The WordPress prompter asked:
Describe the first person who broke your heart. And if you could take revenge on them now, would you? Did you ever think about it? What would you say to them now if you met them on the street?
Now my heart has been broken several times over the years, by friends, family and of course, the inevitable boyfriend or two.
I think the question probably refers to ‘partners’.
So I’ll go with that.
Sitting in a history classroom (aged a mere 17) I chatted and giggled with my best friend Faye, who had some extra special news for me that day. She’d met a guy that according to her, was perfect for me. She wanted to set me up with him on a blind date.
Shocked and indignant, I retorted that I did not want to be ‘set up’ with anyone. Despite her protestations, her descriptions of how he was the yin to my yang and all that jazz, I stuck to my guns and refused to meet him.
I can’t really remember how much time passed. Maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months. But one day I bumped into Faye as she left and I entered our local shopping centre. We chatted briefly and then right after I left her, I spotted a boy.
Tall. So skinny, his clothes almost fell off him. With long, wild, curly, black hair and eyes that looked right into my soul…
And I was dumbstruck.
I excitedly told my friend Faye, in our next history class (as you do when you’re 17), all about my amazing encounter. I detailed how my heart had fluttered and my mouth had gone dry.
She asked me to describe the boy and then grinning (smug as you like) all over her face she told me:
It was him.
The yin to my yang.
I did, of course, suitably chastise her for not having introduced us. As is correct for a 17-year-old girl who’s wishing to embark on the fullness of life.
And at some point after that we met again. Properly this time. At a rock disco. And somewhat spurred on by a few drinks, I
threw myself at him caught the attention of my man.
He was funny. Kind. Passionate. Always philosophising. Clever. Artistic. Loved his ‘sounds’. Chatty. Argumentative. Liked his pint. He lived in a second-hand army jacket. And fan t-shirts. And jeans. He liked to provoke. He was romantic. Sweet. Troubled. Caring. Good.
We spent the first months of our relationship pretty much in each others pockets. But then things got in the way. Family. He went through the awful loss of losing both his father and his grandfather to cancer. Understandably, he spent a lot of time at home but then he had an opportunity to go away for three weeks. He asked me to go with him. We’d hardly seen each other in the previous weeks, but I had to decline. I had exams to sit. And so he left. Alone.
Meanwhile, my relationship with my parents went from bad to worse and at some point I walked out. Aged 17.
I had my issues and he had his, and when he didn’t turn up to my 18th birthday celebration, I went to look for him and we had an almighty row.
And we split.
There and then in the middle of the street. In front of friends and passers-by.
I could not accept the split. For me it was unnatural. Neither of us had met someone else, or even stopped liking the other one. We just had so much heartache in our own lives that it had spilled over and we were too young and too inexperienced to pull together and deal with it side by side.
For the next year and a half I catapulted around from pillar to post to wall to doorway.
And then, we were both in the same place, at the same time and our eyes met and suddenly, we were together again. I felt so happy.
But we had changed.
He had changed. He was sad. Torn. Battered and bruised. He warned me that he was not the same person that I had once known.
I had changed. I lived my life on the edge and I ached with loss and rage. I assured him that we could go back.
One evening he declined to come out. Said he didn’t feel so well and wanted a night in. I went out with friends, but while I was dancing I had an image enter my head of him kissing another girl that we both knew. It was the strangest thing and it really shook me up. I told myself I was being ridiculous. He’d never shown any interest in that girl and besides, he was at home, feeling sick.
At the end of the night my friends and I headed off to the taxi rank and there he was. And there she was. They denied any wrongdoing, and I had only an image in my head to go by. But soon after, one of his friends confirmed my suspicions and I flipped…
Years later, I bumped into him again. I was married at that point, to my first husband. It was good to see him, we talked and hugged and cleared the air. He apologised, I apologised and he was more like his old self. And me, I guess, like mine. He told me where to head with my life and I listened. The same old passionate philosopher…
I will be honest with you and tell you that in all those years not a single day had gone by, that I hadn’t thought about him.
In June 2002, a mutual friend called me and told me that Euan had died in his tenement after falling down the stairs. Aged just 30 years old.
To this day, despite attending his huge funeral, I still find it difficult to believe that there will be no little Euan’s in the world, no wife for him to be sweet and kind and romantic with and no world to hear his philosophising.