Wednesday, January 25, 2006


This is a true story which deveoped over Christmas.

I have subscribed to Friends' Reunited for several years and have re-established contact with a number of old school friends, including my erstwhile best friend.

A few weeks back I got an e-mail from the woman who was my first ever date. At the time the assignation was a disaster. I thought she didn't like me, I was tongue-tied and acted like a prat. We never went out together, or even spoke to each other, again. The subsequent bout of unrequited love on my part lasted several years and I never really got over her until after I went up to university.

I have to confess that when I heard from her again, after an absence of over thirty years, my pulse started racing. I was overcome by all the old emotions. For a while I felt young again.

As we exchanged e-mails - and it turned out she has had a particularly hard life where men are concerned - it gradually dawned on us that she had felt the same dismay on that first date. She was convinced that I hadn't liked her. Subsequently she avoided me out of embarrassment.

This discovery of our mutual misunderstanding was pretty unsettling as you can imagine and precipitated a roller-coaster of emotions.

Emotions which I felt were rapidly getting out of hand. So much so that I was quite frightened by what was happening. Just before Christmas I stopped responding to the woman's e-mails. By then it was apparent to me that she was communicating with someone who no longer existed, the young me, which despite my protestations remained a figment of her imagination. Which is in fact what I always was to her.

They say the past is another country. It is. It's also a pretty dangerous place, full of ghosts, not to be entered lightly.

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