It's been a year since you last held me in your arms. I can remember the last day. Hell – I can remember the first day. Your arms – the safest and best place to be.
I don't remember the day I met you, but I remember the first day I noticed you. A school day, my first day with duties as a prefect I guess. I just couldn't believe you were at my school – couldn't believe you were that much younger than me. 18 months. All we did at first was talk. There didn't seem to be anything that we differed on. We had the same views on our families, our sisters, our sport, school, and teachers. Everything. We just sat there talking, after practice, and you had this small nervous habit where you would pick up a leaf and shred it until only its skeletal parts were left. I remember it being a beautiful autumn. It was just so good to talk to someone who understood me so well.
The first text you sent me was after I had an argument at home. You said – "You shouldn't listen to people that don't think with more than one personalities opinion." We had this thing where we had multiple personalities. We even named them all. It was our thing. Like our way of writing each others names backwards.
Do you remember the first time I kissed you? We hugged and as we went to pull away, I couldn't help myself. I planted a kiss on your left cheek. You looked so shocked. You'd never had a girlfriend, and here was me. Being forward. The next day we shared a proper kiss. You were so scared. I told you to close your eyes and to trust me. You were so scared, and I guess although I didn't see it at the time, you were so young.
Things went wrong. You were already in love with someone else. So was I if I'm honest. But I left him behind, because he could never be like you. You filled in the gaps where he wasn't perfect. I filled in the gaps where she wasn't. But it was never going to be enough. I knew you loved her. And knew she loved you in her own way. That's why I made all those jokes. "My bitch and my lesbian are having an affair". I said it so many times, to so many people that apparently knew the truth, yet not one of them decided to say "Hey – not meaning to be funny – but open your eyes a little more, and you've got it."
When it all came out in the open I thought that was it. I hadn't meant to get serious about you after all. 18 months is a big gap at our age. A three month relationship – yeah I could have let it go. You should have let me let it go. But you said you wanted me. You said that you'd do anything, go by all my rules about you two being alone. Stick with me through all my digs at you whenever people mentioned her.
Neither of us should ever have let it get far enough to have sex. And it was never going to be perfect. It was strange, a month or so after all the crap. But it was the right thing to do at the time. I guess I kind of regret it. You were only a child, and I shouldn't have had sex with you when you were so naive. We had sex a few more times, but about a month afterwards I got the biggest shock of my life. You decided to finish it.
It wasn't that that shocked, I could sense that something wasn't right. It was me being so serious with university stuff, but I knew that it was going downhill. Too scary for you. But it was my reaction to being split from you that shocked me. I spent a day crying on the floor of the girls' bathroom at school. One of my English classes had to bring me my books, because I couldn't stay in the lesson. I just couldn't face it. A whole day knowing you were never going to be by my side. I had to watch you – I had duties again that day. Seeing you, you didn't seem to even notice that I was there. You seemed fine, like there was nothing different. It was different for me. The whole world was different. I knew right at that point that I was in love with you.
I was in a drama rehearsal, practicing the kiss scene with XXXXX, when I got your text. You wanted me back – you'd made a horrible mistake. That's when I made a horrible mistake. I should have taken more time to think about it. But my heart was in shreds from not being yours for one day, so I just listened to my heart, rather than using my head. Should have used my head.
At the party I thought it was over again. I told you that "Even if I never get to be with anyone else, I'm happy, because I've been with you". If ever there was a scary sentence at our age that was it. But either you put it down to me being drunk or you just laughed it off. Either way it felt like you were growing up, like I was, accepting the fact that we were actually serious.
Then came my birthday. I knew you and her still talked, and I invited her even though it was probably a dumb thing to do. She got drunk and was hitting on you all evening. I got upset and even though I had a ton of guests downstairs, you and I lay on my bedroom floor, just snuggled there, without a care. We didn't even have to talk, we just lay there. If I could go back to any point it would be that point.
She text you on the evening of my birthday, telling you she needed to see you, to talk to you. So I went to her the next day and told her that I would actually hurt her if she text you, called you or tried to contact you again. It was my stupid paranoia but I hated the fact that she made me feel like I couldn't trust you.
Then came summer, and I did something stupid. While on holiday I met someone. I never told you this because it didn't matter. Nothing happened between us, mainly because he was one of the people who worked there, and they had strict rules about customer relations. But even so, nothing would have happened. I wrote you so many text messages, but didn't have the credit to send them – so instead I saved them, with the intention of showing them to you when I got back.
