When I was 15 I used to hang around street corners with a group of friends (it was what we did in the 70's) we lived on a council estate and didn't have the resources many of today's teenagers have. One night we happened to walk past the garages where one of my friends brothers hung out. Actually we used to deliberately walk past there to sneak a look at the lads. This particular night I noticed a tall, blonde lad (not unlike Stewart Copeland from The Police ), we stopped and found an excuse to talk to them, I don't remember how, but The Stewart Copeland one and I got talking and that was the beginning.
Until meeting him I had "boyfriends" but he was my first love. We dated for two years, went everywhere together, made lifelong memories in those two short years. I always thought of him in years to come whenever I heard Bob Marley or Bat out of hell by Meatloaf ! Then one day I looked at my life and saw it for what it might become, marriage (maybe) babies (certainly) the same old grind as my mum, never going anywhere, staying in the same town, with the same people, living a small life. I got scared, it wasn't what I wanted. I loved him but I wanted more, I wanted a life. I made a impulsive decision to join the Army ! At the time I was at college on a pre-nursing course and the Army careers visited us, painting this great picture of life in the army, travel, money and qualifications. I was hooked. Six weeks later at just 17 I was in the Army ! My boyfriend didn't know what had hit him.
I had a wonderful life, I truly did, with very few regrets. Ten years in the Army visiting amazing places, having wonderful and scary experiences. When I left the army I went on to have more amazing times and relationships and can say that there have been very few regrets. Always when the family got together and talked about old times, we would talk about my first love. Laughing and fondly remembering.
Life moves at a fast pace, before I knew it I was nearly 40 ! I had my gorgeous No1 son from a brief relationship that was doomed from the start. Life was good. I had a great well paid job, my own home, no1 son was in a private school but I had been alone for over 5 years. I wanted to meet someone special, someone to make our life complete.
We decided to have a party for my 40th Birthday and my mum thought it would be a good idea to contact my school friends through Friends Reunited. It was wonderful getting back in touch with people from my school days but one call I will always remember as if it was yesterday. My mum rang me to say that she had received an email from an old boyfriend of mine (ohh that narrows it down a bit) When she told me who it was (my first love) my heart skipped a beat. No way, he will be married with ten kids, but wouldn't it be great to just talk to him again !
He wasn't married, he didn't have Ten kids, he was recently out of a long term relationship, he had a good job, his own home. OK he must be a serial killer right ? It was over 23 years since we had last seen each other. I was now starting to feel just a tiny bit sick.
Many emails and a few phone calls later and we arranged to meet up. He was still living in Birmingham, me in Devon. He arrived one Friday night. Watching him walk towards the house it was like all the years fell away, the walk; a kind of lollop, his height and broad shoulders. OMG! I swear I am going to pass out when he gets to the door. What if he doesn't like me. I've changed a lot. I'm BLONDE now for god's sake ! We sat all night talking. I explained about how I felt and why I left. He spent many years thinking he had done something wrong, we laughed, cried a little. I left him on the sofa to try to get some sleep at 5am in the morning. I remember lying upstairs in my bed, in the room above him, unable to sleep. Alternating between "its him, its really him, downstairs, in my house" to "OMG what if he is a murderer ! I know nothing about him, what if he is going through all my things whilst I am up here" After a few sleepless hours I went downstairs but sadly the weekend turned into a disaster. He ran away back to Birmingham on the Saturday. It was too much too soon for both of us. I was distraught, I knew it was too good to be true. Thank god, my son was away for the weekend and never met him. I cried, and cried and cried. I didn't understand what had happened. Slowly over time we started again, slowly this time, a few visits, lots of calls, lots of emails and then on the morning of my 40th Birthday he proposed to me.
My birthday bash turned into an engagement party. We married on July 5th 2003.