Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass – Desiderata
I feel inspired to write about love. I wonder if digging into how my perception of love changed over the years will give me a better insight into my current circumstances and confusion, so this is my love story.
My first love, the boy next door. We were both 12 but went to different schools so we met on the wall. Yes, I used to sit on the wall and contemplate my 12 years of existence. We had only just moved to this town, miles and miles away from where I grew up and I was really missing my friends. One afternoon he said hello and joined me on the wall. So started hours of conversations but no venturing into the others yard as parents wouldn’t allow that without asking permission first. Little did I know how much this boy liked me. After a couple of months we met on the wall as we always did and I was presented with a card (which I still have). He just gave me the card and left. Inside was the sweetest card that read “You make my world go round” and sweetly signed “Love, Leon”. Also included was a locket which I also still have. I was shocked but very smitten. A week went by before we both ventured onto the wall again. He was so sweet. We almost shared our first kiss one afternoon, but we both chickened out. It was a good thing as we soon moved to another town. We cried so much the day we had to say goodbye. He hugged me for what seemed forever and I can still feel his arms around me and how my heart hurt. I found him a couple of years ago on Facebook, but after a couple of months, he unfriended me. He had his own little family now and I guess, I was just someone he didn’t want to be reminded of.
So new town, new school. For the next five years I was infatuated with one boy. From the moment I saw him, I loved him. He had a twin brother but I didn’t struggle like everyone else to tell them apart. He was a cool kid. I was a nerd. This did not stop me from pining over him.For four years I only loved one boy that didn’t know I existed. I clearly started off as a one man show. In my final school year my best friend, who is an amazing writer, said that he would help me out as he could no longer stand the fact that this boy didn’t even know how I felt. So he convinced me to write him a letter, confessing my love. The added twist would be that he would write this letter for me as he was so good at writing. What I didn’t realize at the time was that my best friend was gay and he loved the same boy I did, so everything he wrote in that letter flowed from his heart as much as mine. The letter was composed and presented to said boy before Geography…the only class we had together. I didn’t give him the letter, my friend did. Watching from the other side of the class room how he went completely red in the face reading that letter was absolute torture. The reaction that followed was even worse…he turned to my friend and asked him, who is this girl? I truly didn’t know I existed. Needless to say, my last school year was not that great lol He now knew very well who I was and how I felt down to the smallest detail, so avoiding me was his mission for the last 6 months of school.
So, I turned 16, never been kissed before then 17, never been kissed before…I started thinking I’m NEVER going to kiss a boy!! Then I went to University…I was introduced to drinking and smoking and boys! In my second year, just before my 18th birthday I went to a party. There a boy caught my eye and I caught his. We started chatting, we danced, we had a couple of drinks and then we went over to his place. We were listening to opera music (I know! but we both really liked that), just sitting and talking and the next minute he leaned in, and it happened! My first kiss. I was so happy! What did I do? I told him lol! After about 5 to 10 minutes of kissing I broke free and said, “That was my first kiss and it was amazing!” His reaction…You’re lying. He didn’t believe me, in fact he wanted to know why I would lie about it and that it wasn’t necessary. So for the rest of the evening I tried to convince him that this was true. Eventually he accepted it, but I think he still didn’t believe me. We kissed some more and I went home.
After that kiss, many kisses followed with different boys. Boys I met at parties, boys I met in clubs, boys in my class. It was all downhill from there. And alcohol was always involved. Until the unfortunate night that I went to a party, got drunk, couldn’t see straight but still decided to walk home alone, and was raped. I honestly don’t remember a lot of detail, or maybe I just suppress it, but I don’t want to recount that night.
When I met my first husband (C) I had become somewhat of a Gothic girl. I only listened to alternative music. I spent most Friday nights in a mosh pit headbanging and I only wore black if I could help it. I was very cynical and only saw the dark side of life. Tori Amos was my role model and her first album ‘Little Earthquakes’ became my personal anthem. She was also raped and one of her songs, ‘Me and a gun’ describes the ordeal she went through. If she could survive and sing about it, so could I. We both played piano, we both sang, so hey, we are the same person. C was also into alternative music. He loved Metallica, Guns and Roses and U2. I met him at a party my friend dragged me to. We started talking and I thought he wasn’t too bad. We ended up kissing that night and exchanged numbers. I didn’t think he would call back, very few of the boys I kissed ever did, but just the next day he called me. So a relationship of five years started. I was very much in love with him, but I think what changed it for me was the distance. When I graduated, he still had one more year left and I went home to start work but he remained at University, a five hour drive away from my home town.I cried many nights because I missed him so much. We spoke on the phone a lot, but only saw each other once every two or three months. One night I went out with work colleagues and something happened. I had sex with a man I worked with. We had been flirting at work but I never thought anything of it. I felt so extremely guilty afterwards and I told myself, you’re just lonely and really missing C. But a couple of weeks later it happened again and I had sex with my colleague again. Afterwards I would always cry and ask myself why? Why am I doing this? When C graduated he moved to my home town and started his first job there so that we could be together. I thought, right, I’ll be happy now as he is with me again. However, I went away on a business trip and had sex with my colleague again. Even better sex this time as I told him the last time that it can never happen again. Very passionate sex, leaving a very confusing girl in it’s wake. When C asked me to marry him I accepted. I felt obliged. It was what everyone was expecting. I thought things would change once I married him. It will be the magic day I had always hoped for and then we would live happily ever after. Surely marriage will commit me to him and I will not be able to repeat my past transgressions. How wrong I was. After a panic stricken honeymoon and six months of trying to convince myself I’m happy and lots of crying, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, I met D at work. He had just started there and I immediately felt an attraction to him. I tried to ignore it, but I always found an excuse to talk to him at work or to ask him about his personal life. He had a girlfriend and well, I was MARRIED. Nonetheless, we were soon having an affair. I realized that I was starting to fall in love with D and that I didn’t want him to be with anyone else but me. So I confessed everything to C and filed for divorce. All of that in one sentence but much more complicated in reality.
Now D is telling me, he now knows what C felt like. I started thinking tonight, have I
ever truly loved someone since I was raped? Surely when you really truly love someone, you commit, you don’t cheat, you work things out. I don’t think I’m capable of true love. What I am good at and very capable of is pushing people away and cheating on people I think I love. I loved the catfish…or so I thought. This is how misconstrued my idea of love is. Can a man really love me if he knew about my past? Which begs the next question, how could he? My chances of finding true love is small, minuscule even. Maybe that is why I’ve been able to have sex with men and not feel anything for them, with the exception of one.