When I was sixteen, I was hopelessly in love with this guy from a neighbouring high school. To be quite honest, I don’t even remember how we first met, but I do remember that the moment we laid eyes on one another, sparks began to fly.
We met, in the typical high school sense, at a function affectionately called ‘funkie’. At that age, guys took pleasure in showing off their vast knowledge in vulgar words, and hitting on a girl was an opportunity to showcase this. I was accustomed to turning most of them on their heels because the few that dared to approach me were attracted to the rank I held at my school, and having an opportunity to whisper these profanities in my ear and watch me giggle like a silly little girl would be a conquest far more satisfying than when the Greeks conquered the city of Troy.
When Kevin approached me, I expected nothing less. I knew he would be the usual cliché high school student out on a mission. But he was different, and this threw me off. From the way he watched me, looked at me, and paid close attention to what I was saying to the way he reveled in my storytelling, I knew he was different. At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I loved that he was all about me. What really did it for me, however, was that he was smart. He was a reader. The way he spoke about this book title or that one, or even how he could compare an author’s literary works, was simply fascinating! How exactly was someone so young capable of such knowledge? How could he write the most beautiful of letters with words so delicately chosen? He had won my heart, and ours was a story that could only be found in books. I compared it to Romeo and Juliet, to Bonnie and Clyde, although I must admit that now it is most compatible with that of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Or dare I collate it with the beautiful tale of Heathcliff and Catherine?
In any case, I was certain that a love like that would endure, and in a sense, it did. Since my history with Kevin is what makes me a hopeless romantic in the first place, I spent a lot of time after that seeking out what he and I shared with other potential partners. I weighed and measured each person to check if they were comparable to Kevin and me. However, history can confirm that the person I’m looking for doesn’t exist. Possibly, with the exception of the chapters of a love story.
Over time, I have created a fictional individual in my mind who reminds me of Kevin and is even better. To be completely candid, it is likely that Kevin himself may no longer fit the persona I have created.
It is said that whatever you have is yours as long as you have the power to hold on to it. Had I known this, I would have done everything in my power to hold on to him and to make sure that we did not end up in ruins. It wouldn’t have been the right decision, but I know that I would have tried because that is what I constantly do. Let me put this into perspective.
A year after becoming a mother, I went back to the dating scene. When my mother found out, she was disappointed, to say the least. She sat me down, gave me ‘the talk’, and asked that I use my head at all times, as opposed to my heart. Looking back, this was great advice, and I should have listened, because things between this one and me went straight to hell. A year later, I am still trying to unpack how messy the relationship was. Out of all the boyfriends or suitors that there have been since Kevin, there is no shortage of heartbreak and one hell of a story to follow suit.
Now, I know what you are thinking. I am the unluckiest being in the love department, or Cupid must have shot me in the leg as opposed to the heart. It is easy to believe that the ability to love is finite, especially when your heart is broken. But time is a master healer, and for the most part, it is doing what it should. I have an endless list of musicians who have sung those sappy romantic songs that I like, and I will keep listening, even after I have found Mr. Darcy.