When I got back things were different. You'd get frustrated with me over little things. And my paranoia got so much worse. Then I guess the day when I realized you no longer loved me. I'd been at a university day on the Saturday. I called you on my way home, as I'd just brought you an album that I knew you'd love for our year anniversary. I called you, and your dad told me you were out for a walk. I was so paranoid. She lives within walking distance of your house. I was so upset when I finally got hold of you, but I held myself together. You wouldn't do that to me again, I told myself.
A few weeks later, and she text you. You showed me the text, and I was furious. I was about to go and tell her to leave you alone, to back off, when I noticed that there was another message from her. It was dated on the Saturday that I'd called and you'd been out for a walk. She'd asked to meet you at the end of your road at 8. That's about the time I called you. And I'd even asked if you'd been out to see her, and you'd lied to me. And I had no idea about what else you'd lied to me about. And it hurt me like crazy. I almost chucked you. I had to tell you to fight back, to want me.
It was a disaster really. The next few weeks everything seemed to be drawing to a close. I was a mess anyways; I was under so much stress and everything. All of my friends had their own problems and lives that they were all so wrapped up in. And then came that week.
You had work experience followed by half term. I asked if I could call you. Not in the evenings – you'd be too tired apparently. Well then, could I come see you at the weekend? No – you had sport. Well I'll come to watch. No, you didn't like the pressure of people watching. My family were going to a theme park – wanna come? Don't like rollercoasters. We won't go on any. Then there's no point. Did you wanna go to the cinema then? No, not really. Fine, but I'm coming to see you during half term whether you like it or not.
I was so lonely, and just needed you so badly. You refused to be there for me. No one was there for me. And then the guy that I used to be in love with called me. Asked if I wanted to go to his and see a DVD. I needed to have someone show they cared. At that point only he did. And I slept with him. I stupidly foolishly slept with him. I called him by your name. I kicked him off me, and he kicked me out. I called you, trying to tell you. You didn't care in the slightest even why I was crying. I went home and had a bath. I washed so hard and for so long, I was sobbing.
That Friday you sent me an email. Apologizing for not being there, telling me how much you loved me, how wonderful you thought I was, how luck you were to have me. I've still got it. I went to yours on the Wednesday. We didn't have sex; I couldn't, not knowing that me and him had been together. I hated myself. We just lay on your bed, and I felt so safe, and so at home. That was the last moment in your arms. Then the evening, we spoke on the phone. I wanted to go out at some point, a meal or something, a real date – we'd never really been on one of those. You just couldn't do it.
I guess I exploded. "If you want to keep me you're going to have to put more effort in. I can't do all the running. If you don't try and show some effort, you're going to lose me."
"I want to go on a break"
I broke down, telling you I didn't mean it; we didn't have to do anything. But I knew it was over. The next day I saw you at a training session. It was so hard. Our coach knew we were on a break. And then one of the other guys said 'trouble in paradise' to me. You didn't see it, but I had to be physically restrained from hitting him.
The next day I sat at home, and couldn't do anything. I just wanted to curl up and die. It didn't seem like anything mattered. And then it hit me. You had never once done anything for me. What had I honestly got out of the relationship? I'd put up with the teasing for dating someone younger than me, I'd put up with the paranoia and probably a lot more lies than I realized. I put up with never going anywhere on a date with you. Girls my age want to be spoilt. In our whole year together, you brought me a pack of sweets, and two teddy bears for my birthday that your mother had chosen.
It took me ages to work out what to say. I saw you on the Saturday afternoon. "I love you, but you're not what I need." It was harder than anything else I've ever had to do. Let you go. My heart was screaming at me. I asked you for one last kiss. You obliged. You thanked me for making life easy. I didn't really have a choice. If I hadn't finished it, you would have. And I walked away from you.
It took me eight months to get to the point where if you asked for me back I wouldn't take you. Eight months. I was 18 before I got over you. And you were 14 when I fell in love with you. I haven't spoken to you properly since we split up. I've not once felt whole since. And it'll be a year next Thursday since you told me you wanted to go on a break. I secretly celebrated what would have been our two year anniversary. I was in your home town, and thought I saw you walking arm in arm with another girl, but it wasn't you. If it was it probably would have killed me. But I did something else. I went and saw **** – the guy I've always been in love with. We talked for ages, because he went traveling a week later. And I won't see him until July. It's so sad to think that I was in love with him before you, for a while during the time I was with you, and kind of still am now after you. It's like you didn't exist. That's how you wanted it to be once it was over. It was like we hadn't existed. Like a whole year of my life had been taken and vanished so that only I could remember it.
You'll always be my first love, and a part of me will never ever get over you. But now I'm off to print a copy of that last email, to burn. Unfortunately the teddy bears are too cute, and there's nothing else substantial I can ritually burn, but I'll live. I've got to, no matter how hard this last year has been.
I love you; you'll always be my baby.