I’m sure everyone has a bit of a ‘past’, right? I’m no exception and this tale of woe is one which has stayed with me, but I don’t let it hold me back.
When we fall in love for the first time, I reckon most people are too young and ill-equipped to handle it. This was certainly the case for me when I met the guy I was *certain* was The One at the tender age of 17.
Ahhh 17. To be that cocky, arrogant kid again, who thought she had it made.
I was in with a good, lively crowd, and I’d done well in school but I hadn’t done much with it and halfway through college, was hanging out with friends one evening when we saw a bunch of kids off one of the rougher estates. They swaggered up to us and we all started merrily trading insults, as you do, but this one bloke, Zak, really caught my eye.
I made it my business to get to know him, in spite of the clear differences in our social standing, and in spite of a little ribbing from my friends, they soon accepted him and he left his friends behind to join us. Things went really well for about a year, and we were so close.
He had lots of money (I didn’t ask where from) and he was generous with it, which pleased me no end. He was generous in other ways too…
I was totally in love.
But things changed (as things do) and he started paying much less attention to me. It was almost imperceptible at first, after all, I was still pretty naive. We had words.
The words helped a lot.
And the making up.
But a pattern emerged and we seemed to keep going back over old ground, falling out and making up again.
I got fed up and started wondering if I should see other people. One of my guy friends (who truly was just a friend) had been a really good shoulder to cry on, had talked me out of just leaving Zak several times, and had been really sweet to me, taking me out shopping to cheer me up when I was down.
Then Zak somehow got hold of the wrong end of the stick and sat me down to tell me his achy-breaky heart story.
I mean, *really*?
I soon put him straight. There was NOTHING going on between Robert and I. Because there wasn’t. Not then, anyway, but after another month or so of Zak’s weird behaviour, temper tantrums and accusations of unfaithfulness, I thought I might as well at least do the deed I’d been accused of all along. Robert had been so supportive, and Zak had turned into a first-class asshole, no matter how much I loved him.
Of course Zak found out.
Don’t they always? I didn’t know that – at 17 I thought I was invincible.
And he went out of his way to humiliate me. His ghastly estate gang all started following me in their cars, shouting insults. My house was daubed with graffiti labelling me a slut and a liar. Our rubbish bins were emptied out onto our front lawn for weeks.
My parents even went to the police, it got so bad, but there was little which could be done without direct evidence. And we never caught them at it.
And then a song started around, played by his grimy mates, every time I came near. I don’t even know who wrote it, but they made it the hit of the summer. They even sent it off to a local radio station who loved it and began playing it! It was the most embarrassing time of my life and I just hid away at home and tried to ignore the shitstorm going on. I had no idea Zak was so vindictive, but I should have known – the estate kids are notorious for their low breeding.
The worst thing was, after I didn’t come out of the house for about a month, he started coming round. At first with his cronies to throw stones at the window and trash the garden, but after a while, by himself, calling up to me and saying he wanted to talk. He left me flowers and gifts and tried to win me back.
I know we’d been good together but he was SO not going to get my attention again – too much damage had been done. I went down one night and told him once and for all to get lost.
He went away and came back the next night.
But I was prepared. I’d already decided that I was sick of the way he’d used me, humiliated me and then tried to villify me. The week before he started trying to make amends, I’d found out from Robert who Zak had been cheating on me with – a grimy estate girl! That stung.
Fortunately, when you’re not from the estate, and your Daddy is rich enough, these things can be dealt with quite swiftly. Yes it stays with me, but as skeletons in the closet go, I don’t think it’ll be jumping out at me too soon.
Anyway, everyone knows that if you grow up in the estate, Sometimes Bad Things Happen.