As I am now single, my mind occasionally wanders to times past, past lovers, past heartaches; this is a little snapshot of “the One”.
They fell in love with alarming speed and ferocity, she eighteen, he nineteen, birthdays separated by days. In fact, he had just been to his own birthday party, put on by friends when they met, he was slightly drunk and feeling very merry.
The attraction was mutual and blinding. When he got up to leave, he tapped her lightly on the head with a rolled-up poster (a present from a friend); he said, “Very nice to meet you” and her heart skipped a beat.
He was a gentleman, although at that stage she did not know he was taken already; an intense holiday romance in England at the end of high school had left him feeling a sense of obligation to another girl who had come from more humble origins.
Back in Australia, things progressed very quickly.
It was a volatile relationship, they loved each other with such intensity.
They never really broke up. The girl from England came out to Perth, they got engaged, he was unhappy but what could he do (?) he had an obligation. They married a few years later, had children, settled down.
She (that is, me) was lousy about it, really, really lousy. He had known and she felt deceived, he had encouraged her knowing there could not be a future. In reality he was a victim too, because he loved her and they couldn’t be together.
That love continues to this day, 37 years later. It is a fantasy, she knows, an indulgence that is foolish.
She occasionally wonders how their lives would have been together, in some “Sliding Doors” scenario. She has a sneaking suspicion they would have not been good together over the long term. He was very aware of the physical comfort in which she lived. Her Father was a hard worker and had provided well for his family. He felt acutely that she was somehow “better” than him, she spoke well and had gone to an elite girls high school, very different from his background.
She is now 55. She does indulge occasionally in checking him out on social media, he still has beautiful eyes and if he posts a new photo of himself, she will have little thoughts like, ‘New glasses, they’re nice” or “those eyebrows need a bit of attention mate”! They have seen each other in passing and they both know “it” is still there.
It was never meant to be.