I had a horrible dream about my first love the other night. It was awful. He died and I went to his funeral, and everyone at the funeral said how awful I was to him and would not let me in the doors. It was so vivid and real.
In this dream of mine I sat outside the church and cried and howled. I think I was still howling when I woke up.
I woke up very upset thinking that something might be very wrong with him, that he might have a terminal illness or had been hit by a car. I wanted to text immediately to see if he was okay. After a chat with the Husband and my high school bestie, who is aware of my turbulent past relationship, we decided the idea to text to see if he was alive was definitely psychotic, seeing I have not seen or spoken to him in almost five years.
So, instead of texting I had a face stalk, a business website stalk and confirmed that a friend had seen him in a pub. Ah the benefits of the internet. In the olden days, you’d have to send a letter.
He was alive and well. No further stalking required.
How is it that a dream about somebody that you have not seen or spoken to for years can throw you into a sudden spin?
My wise sister said she too dreams about her first love now and then, and felt bad for it, and is glad she is not alone in this phenomena.
My first love and I had an on and off again relationship. It started when I was 16, and I think I only really let go of it all in my mind when I met my husband. We were on, we were off. We were friends. Then friends with benefits. The line became very blurry. He was the person I ran straight back to in between boyfriends, the go to guy I told all my problems to. Even when I moved to London, half way across the world with someone else, I dreamed about him every night for six months. I had this half cooked fantasy that he would fly across the world, and profess us undying love for me, like in a Justin Timberlake movie. It didn’t happen.
Then I met my husband, and all became clear. I knew immediately he was ‘the one’. Love felt pretty simple for the first time in my life. Love meant action. Love was not confusing. Love meant being fulfilled, not feeling full of hope for what might become. Even from the other side of the world with me in London and the Husband in Sydney I felt loved, supported and connected to someone in a way that I never had before.
Intense thoughts about my first love stopped, but I did hope that one day we could be friends after 10 years of ups and down.
It was clear from the first few attempts at friendship that my first love and I didn’t know how to be in each other’s lives anymore without either sleeping together or screaming at each other. We were once the bestest of friends who could tell each other anything, but by now too much shit had gone down between us. It was too hard and we did not know where we would fit in now. It was too hard to navigate and I just couldn’t be friends with my first love anymore when my Husband entered my life.
That space that I had always reserved partly for him was now full.
To my first love if you ever read this, thank you for all the things you taught me. All the material for the diaries I filled up writing about you and wishing about you. All the lessons I learnt about not keeping my mouth shut and waiting. I laughed so much the other week as I was going through old things and found the Valentines card you gave me when I was 17. It had a picture of a dog sniffing another dog’s bum. At the time, I thought it was the most romantic thing on earth.
I hope that you are happy now and that the space you had always reserved for me is now full with love for someone else.
I hope that your experience of love is now simple and clear. And not fucked up and confusing and weird.
And I hope that maybe, if I run into you on the street in a few years time, we can smile at each other, have a drink and be thankful for what was there, not what we lost.