Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Mugged by Love

If you're to believe Hallmark, love is all hearts, flowers, teddy bears and kissing in the back row of the cinema. The truth of the matter is, its all these things and so much more. Love is so fantastic writers have been trying to describe it for years, with some moderate success.

If you're to ask me, love is like walking down the street with a Rolex on your wrist and a thousand Dollar suit on your back. Having said that, one day you will turn down the wrong alley and find betrayal, heartache, misery and abandonment, with baseball bats cocked, ready to turn your world inside out. 

On that day, love sucks.

If being in love as an adult is like being mugged by baseball bat swing lunatics, then being in love as a teenager is the equivalent of being dropped into the seventh ring of hell. Which brings me nicely along to the story I wanted to tell you tonight, my first love.

I was a very happy thirteen year old, school was good, I had friends and things were going fairly well. Most days what preoccupied my mind was which team might pick me for football at the break. All that changed in an instant. I innocently looked two rows ahead and one desk to the right. She picked that moment to look over her shoulder with her sparkling blue eyes, jet black hair, perfect smile and sun kissed skin. It was like being hit by a truck. She looked away having no idea that she'd just ruined my life, forever. 

I was in love.

Some people say hormones are to blame, and they might be right because something defiantly scrambled my brain and possessed my body. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before and it was horrible, amazing, but horrible. I dreamt of her, I rushed to school to see her, I couldn’t hear a love song on the radio without thinking of her. I was doomed, and I wasn’t alone.

The captain of the football team had also fallen under her spell, but unlike me, he had no problem talking to my angel. Months and months I spent staring at the back of her head hard enough to leave dents, while he could hold her hand, kiss her lips and God knows what else. It was heart-breaking. Then, the week before valentines the schoolyard gossip buzzed with news of the breakup of the century. My sweetheart was free. It was now or never, but I still dared not speak to her. I decided to send a valentines card instead, anonymous of course. 

That year, valentines coincided with our youth club meeting, a Friday night I will never forget. Surrounded by everyone I knew, the parish hall door opened and in she walked. For the first time she looked me straight in the eye. She was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt and a black leather jacket. She looked amazing. She walked right up the middle of the room, never taking her eyes from mine and stopped in front of me. The words that came from her lips are burned forever in my memory.

“Thanks for the card.”

With that, she turned and walked back toward the door. There, waiting for her with his arms folded over his chest and a smile on his face was El Captain. They walked out together and I wished the ground would open up and swallow me whole. I still hadn't said a word to her, a fact which would never change.

So, there you have it. My first brush with the dreaded four letter word. You might be forgiven for thinking I am a cynic, or bitter, but I am far from that. If anything I'm the ultimate romantic. Despite knowing all the pitfalls I still hope for another taste of love. The reason is simple, getting to wear a Rolex and a thousand Dollar suit, if even for a day, is worth it.


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