On Saturday night, I went to my sister’s best friend’s to have a few drinks and a catch up. Long story, but the other party goers dropped out for one reason or another.
She’s recently redesigned her garden and made a lovely fairy-light covered seating area and so we sat out there for most of the night, wrapping a blanket around us as we got cold and sipping rhubarb gin and lemonade.
Naturally, as the drinks flowed so did the stories.
We are both in similar circumstances: working, single mothers. She’s younger than me, but we are in the same decade. Just. 😁
As you would expect then, conversation led to men. We want one but we don’t. We want the companionship and the intimacy and the fun but not the negative baggage that goes with. We shared our hang ups, stemming from low self esteem.
I updated her on Lost Soul, she told me about her current seemingly Lost Soul clone. Strangely enough, he turns out to be someone who I went to high school with.
This led me to tell the tale of the boy who I fell in love with, head over heels, for the last two years of secondary school. I was obsessed. Love struck. Off my food… A friend had given me a picture of him which I had framed and put beside my bed. It went everywhere with me: I even took it to France when I went on my foreign exchange trip.
He was never my boyfriend though. We never kissed. Oh, he knew I liked him. He was exuberant and confident whilst I was shy and embarrassed. He’d put his arm around me and say hello and I’d go pink. I didn’t care though, those moments were the stuff of hours of replay as I lay in bed or daydreaming, and were recounted in fine detail in my journal.
He was never unpleasant to me, in fact was probably quite sweet about it, but he wasn’t interested. Even when I made him homemade toffee. My flirtation skills were not the best. 😁
Even if they were, he wouldn’t have wanted me. He was tall with dark brown/black hair, blue sparkling eyes and a perfect smile of white teeth with two little dimples. He was funny and confident and charismatic and charming. I was chubby and shy and socially awkward. And definitely not popular. I was a ‘nice’ girl. No one wants to be the ‘nice’ girl in school.
Move on in time and we are both in college. Only now I have a boyfriend, five years my senior. And he is handsome and charming. Well, he was at first – but that’s a different story. And so, without the pressure of wanting more, my teen crush and I became friends.
By the time we graduated, my boyfriend had shown his true colours and had dumped me, two weeks before the graduation ball. I enjoyed myself the best I could; danced, laughed and signed leaver’s books.
During the night, teen crush came up to me and asked if I had read what he had written. I had and was confused by it. He just smiled and walked away.
When I had first read it, I’d thought he had just phrased it wrong due to the fact he’d been drinking.
“To my first love..” Was I the first person to love him? How did he know that as I had never confessed my feelings although he was well aware of my attraction to him. It couldn’t mean…? No, I’d decided there and then. He’d never shown any interest in me other than friendship. Clearly it was a case of drunken poor expression.
But – and I hope you can see this – his coming back to me to question it made me think. For a moment, anyway. My low esteem dismissed it but parked it in my memory for safe keeping. (I spent the night drunk and crying over my absent ex.)
In the summer as I drove into the supermarket with my mum, I spotted teen crush walking and asked my mum to pull over. We chatted animatedly until I broke the news that I was back with my boyfriend. His face dropped, his tone changed and the conversation ended quickly.
Again for a fleeting moment a thought crossed my mind, fuelled by memory… But I brushed it off. In likelyhood, he was aware of how badly my boyfriend had treated me and was disappointed that I’d fallen for it again. Yes, that was it. But as everything was different now, it was no matter. My boyfriend and I were happy.
I married, had children, and once bumped into teen crush although now we were in our twenties. He had a trolley and a toddler. I had two children and a husband back home.
His greeting wasn’t as enthusiastic or as warm as mine and I was surprised but, hey, people change. We exchanged brief updates on our lives. He told me that had just come back from Australia but was planning to return. And that was that.
Skip to Saturday.
After telling my tale, my friend suggested I connect on Facebook with him, see what he’s up to.
No one knows I’m back on Facebook though. I actually hate it as a social medium in some ways, many that I’ve described on here. But recently, I’ve been ‘imaginative ‘ with my name – -middle name and maiden name–and haven’t added anyone I actually know. Instead I’ve joined groups of things I’m interested in. I’m happy with that for now.
However, she had piqued my curiousity. So I looked him up.
Imagine… Thunder bolts. Heart ache. Butterflies. And regret and jealousy and tears. Utterly ridiculous, but let me explain why.
I found him quickly enough. He actually still loves in the neighbouring town. He’s recently married, has two young children (don’t know what happened/who the other one was) and is GORGEOUS. As in PERFECT. As in, everything I think I want, from the quirky wedding outfit he wore, to the happy family photos he was part of.
Let me make this clear, I was incredulous about my own reaction to this. I looked him up to be nosy, thinking he was in Australia with his wife and child/ren. It was gutteral, involuntary and overwhelming.
You seex part of my problem is I have ‘a type’. A certain look that I always go for: he is it. Exactly.
Once I’d calmed, wiped the tears, remonstrated myself for my ridiculous reaction… I tried to work out WHY I had reacted in such a way.
Here’s my theory.
I think, because of the strength and longevity of my teen crush, my love for him… A part of that has carried with me through adulthood. I think that every clush on a clone has been a way of fulfilling that painful teen journey of unrequited love.
Of course, even if he was single now, it highly likely that he would not be interested. His personal trainer-black haired-blue eyed-tattooed-godbod would not be interested in me. He wasn’t 23 years ago.
Lost Soul is of the same aesthetic ilk as teen crush. Is that why I was obsessed when he treated me so badly? Why I kept pursuing the unobtainable?
It sounds ridiculous, right? But all I can say is it has taken me a week to write this post.
I need some therapy.