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The tree looks wonderful. Rachel has decorated it with strings of lammeter draped everywhere like a sparkling silver waterfall, and iridescent glass balls that are almost transparent, but with a rainbow sheen. There are lights too, but she has somehow managed to arrange them so they look understated, rather than tacky.

At first we had said we wouldn't do anything special, since neither of us is religious. We were going to just kick back and revel in ten days together away from work. But we both have such bleak memories of last year -- her of endless family arguments, and me of being alone and miserable while everyone around me seemed to be happy, that we changed our minds. The decorations came out, and we went wild.

Rachel has even made up bunches of mistletoe from fake pearls and green material, working from a book. It looks incredibly realistic and she has dotted it around the house, including a huge wreath over the bed. It's not as if we need an excuse to kiss, but somehow the silliness of it all has caught us up.

I can hardly believe we've been together for nearly a year now.

Everything about my life has changed, not only from the time when I was alone, but even from when Daniel was still here. I’m happy, confident, and I know I’m loved.

I laugh, often.

We argue, of course, what couple doesn't? Somehow though, we manage to have rows that talk about what we do that annoys the other one, rather than making it about who we are, so we don't cut at each other and make each other feel small.

Everything would be perfect -- if Rachel was a man.

It's not really the gay thing anymore. I'm not 'out' at work, but that's about the people I work with -- Rachel describes them as "The most narrow-minded lot of dickheads I've ever met." I've accepted my bi-sexuality, and we've found places we can go where I can be comfortable with her touching me, although I still can't bring myself to kiss her in public.

It's...

It's plans. I want a family, I've always wanted a family.

It's the way, when we're out somewhere, Rachel looks at the girls, and I look at the guys.

It's the feeling we both have that this can't be permanent.

I love her, and I can't imagine ever not loving her. I want her, with every fibre of my being, and the idea that that could stop is inconceivable.

But I can't imagine us spending forever together.

I wouldn't be thinking about this right now, if yesterday I hadn't got an early "Christmas present". My divorce is final. I'm free. I haven't told her yet.

She is cooking breakfast, and singing carols -- out of tune. She's lovely, and happy, and sexy as hell. She's also standing right under one of those stupid mistletoe bunches, so I go, turn her, point up, and kiss her. She laughs delightedly and kisses me right back.

It's Christmas, it's a time to celebrate, not to worry.

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7

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