He was my fi rst love. The guy I had not liked for a very long time and the one whom I had eventually fallen for, like Kat falls for Patrick in Ten Things I Hate About You. And at the tender age of 17, I was convinced he was the one. Two years into the relationship, he broke my heart. I love you, but this is not the right time. This is not farewell, just a goodbye I’ll come back for you one day, he said.

What did those words even mean at such a young age? Years passed, and I gained the courage to embark on new relationships but he never left my mind. I packed up my life a few times and moved fi rst to Paris, and two years later to South Africa. The idea of being reunited with that boy I had spent two years with in high school remained. Last year an invitation to his sister’s wedding in Italy came my way. I interpreted this event as a means to end my incessant thinking about the man of my dreams. I hadn’t seen him in more than four years: we were two completely diff erent people from the blushing and shy teenagers we once were.

It was only when I kissed him after the ceremony, too much Champagne and an animated (and angry) discussion about all the pain he had infl icted upon me that I realised that this man was not the boy I fell in love with, nor the man who I’d want next to me for the rest of my life. It was a kiss that tasted of nothing but indiff erence. No spark, no magic A kiss that freed me to love again.


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