Monday, 14 December 2009
The One That Got Away (TOTGA)
So, I can't be the only one who as they get a bit older and spend more Saturday nights in front of Strictly and Casualty who has got to thinking about their past loves and even looked them up on facebook (or as a friend of mine called if flirtbook). I am guilty of this. Just poking around connecting with old friends and old flings, harmless saying hello. But there is one, the special one, The One That Got Away - now known as TOTGA.
I was 17 when I met TOTGA, it was all consuming I fell in love hard and fast and so did he. He was at least 7 years older than me, had his own house, company, grown up car and dogs. And I loved him - he was my first true love. We couldn't get enough of each other, wanting to spend all our time together - just us. It wasn't about sex, yes there was intimacy but it was more - I can still remember how I felt now.
And then....and then, well and then he told me he loved me (which was fine I could have danced a naked jig through the market square) but then he told me he wanted to marry me. I was 17 - yes I loved him, yes my parents liked him, he was pretty perfect. But. I was 17. I was young and still at school and had a whole world out there to explore and discover. Yes I had never been happier or felt safer. But I was 17.
So I ran, I was so scared and frightened of the depth of feeling that I had for him that I ran, I broke it off and cried for weeks, time passed and we moved on. I had a few boyfriends from school and he went out with the pretty red haired girl that worked in Next. He was very grown up about it all - very civil and polite to me even though I knew it hurt him as much as it hurt me.
I moved to London, found some more independence and had a few more short term flings (ah City of London Police you served me well - but that's a whole other confession) but it wasn't TOTGA. We bumped into each other once or twice, once in Palms restaurant in Covent Garden (this was 1991 remember it was cool then (honest)) I was with my Mum, he was so very very lovely and it was so good to see him. We even went for a drink once - it was just before he was due to get married - was it to the pretty red haired girl, I can't be sure. It was clear we still loved each other very much but also that it was time for him to get on with his life and that he wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't hold out hope for me - there was hope, he told me himself that he had hope. But hey I was coming up to 20 - the world was my oyster; there were more parties to attend, more clubs to dance in - at 27 he was looking for a different life. A safe, whole, complete life. I was 20. I was full of possibility.
I moved to Yorkshire and met and fell for the lovely Jonathan - we had a few good years. I moved back to London and was swept off my feet by Ian - 5 years one engagement, two dogs and a beautiful house later we parted as friends, both relieved that one of us had finally be brave enough to leave.
And then I met The Boy - more than 10 years ago now, and am happy, love my husband and like my life.
So a year or so ago now, on one of those Saturday nights after a good few glasses of dry white I went searching for TOTGA and found him. I found him on facebook and we started to chat. He was divorced now, still living in the lovely market town he was in when we were together. 2 kids with his ex (who had cheated on him) and a new partner. Still running his family business but with one or two other things on the go. We swapped numbers and spoke on the phone - he made my heart race. He told me I broke his heart - I told him I was scared and young. The conversations were intense - full of the feelings of the past and the emotion came back strongly - he had always been my One That Got Away and now he was here at the end of the phone. We spoke easily and freely - conversation came naturally and the connection was there.
Eventually, we arranged to meet - lunch in London. I was down visiting the girls and arranged to meet him the next day. We talked about what if we didn't like each other - but what if we did......we agreed that what would be would be and we would meet. I told The Boy that I had made contact with an old friend and that I was going to try to meet him for lunch - no lies were told, but no more was shared.
The night before we met I got a text message saying he couldn't make it - a fracking text message. So why - did he chicken out, was there fear or what might happen or fear that it would ruin the wonderful memories. What if we didn't live up to each others expectations.
I was very upset that we weren't going to meet - was he getting even for my running all those years ago.
Time passed, we didn't speak after that - he thought I was upset with him; I suppose I was but I also found out I was pregnant and then had a miscarriage. One day I sent him a text saying hello - it may have been his birthday and we spoke briefly. His partner has since had their baby and they have got married - I have seen some photo's on facebook and they look very happy - a great family.
Was my fantasy that we would meet, fall in love again and then what....I break both of our hearts again because I am married to a man I want to grow old with? It was probably for the best.
I still think of TOTGA, and I still love him. He helped to make me who I am and I'm grateful for that. I don't know if he reads my blog - or if he even sees anything about my life on facebook - he hasn't unfriended me so I haven't been dumped.
If you do read this TOTGA - I am so sorry that I broke your heart, but we both did okay didn't we? You will always be my first true love and The One That Got Away. xxx
Some important thoughts: I feel the need to caveat this post - I love The Boy, he's my husband and I have no sense of any future without him in it. It's me and him, him and me - that's how it is and how it always will be.