It’s 2003. I’m now 14. My family and I are going to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks. Here’s where I’m at: I’m just after closing my Tom-boy phase. I’ve hit puberty, and have become more conscious of my looks and how I dress. I played around with wearing girly clothes but never really felt very comfortable. I don’t know if other ladies can empathise with this but I always felt as though I was copying others, be it celebrities or peers, but never really found my niche. After all, I did dress like a boy up until now. It took me another 9 years to be fully comfortable with my body and individual style. Again, a story for another day.
My older sister is the ‘hot one’ in my family. I will admit that. It was at this age that I began to notice it. Boys I tended to take a shining to, made a bee-line towards her. It didn’t help that there was only a year and 5 months between us.
Our first few days in Puerto Rico, my sister had a few young male followers. I was happy to just have others our age to play some sports with, and tried to keep the fact that I was being largely ignored while she was in the vicinity to the back of my mind. Then along came, I’ll call him…Luke.
Luke was 2 years older than me. We had so much in common. He took an interest in me. ‘He must like my sister’ I thought. But I continued to spend large amounts of time with him. On his second last night in Puerto Rico Luke called for me, and we went to kick a football by the pool. The ball landed in the middle of the pool, which signalled the end of that game. We sat on the wall. I don’t know if I imagined this, but I could have sworn we had ‘a moment’. He moved his head slightly forward towards mine, and I quickly turned the other way and commented on whether or not we could get the ball out of the water. Why did I do this? I don’t know! Confidence I guess. I thought he didn’t like me. I need to work on this. All women who feel like this do.
On his last day we exchanged addresses. We wrote to each other when we both got home. But that soon stopped and Luke became a distant memory.
Until 6 years later. I’m now 20.
I moved countries to attend university. After a particularly long night on the tiles, my friends and I were queuing for food in the only take-away that was open, when I turned around and I saw him. He looked like a man now. My heart took a jump. A gorgeous man. We made eye-contact. ‘Luke???’ I asked. He remembered me straight away and we embraced. What are the chances? We both moved to the same country and same city to attend university, albeit he was almost finished his degree. We exchanged numbers. I was genuinely so happy to see him.
‘My luck must be changing!’ I thought. I had a bad run up until now. The next day we arranged to meet for drinks over the phone. Friday was the chosen day. But we had yet to specify a location. I went out that night. It was a Tuesday. I drank too much, and I lost my phone. With it I lost his number. I never saw him again. The one who got away, due to my inability to hang onto my possessions after a few vodkas.
That was the end of that.