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Thursday, 18 October 2012

The One That Got Away?

Her name was Ali. She was 17 and I was 18. We met in what was then the Harrow & Barleycorn pub in Aylesbury, a regular haunt for me and the guys. She was beautiful. I mean just perfect. She is the only women that ever made my heart race from sheer physical attraction. To this day I cannot imagine what she saw in a gormless fool such as I. Actually that's a lie; she said it was my eyes. It usually was, back then. Even now, 23 years on I can recall some of the physical sensation of being infatuated by another person. No women has ever cast that kind of spell on me; perhaps it's a feeling reserved for first love? I can remember the long conversations, the walks, the getting drunk together and the sexual self discovery we made in each others arms. She was a live wire, a fiery character, whereas I was laid back in the way that only I can be. Classic case of opposites attract. I recall aching when not around her, counting the days between getting together, the phone calls and the teasing. Since those days I've become wary of beauty, because experience tells me it can come at the expense of personality. Back then I had no such reservations; she was fucking gorgeous and every opportunity I wanted to jump her bones. I was a teenage guy for goodness sake, and I had the keys to the sweet shop for the first time in my life. Forgive me for indulging, but that's what lads do . I think I've mentioned that I was overweight as a young teen, but lost the flab and discovered all of a sudden that women sometimes found me attractive. That was a rush, to be sure, and to be honest I don't think I've ever really got my head around it. I am, as any women close to me knows, completely oblivious to the fact that I might be appealing; I'm just one of life's social Labradors that gets along with people. It rarely occurs to me that I could be perceived in anything other than a platonic sense. Why am I writing about this? Well, I'm just reminiscing about first love and all that jazz, and I've been listening to music which sent me tripping down memory lane. I am of course happily married to an amazing lady, but that doesn't mean I can't revisit some formative periods in my life. Like everyone, a part of me would love to experience the loss of self that comes from falling head over heels; it's only ever happened once to me, a solitary reminder that I'm capable of feeling such a thing. I'm colder than most people think. I don't find expressing emotion that easy. The words I write are the best I can manage. Oh by the way, I also know that love is a choice rather than an emotion; something you build brick by brick, and its cemented by trust and shared experience. I'm not some giddy teenager pining for a past I can never recapture; I'm a man comfortable with the choices I've made and also the consequences. And this blog is just me framing my thoughts as best I can, as authentically as I can, without falsity and minus any rose tint. You might be wondering what happened to Ali? Well, the relationship went nuclear in true teenage style. A heated argument on a car journey, her alighting the vehicle and storming away, all rounded off by her screaming "Get out of my life." I did. It was agony for a long time. And I often wonder what became of her. I hope she found happiness. I hope she found peace. I know I have.

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