Hello there. I'm a writer. I believe in subtext. I believe in writing one thing, yet meaning another. I believe in layers of meaning. I believe in subtlety. I never spill words onto a page usually, I try to carefully craft what I write. But what I'm about to write is as stark and honest as anything I've ever written. No veils. No hidden meanings. No eloquence. Just me. Just plain old me. Today I visited these forums for the first time in months. Before that, my last post was all the way back in January this year. I've changed so much since then. Back then, I had my whole life laid out before me. Art was what I wanted to do in life, theatre and music especially. Writing plays was the main thing I always wanted to do, also composing music, possibly writing my own concept album, that sort of thing. This wasn't just any kind of art. My art was about alienation, loneliness and isolation. It was about tortured souls. Loners. People who are too different to fit in. People who have drifted away from the rest of humanity. People like me. In other words, I wanted to be a voice for misfits. Speaking up for the invisible. That was my purpose. Standing up for the quiet kid in the corner. For those rejected by the beautiful people. For the man on the brink. I joined these forums not because I was sad or suicidal, but because I felt comfortable in a place like this, with misfits and outcasts whom I could relate to. I am a misfit myself. A loner, a complete recluse. No friends. Socially awkward, the usual story I'm sure you've heard countless times before. But the difference is, I was happy. Happier than I'd ever been in my life. Back then, I was so secure about myself. I didn't need other people to make me feel good about myself. I loved being a loner, I revelled in every aspect of it. I was alone, but never lonely. I was an individual, an eccentric, a lone poet. I was living the romanticised ideal of being a creative loner. I wanted to live the rest of my life this way (I'm 20), maybe retreat to a cottage in the countryside someday, to live as a reclusive man, and be dedicated entirely to my art, to follow my dreams and leave my mark on the world. My life was perfect. Waking up each morning, not knowing what lay ahead, not knowing when I might be inspired or moved by a sudden burst of creativity....yet always knowing that I had found myself, what I wanted to do in life, and what made me truly happy. My life was perfect. What could possibly go wrong? Think about it. What is the one thing which could have happened to me, when I least expected it to, and turn my world upside down? Take a guess. Right, here's what. I was struck down by the arrow. You know, the arrow. Looks like our friend Cupid saw a 20-year-old man with a life of serenity and happiness ahead of him and thought, "This is too cosy. Let's create havoc. Make life difficult for the young man. I'll have some fun here." Here's how it happened. Last year, I started an engineering degree at university. This bought me some time regarding my future writing plans, and I thought it was a useful addition to my life in terms of learning new skills, a good back-up plan if nothing else. I never intended to be an engineer after I graduate, but the degree saved me from the pressures of unemployment. That's when I met her. We were doing the same course. On my first day, I found myself sitting directly across the table from her. It wasn't love at first sight, though, I guess I'm not that kind of guy. It was only after talking to her a few times in the first couple of weeks that she really grew on me. I started to care about her. She was so sweet, intelligent, caring and lovely. I was intrigued by her from the start. In some ways, she was my polar opposite - outgoing, extroverted, sensible and responsible; I was introverted, unpredictable and apathy-ridden. Scratch the surface, though, and we shared subtle similarities: our emotional intelligence, the way we both understood the depth and complexity of human feeling; a kind, compassionate outlook towards the world; and most of all, she used to study art, so perhaps I reminded her of a part of herself which she had long forgotten about, the way she used to be before she settled on engineering. I love her more than life itself. I love every little thing about her. The good things and the not-so-good things. The silly little things. The way she crinkles up her nose when she smiles, and two of her top-jaw molar teeth stick out awkwardly on either side. The sound of her voice, the sound of her silly, kooky little laugh. It's as genuine as love ever can be. I just want to burst into the room, clinch her in a passionate embrace, sweep her off her feet and carry her away into the distance, to spend the rest of my life with her. Many of you have spent enough time on these forums to know that it's not quite that simple! I feel a bit drained after all that writing, I must continue this tomorrow, when I will talk about why it's not that simple, and how my feelings for her have changed my outlook on life. Forgive me for the long post, and for leaving you in suspense at the end, in the meantime, any comments are welcome. Again, forgive me for cutting off at the end.