Dom and I are one of those couples, the kind that met on the internet. It’s not such a strange, sleazy thing anymore, though, thankfully – heck, even my amom met her boyfriend through eharmony – but I do still feel weird saying it when people ask that inevitable question.

And our story goes even further off the beaten track. We didn’t meet on an internet chatroom or even through a forum, though we were both members of the same forum. No, we met because Dom wrote angsty slash fanfic in a fandom we were both in, and I enjoyed his fics. One in particular I loved so much that I overcame my reluctance to talk to strangers and IM’ed him one fine day in late 2006 to talk about the story. That initial conversation introduced me to a person I was intensely curious about. I didn’t want to stop talking to him.

At first, we only talked via IM for a few hours every day. I’d search my mind for things to say or talk about every time the conversation started to draw to a close, desperate to keep it going. I couldn’t get enough. Eventually, we both liked talking to each other a lot and neither of us wanted to let go, so I put AIM on my work’s computer and talked to him every chance I got there, too.

After a couple years of friendship, we both wanted to meet up. Going to England has always been a dream of mine, and it worked out well that he’s British. After I’d moved out of my fDad’s house in February 2008, I was able to save up money. By September, I had my passport, and we were talking about when the best time for me to come. Since he had another American friend over for Christmas the last year, he wanted to do that again. He got permission from his family, and I booked my tickets. I was going to spend two weeks over the holidays in England, definitely a dream come true.

I’d been wanting to move to be closer to my own and only same-state friend for months, and I decided the perfect time to finally do so would be when I left for England. I quit my job, packed up my apartment, ready to move everything when I came back, and headed to the airport on December 18th. Unfortunately for me, the North was in the middle of snow storms. Flights were cancelled and delayed, and I spent the night in a tiny airport because of that.

Luckily I was able to fly out the next day. Someone didn’t show up for their flight, and I took their seat. I was on my way, finally. I don’t remember the flight. I’ve flown transatlantic too many times now, and they’ve all sort of bled together. But I do remember how incredibly happy I was (and am every single time) to see that English countryside. It’s so amazing. England is the best place on Earth.

Immigration was, as usual, scary, but I made it through quickly. I answered all their dumb questions about who I was seeing and why. When I made it through, I called Dom, and he and his Dad were on their way to pick me up. I wandered around the front area for a while, looking at all the trains and the people and listening to the accents and smiling at the “bobbies” and the iconic red post columns. Definitely a dream come true.

Finally, Dom arrived. Despite my paranoid worries, I recognised him immediately, though we’d never met in person, and we shared an excited it’s-nice-to-meet-you-finally hug. (Then I got to stare at his blue/green eyes for the entire journey home.) Greetings and introductions done, Dom and his Dad took some of my luggage and led me to the car park so we could go home.