The first cut won't hurt at all,
the 2nd only makes you wonder
The 3rd will have you on your knees..
From a song back in the 80's whose name and title I've forgotten, but am hoping someone will remind me of.
The First Cut
Not that daft girly, cooey thing that comes with a crush; I mean the first time it smacks you in the chest and makes you feel alive. I was 18.
On the induction day of my Electronics apprenticeship back in 1989. Apart from the fact that I was one of only 3 lasses starting and there was a lot of Basildon (read Chav) blokes to get used to, I did notice someone noticing me. Not one of newbies, but someone showing us the ropes from the year above.
Throughout the next year, I kept noticing this person noticing me. I'd gained a reputation amongst the lads for being the only girl 'with balls', so was used to be noticing. But there's noticing and there's noticing.
So one day, full of teenage wisdom, I dragged a girly mate out for a ride. I'd done the whole Yellow Pages thing and was damn well determined to find out more. After all, word had got back that they'd been asking 'questions'.
The one thing that you'd not prepared for was that that person knew the sound of your car. One short ride up their street, and they foil you by sitting on their front wall.
Stunned and impressed.
The next 4 years taught me a lot, and Kev is still one of my closest friends even if we're not in touch as much. I loved him, and still do, as a big brother. We were close in lots of ways and shared many interests. Hell, we had the same size shoe. But it wasn't a passionate love, more one of best friends; the endearing, arguementative and lasting kind. He was methodical, a perfectionist craftsman, who these days is best know to most for his work on Chicken Run and other stuff with Ardman. A brilliant model-maker. And back then, I think I frightened him with my leftfield ways. Something, I hope, who's learned to respect me for in later years.
The 2nd Cut
Having had a mild emotional breakdown but not knowing at the time what is was called, having come of the AD's and for the first time realising that not only were you in a tunnel, but that you now see the end is insight, life is good. It's brilliant and glowing; and you've learnt so much about yourself that you feel you can survive anything. You've had your knocks, and you won't make the same mistakes again.
You fancy dating, after being single for an eon after a couple of 'really, let's not go' there kinda relationships.
No, no, no and no. You keep meeting people who so easily could have been one of the previous relationships you'd sooner forget. But it doesn't matter, because you can still dance to your favourite 'James' tunes in your living room, by yourself and drunk, and you can still smile and laugh.
You arrange to meet this guy at Charing Cross station at 3pm. Your Dad texts you to tell you that he's meeting one of his friends at Charing Cross station at 3pm, same day. Shit. Then your prospective 'date' calls to tell you he'll be late, and will arrive nearer 3.30pm. He's instantly forgiven and respected.
As the day goes on, and you talk and you learn, you like this person. He also wants to be out of the mainstream lifestyle, someone else with the same ethics and morals. You have a lot in common. Too much, really.
It was instant and passionate. Instinctive and natural.
It stayed at the same momentum for a couple of months, until signs started to show that something wasn't right. I knew in my heart that it wasn't 'Us' and that it was an outside factor, but my mind doubted. We'd fallen in love almost instantly but had not yet had the courage to share how we feel, so doubt naturally set in. And it was so incredibly painful. He was falling towards the blackhole of depression, and to save myself from the same fate, I had to let go and leave him to it. I tried, I fought, for a while. A long while. But it was his journey and he had to do it alone. It was too early for me to travel with him.
We remained in contact, of sorts. There'd never be a couple of months go by without some message of some kind. It would often end up with flirting. We did get it back together after a year or so, but the trust had gone. The messages continued, at a similar pace and of a similar nature for a couple of years. Occasionally we met. It felt like neither of us could let go, but it was never the same.
The 3rd Cut
The low moments have been to visit again.
Night becomes day and vice versa. I'd been using internet dating for a while on and off. And even though some small part of it felt bizzare, you couldn't help but be curious about the whole thing. It had, after all, found me Alex and put me in touch with fellow quirky souls. Besides, as well as playing the games of reading between the lines, some of the cringeful profiles bought endless amusement.
One photo flashes past the screen that brings instant yum factor. Black and white photo, piercing pale eyes and dreads. Ignore that? I don't think so. 'Press send now'.
Mr didn't respond to message for a couple of months... although I noticed this, it was cool. I was still recovering and didn't want any involvements at all. Hey, it was an opportunity not to be missed, I took it. No regrets there.
Anyhows. when Mr did start talking, all online and at a safe distance, we talked a lot. Silly chat, deep and meaningful chat, daft chat and future chat. It got to the stage after a few months of talking like this for at least 3 hours a day. Eventually I suggested a date of sorts, after all he only lived around the corner. We were both bloody petrified.
It was hell for the first week of dating, before we even kissed. We saw each other 5 days out the 7, yet I was still on the phone crying to my mates claiming he didn't like me....
Within a month, he had his own set of keys and was gradually moving in. He's still here now. He's the most amazing, wonderful mix of the perfectionist craftsman in Kev, the reliable, steadfast soul that will always be there, and of the passionate Alex, the soul who will whisk you off to your dreams in a converted house truck, never to pay council tax again. He's both and much, much more besides. And I feel incredibly lucky. You don't often meet people who truelly touch you. I don't need to tell you anymore about Tom, do I? He's my best friend and he understands and loves me. Someone who even has the trust of my mind, as well as my heart and soul. And he has the same shoe size. I love him.
Someone once relayed to me a few words of wisdom from their granny. The first love teaches you how to love. The second love teaches you how to love yourself. The third love teaches you how to love someone else, and that's the one that lasts, if you're lucky enough to get that far.