the next confession I think about how hard loving someone can be at times. I am listening to “Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk right now. It literally just came to mind. I can be sitting here sometimes and lyrics will just pop into my head when I am thinking about someone.

The day I had to fly down to go to the secret hearing I remember hearing my lawyers words in my head. “Don’t go into the personal relationship with Hugh, If they try to touch on it then object and ask what the relevance is. Remember that the judge isn’t actually on your side. This is a secret hearing and it isn’t like a normal court case….The “Judge” is on their side. They will just want to find a way to nail Hugh. Be honest and remember that you need to protect yourself”.

The night before I was due to fly out I lay in bed awake until well after 1 am. I had a flight at 7:30 am but I couldn’t get to sleep. I was going to land at 9:30 am and the hearing was at 10:00 am. I had no time whatsoever to get from the airport but seeing as I was flying out at 4:00 pm that afternoon I had to get through it and put it all behind me.

The only thing I wanted to do was protect Hugh and the thing is I don’t know why.

It had been a week since the detectives had come to see me and in that time I had seen the media clippings of Hugh turning himself in after charges had been laid. I had seen his office (the same office that I had been to) raided for computers, phones….really anything they could get their hands on and it happened to make me even more protective….from what I really had no idea!

Because I couldn’t get to sleep I almost missed my flight when I overslept. Luckily I didn’t need to pack. I called a cab and went straight to the airport with only my handbag and the clothes that I was wearing.

When I got to the gate they were almost closing the flight….I hadn’t even been able to pre-check-in.

While I was sitting on the flight. I had a window seat and after doing my makeup I sat there looking out the window thinking about what this day was going to mean for me.

I hadn’t been able to talk to Hugh. He knew something was going on and we both agreed to keep our distance…It was excruciating.

After the flight landed I began to feel really sick. I looked around me at the people I was passing and for the first time I was thinking about how my life seemed to be so complicated since I had met Hugh. I hadn’t asked for this, It could have ruined my chances in the field that I had chosen to work in but the thing that got me the most was that I didn’t care. I cared so much for Hugh that it all seemed so worth it.

When I arrived at the courthouse I almost cried as my hands were trembling when I pushed through the doors.

I went through security and was told to sit and wait….It felt like forever until I was called in.

I sat in a box and it certainly felt like a secret hearing as apart from the officials in the room….I was the only person set to take the stand.

I had to take an oath and it was then that I had to make a choice….even though I didn’t know anything…if I was told something and it did jog my memory to something that seemed so innocent at the time but turned out not to be….would I tell the truth?….In that instance….I realised I would….and it crushed me. My morals and understanding of what was right and what was wrong kicked in and I instantly felt guilty.

In the beginning I was made to feel at ease until the prosecutor asking the questions started getting VERY personal regarding Hugh and I….I couldn’t bare the interrogation any longer and I objected to the line of questioning….Luckily enough the judge agreed and I didn’t have to answer the questions…but the prosecutor changed tactics and asked in a very roundabout way in which I HAD to answer.

I won’t go into detail about what happened because I am not sure what I am allowed to say but I reiterated the fact that I did not know anything and this really seemed to annoy the prosecutor. I told them it was a waste in me being there….but they had one more ace up their sleeve.

The wanted to take away my phone!

At first I objected and fought very hard…I didn’t want anyone having my phone….I felt naked without it.

They took a recess for over an hour and when I went back in it was 3 pm….an hour until my flight.

I called Hugh and he wanted to meet but unfortunately I had to go back in and he had a meeting. I hadn’t told him why I was there but he isn’t stupid. I told him I was in town for business….he knew I was lying but he didn’t push me.

Eventually I lost and they were able to take my phone….However I won the fight that I would not be leaving without my phone…so they agreed to put me up in a hotel and gave me a replacement phone. I was told that I could not tell anyone about the proceedings and they advised me that I shouldn’t see Hugh.

Once I got everything I needed I got all the numbers I needed out of my phone and went to check in to the hotel.

Once safely in the room I called my lawyer. He advised me that I shouldn’t let Hugh into my room as I told him I was going to see him and he advised me that my temporary phone would be bugged and not to take it with me or talk about anything with Hugh on the phone.

I took his advise and when I called Hugh I told him my phone was in for repair and I had a temp phone.

We spoke for 3 minutes and agreed to meet for dinner.

The night I smoked a LOT and went in for a relaxing bath, got ready to meet Hugh and because he didn’t like me smoking I decided not to before I met him.

I left my phone in the room as I went down to wait in the lobby.

Because I wasn’t expecting to stay I didn’t have any clothes so I had to go shopping earlier and pick out something. I had a lack cardigan my jet black hair flowed upon my shoulders in an orange maxi dress.

I waited for what felt like forever and told the receptionist Hugh’s name and that if he came in to buzz me in my room.

When I went upstairs I found he had left me a voicemail saying he was going to be an hour late.

I had another 10 minutes before I was due to meet with him. I went for a cigarette.

When I went back downstairs he was there waiting for me.

I walked straight over to him and the song I mentioned before “Feels like Home” is exactly how I felt in that moment. The lyrics:

“Somethin’ in your eyes, makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself, in your arms
There’s somethin’ in your voice, makes my heart beat fast
Hope this feeling lasts, the rest of my life

If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how long I’ve been so alone
And if you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my life the way you’ve done

It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me, it feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I belong”

describe exactly how I felt at that particular moment. The giddy, butterflies in your stomach feeling pumped through my body. I couldn’t believe where I was or what situation I was in but in that moment I knew that no matter what I was going through was totally worth it. Just looking in his eyes, feeling his touch as he placed his hand on the small of my back was worth every single problem I was facing and any pain I could potentially face. He had changed my life, broken my walls down and in that instant all the worry left my body and mind. He was exactly what I needed…no matter what the consequences were.

I left with him and we drove to dinner in almost silence. He squeezed my hand, looking at my face which was hiding one of the biggest secrets I had ever kept. I couldn’t tell a soul why I was there and it was tearing me apart as I had sworn we would never have any secrets.

Dinner was lovely and I had never had Indian before so during dinner he made me close my eyes as he fed me some of the most delicious food I had ever tasted. He wanted me to experience every flavour in the only way you should ever try something new….blind.

He asked a few questions about why I was in town and why the sudden changes in my plans to stay….I answered the most honest way I could and told him that I wasn’t going to lie so he shouldn’t ask me any questions. I was there because I had to be and that was that.

He didn’t ask again.

On the ride back to the hotel…I desperately wanted him to come up…I wanted to feel close to him.

When we arrived we mutually agreed in silence that he wouldn’t come up and he placed his hand on my chin and kissed me with such force and passion that it knocked the wind out of me. I couldn’t breathe and felt instantly woozy.

I didn’t want the night to end but knew I had to get up early to go back in to finalise the hearing….but I didn’t want him to leave.

When I got out of the car he caught my hand…I turned to face him and all he said was “I understand….It doesn’t change a thing and It will never change the way I feel.”

He ran his thumb across my knuckles and my throat began to burn. I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell him the truth but I couldn’t.

When I finally got up to my room. I slid down the door as it closed and burst into tears. I couldn’t believe the last 24 hours let alone the last month….It seemed as though I was never going to be allowed to be happy….was this Karma for everything I had ever done wrong…was I never going to be able to breathe without the possibility of being thrown a curve ball?

I felt like I was standing at an avalanche…I felt as though…even a single breath or movement in the wrong direction and my whole world was about to come crashing down around me….and there was nothing I could do to stop it….

xx Ava