My heart is broken. I am trying to find each piece and paste them back together but it's not finished just yet. So here's the story of my first love and my first broken heart....
I was thirteen years old when I noticed The Keyholder. He was friends of my friend Tom, but we’d never spoken really. I was too tall for a girl, I was less than an A cup and I wore my hair like heavy curtains down either side of my face blocking the world from seeing plain and awful looking me. It worked most of the time, but Keyholder saw me. He was taller than me; that was amazing. He had blue eyes, with hints of darker blue around the edges. His mouth was my favourite thing though. It was a fluke we were even in the same class, after school meeting for some geography project. I can’t even remember the class now, I just remember that mouth smiling at me, teasing me, paying me attention I hated and relished at the same time.
It was a few weeks of MSN and shy glances across the playground and then he was mine. My first boyfriend, a real boyfriend! My friends were as gleeful about it as I was; The first boy to hold my hand, my first kiss in a dimly lit dining room, a secure arm around my waist in the cinema. I was a little overwhelmed.
Thirteen is very young, we were still children growing up together, experiencing everything together. Struggling through puberty felt easy when you’re holding hands through it all with someone as gentlemanly and kind as the Keyholder. It was a year before I fell in love with him, utterly and completely. I was smitten to begin with but the Alice in wonderland fall down the rabbit hole of first love was much more serious. I don’t think anyone truly believed that it was love, but it was.
Opposites attract: Keyholder was physical, I was academic, he was confident and easy going, I was tense and shy. Different music, different looks on life, different wants and needs. I knew that at times we clashed but when we were good we were very good. The best of friends. He made me laugh so much. I never really got over that feeling of being “His Girl”. He’d walk into a room and seek me out and I kept thinking “He’s with me. He picked me.” Our relationship wasn’t perfect and we argued, not a lot at first but eventually I suppose the differences didn't go away, they grew. We were together for four years when Keyholder said he wanted to break up. I was devastated, I broke down and begged him not to leave me, and that was very low of me. But a week and three days later he came back. I wouldn’t have turned him away, not then. He was sorry and he realised how we were meant to be together because he missed me too much.
Growing up together means that so many things happen that pull you together. Keyholder’s parents divorced and he had to move further away but we managed, we finished school, went to college together. I went to University, Keyholder didn’t. Keyholder’s Granddad died and I held him while he crumbled up and cried. Making friends, losing friends, first jobs, Keyholder passing his driving test. I never talked about it but deep down I saw a vision of us buying a house together one day, Keyholder at my side when we had our first baby, holidays and choosing a dog together. Sometimes Keyholder would talk about it, little hints or full blown conversations, he even spoke about the two of us leaving my parents house soon if we could afford it. It was three months before our 6 year anniversary when quite suddenly everything changed. I didn’t see it coming and that bothers me. One night we’re sweet on each other, and then over night everything crumbled. To be poetic I could say my heart literally shattered and drowned in itself, it’s the closest to suffocating I’ve ever felt. Keyholder wanted to split up, this time there would be no going back.
I listened to his speech, about not fitting, having nothing in common, we held each other back from the things we wanted to do. It went on. I was stronger than last time, I cried but I didn’t beg. I let him leave. Even as I write this it hurts, I remember thinking that I would never take him back. I didn’t want to be with someone who after six years wasn’t sure they loved me enough to fight for us, I wanted to be somebody’s first choice not their back up. God it hurt like hell. I was nineteen years old and suddenly single but I felt thirty, divorced and alone. Feeling worthless is a terrible thing, because it doesn’t matter what anyone says, it doesn’t matter if it was for the best, the truth is I wasn’t good enough for him to keep me, Keyholder had made me feel special and in a couple of hours I was nothing.
One of the worst things about this is that Keyholder was truly my childhood best friend. He was my first everything, almost. Shameful really, but even after six years, we never did get around to having sex. I hated that. It was all my fault and I felt like...I had a problem. Did I have a problem, because I didn't want to sleep together? The most natural thing for a couple to do. I hated the idea of not losing our virginity together. I had always thought we would...just not yet, not yet, not yet. Why was I so against it? I suppose I knew inside this wasn't right. He was my best friend, I didn't want to do that with my best friend. He seemed to regret it too but I guess it didn’t happen all those years because it wasn’t meant to. That thought makes me feel slightly better anyway.
Waiting is another awful thing. Waiting for a phone call that doesn’t come, waiting for his smile, for his arm around me in the night, waiting for the door to bang as he comes home, just waiting for him to come and sit by me or wave or do something to let the room know I’m his. I missed the Keyholder like a bird would miss its wings. So that was my first love and my first broken heart.