I was someone else’s long-term girlfriend, and he was someone else’s long-term boyfriend. I was with the trumpet-player in a jazz band, and he played the guitar. Well, no contest really… watching that dark, moody head inclined over the guitar, picking reflectively at the strings and occasionally glancing up to stare broodingly at the audience, and then turning my gaze upon my own boyfriend’s bulging eyes, tapping foot and flushed, extended cheeks… well you get my drift.
I was not of the ‘mover and shaker’ orientation, so there was no way I’d take matters into my own hands. I was more your quiet observer … stalker I think they’d call it these days 🙂
And unfair though it was, I carried on with my existing relationship far longer than I should have done, simply for the opportunity to continue moving in the same circle as him, going to the same gigs, being part of the ‘golden groupies’.
But eventually I called time on my relationship and sat at home, pining for the glory days until one day the guitarist suddenly turned up at my door, and asked me out. It was like a dream come true.
“What about Pamela?” I stammered.
“We’ll always be friends,” he said nobly, “but it’s over.”
On cloud nine, I could hardly believe my luck. It sounds ridiculous now, but up until that moment I’d never actually been attracted to any of the boys I’d gone out with – I just went out with them because they asked me to, and that was what girls did. If you didn’t, you didn’t go out.
Oh the sheer bliss of being able to ‘love the one you’re with’. The weight dropped off me, I had a glow, (people said), I felt alive for the first time in my life. I discovered I actually liked physical contact and that nothing else that happened to me could turn off that shimmering sense of excitement with which I greeted each day.
We had a wonderful summer, I’ll never forget it. We shared a love of literature, poetry and music… we were made for each other, it seemed.
And when September came, it was time for him to go off for his first term at teacher training college. We swore eternal devotion, we swore a life of celibacy till we were together again, we declared our passion could not be quenched by the few hundred miles that would lie between us.
And by half-term he’d written to say he’d found someone else.
I thought I’d die. I thought I would never find anyone else who could make me feel that way again. Life hardly seemed worth living, and if the weight had dropped off me before, it was positively galloping off the bathroom scales now.
After a few weeks friends were able to entice me out again, and I picked up the threads of a life, battered and bruised emotionally. And soon I was back on the circuit, but sadly, for the most part, once again in relationships I didn’t really want to be in. My heart simply wasn’t in it for quite some time.
About a year later he sent me a copy of a poem, to which he’d added a few cryptic footnotes. Even today, the poem still brings tears to my eyes.
When You Are Old (W B Yeats)
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Of course, it was colossally pretentious of him, monstrously ego-centric, abjectly sentimental, all attributes that I’ve grown to heartily dislike. And if it had been meant as an attempt at reconciliation it didn’t work – if there’s one thing I’m good at it’s moving on.
I see now that we would have been totally incompatible within a few short years, and that what happened, brutal though it may have been, was truly for the best.
But oh the bittersweet joys of first love…
Click on the following links for more contributions to this theme.
- A journey begins..proud eagle.. | The Wandering Poet
- Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love | Basically Beyond Basic
- Happy Valentine’s day | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- Two of us | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- We are Entangled: We are Smitten « psychologistmimi
- Dimples And Dreadlocks; A Story of First Love | The Jittery Goat
- A Second Chance – A Friday Flash Story | My Little Avalon
- Valentine’s Broken Song – a poem woven with tears | alienorajt
- Kindergarden Crushed | Finale to an Entrance
- Watching Love Unfold | The Silver Leaf Journal
- DP Daily Prompt: It’s Feb. 14 Friday, I’m In Love! | Sabethville
- It’s Valentines Day and I’m Not In Love – Musings | wangsgard.com
- Yet Another Valentine’s Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- Crushed | Kate Murray
- A Weird Confession | WanderLust
- Worst Valentine’s Day Ever | Sunday Epidemic
- Bad Boy (My First Love) | That One Nerdy Chick
- Smith Island Cake | Exploratorius
- The Anonymous Valentine’s Postal Service | thoughtsofrkh
- i do whatever i like whoever i want | yi-ching lin photography
- Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love « Mama Bear Musings
- whatever i like | y
- If Someone Wrote A Song For Me On St Valentine’s Day I Would Be Ecstatic… | Steve Says….
- Daily Prompt: Smitten « Vicariously Poetic
- Daily Prompt: It’s Friday (Saturday, Sunday, Monday . . .) I’m in Love | No Apologies
- Rooted in Love with Shoelaces of Grace Prayers and Promises
- Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love | DukkSheit Happens……….
- Daily Prompt: It’s friday, I’m in Love- Analyzed by a medical student | Journeyman
- My first crush | Knowledge Addiction
- My Valentine’s story. | The scribbles in the margin
- Romance Haiku | Laith’s Ramblings
- Daily Prompt: It’s Friday I’m In Love | snippets and words
- Falling in love…Daily Prompt | alienorajt
- Snapshot | Musings from a practical mystic
- First Love | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- It’s Friday, I’m in love. First love. | The Shevster’s Space
- Memories of 16 and Pinky Swears « Dancing with Fireflies
- 16 « Dancing with Fireflies
- Do you have a moment? | FILMS | FOOD | POETRY
- Daily Prompt: SMITTEN | my father’s garden
- against the grain/instead of the prompt | peacefulblessedstar