Apparently nobody forgets their first love.
Especially if he happens to be prince.
I remember mine all too well.
I was fifteen, he was eighteen, his name was Duncan and he had a motorbike. Not a silly 50cc bike wannabe like all the other boys I knew, his was a 350cc Suzuki. The fact that I remember that detail makes me wonder now how much of the initial attraction was about him or the size of his engine.
Although he wasn't the first boy I called my boyfriend he was the first proper one. The others had just been part of the crowd of friends, and we only saw each other when the crowd was together. But this one and I went on dates, and because he was that bit older we went to night clubs and pubs.
He even bought me a ring. Nothing fancy, it was just a cheap eternity ring, but he wanted me to wear it on THAT finger.
I've still got that ring.
All my friends were impressed and a bit jealous, my Mum liked him - and she never liked any of my friends, male or female, my younger sister liked him (she told me years later that she had a crush on him too), even my fucking cat liked him and would jump on his lap whenever he came round.
In fact I had a picture of him taken at Christmas sat by our tree with the cat on his lap.
I guess you're wondering if I lost my virginity to him too ? Well no, I didn't. I had thrown that away before I met him to a fella who didn't even take his boots off because I thought my friends had "done it". Although the only thing I learnt from that experience was that my friends were lying and sex was really not worth all the fuss people made about it. So I lied to the boy and said I was a virgin and was then too scared to "do it" with him in case he realised. And anyway I had no desire to repeat that ten seconds of grunting followed by a day of not being able to sit down without flinching.
So my first love remained innocent.
We were together for about eight months, a long term relationship at that age. It was me that ended it, I really don't remember any specifics other then I got bored because he wanted me to be with him and not go out and see my mates. He would say, whenever I suggested going to see them, that hanging around with the crowd was childish so I guess what really happened was the difference in our ages became apparent.
Or so I thought.
Fifteen years later. . . .
My Mum was having a clear out and gave a box of old photographs to my sister to sort out, some were coming to me and some were going to my Dad. The picture of the boy with our cat by the Christmas tree was amongst them. My sister had them in piles on her coffee table when our friend Leanne paid her a visit.
Naturally she started looking through the pictures, no doubt laughing at the ones of my sister and I when we were little.
Then she said. . . .
"Why have you got a picture of my Duncan?"
My sister said that I had gone out with him too, and asked Leanne (who is a year younger then me) when she went out with him, thinking it was probably after. But no.
Not at all. AT THE SAME TIME AS ME !!!
My first love was a two-timing motherfucking lying cheating cunt.
The picture was dated so it was easy to work out. He was with Leanne for about a year and for the middle of that was with me too, we sat down soon after and double checked. Funny too, although we (obviously) did not know each other at that time we knew loads of the same people when we finally figured it out.
I guess we were kept apart.
Move on another ten years and my sister is getting married. Her husband had invited some of his friends from work and their respective partners.
So there I am at the reception getting some food from the buffet and a voice from behind me says . . .
Guess who ? Well no prizes. Duncan.
Leanne had yet to arrive, she was coming after work to the evening do. But I called her and told her who was there, and later on after she arrived we cornered him.
Ah Karma. Sometimes I love you.
And sometimes I wonder about the twists and turns my life has taken, and what if I had taken a different route, or made a different choice. My relationship with Sons father lasted nine years, by far and away the longest I have spent with anyone. Before I met him I had an on and off thing with a guy who was in our Navy, he was not based in this town, but whenever he was visiting he would come and find me. We had a real click between us. Then one day he told me that he was due for a promotion which meant that he could change ships and he was hoping to get on one that was based here. He wanted to know if I would consider us being more then just occasional fuck buddies if he did. I liked him, a lot, but I was 20 and I liked my freedom too so I said I'd think about it.
In the meantime I met Sons father at a weekly club night, he was also a very casual thing at first as he lived in the next town, but boy oh boy did we click and after a couple of months he asked me the same question as the other fella.
It was a bit like this.
I guess I thought that I had reached a stage in life where it might actually be quite nice to have a proper boyfriend, and I hadn't exactly forgotten about the Navy fella but he wasn't around and out of sight out of mind. So this night I went to the club night to meet up with the sperm donor-to-be, and I was sat there with my friends waiting for him to arrive and watching the door.
He walked in. Followed by the Navy fella.
I had the length of time it took them to walk to where I was sitting to make a choice.
The rest, as they say, is history.
I don't regret anything, and as an indirect result of that choice I have Son, but sometimes I do wonder. . .
For the longest time I had thought my Dad was my Mums first love. Well her only love, she was from an era where people got married young and saved themselves until they did. My parents split up when I was about 14, not that that was any kind of a shock, they must of been happy at first but all I ever remember them doing was either arguing or ignoring each other.
But my Mum considered her broken marriage to be a source of shame and didn't really have anyone to talk to about it apart from me. We kind of got into the pattern of me coming in from seeing my friends, her making us a cup of tea, and then moaning about my Dad. I didn't really want to hear it. I loved my Dad even if she didn't, in fact if I'd been given the choice I would've lived with him but in those days that just didn't happen.
Sometimes I'd come in and say I was tired even if I wasn't just so I could go straight to bed.
Then one night I came in and someone, I don't remember who, but most likely one of the neighbours as she really didn't have any other friends, had called round and Mum had drunk a couple of glasses of wine.
There are a few traits I've inherited from my Mum.
One of them being a very low tolerance for alcohol.
So by the time I arrived home that particular night she was more then a little tipsy, and in a better mood then usual, so I sat down for a chat. And she told me a story that I only ever heard that one time.
A couple of years before she met my Dad she had met a Dutch sailor who was based here for a while and they had fallen in love. But the Dutchman had told her that although he wanted to marry her he wanted to make something of himself first and so he was going back to Holland. He had promised her he would be back and asked her to wait for him.
In those days very few people had telephones and I guess international mail was probably slow and unreliable, either way she did not hear from him.
By the time my Dad came along she had given up on the Dutchman, she was 19 and still single in an era when most women were married with a couple of children by that age, and worried about being "left on the shelf". She married my Dad within three months of starting to date him.
Whilst she was on her honeymoon the Dutchman turned up at my Nans house looking for her.
And I bet there were times when she wondered just like I do. . .
Amongst the stuff we found after she died and we sorted out her house was a pile of very old pictures. Last week I got them out to look through as I bought some new picture frames and wanted to make some collages.
I had forgotten about the story of the Dutchman but then I found this, a little postcard addressed to Mum in her maiden name and sent to my Nans house.
I guess I finally met the Dutchman who in another life might've been my Dad.
I also found me, as a baby. Proof that I was cute once.
And this is my Mum. Not sure how old she is here but I'm guessing early twenties.
You can see where I get my beauty from.
Strange that we have that little bit of a mirror in the
history of our lives.