“Remember, whatever happens, I’ll love you always” he said as he bent to embrace her. There was no goodbye kiss, something she later regretted. And then it was time. Time for her heart to turn to ice as he paused one last time at the departure gate and waved and walked through. Gone from her sight and just like that gone from her life.
He said he’d had a premonition, “I don’t know why but I don’t think I’ll ever see you again”. She’d laughed and teased him he was wrong. Wasn’t she saving up the air fare and planning to join him as soon as she could?
At first there were frequent phone calls until it became too expensive. Twenty pounds for a 5 minute phone card to make a call where all she did was rack her brains trying to think of something to say.
Sometime during that first year apart the absence became easier to bear. She stopped thinking of him every second. She stopped missing him with a paralysing sadness. She got used to life without him. She met other people , she ceased to make travel plans. She was a terrible letter writer, ironically, so soon their letters dried up.
Her rose-coloured glasses broke. She realised who he really was. She had always known if she married her first love it would have been a mistake. She would have regretted it, she would have been trapped.
Her 19-year-old self has been healed by a new and deeper love. Now she can see her first love for what it was. An immature young girls infatuation with an older man who took advantage of her. A destructive relationship marked by infidelity and selfishness. She realises he betrayed her and what’s worse is she let him.
He was her first real love but she was not his…..