It is often said that there’s no love like the First Real Love. The rollercoaster ride that comes with your first love peaks at a lofty height and even draws you towards dangerous waters. Although it’s all picket fences and roses at first, there comes a time when the thin line between love and hate becomes a hazardous strand which ultimately leads to the inevitable falling out of favour with the one person you never imagined yourself without.
I met my first love when I was 22 years old, and to say the least, it was both amazing and toxic at the same time. She had a sensual humility to her poise and overall personality; I was drawn to her strikingly innocent appearance and subtle beauty. At first glance, I knew I had to make her mine. We fell in love almost instantaneously and by my birthday, we had our first intimate encounter, I was the first guy who deflowered her and took her innocence.
We grew from strength to strength, and each day that passed came with lifelong lessons that I still apply. Our love was nothing short of a fairytale, we were each other’s pillars and our mutual friends thought that we would be a forever-and-a-day type of love story. By the time I turned 24, we were two years into our relationship and going strong, until I started working for a record company. Those who know me know how passionate I am about music, particularly hip-hop. The fact that I was doing PR work for one of the most prolific and talented rappers of my generation had me feeling like I was invincible. From working as a PR person, I was promoted to Road Manager and was responsible for managing this artist’s tour amongst other responsibilities.
Now, if you are knowledgeable about the music business, then you know about the lifestyle that comes with it. Parties every other day, a lot of flights to different parts of the world, and drinking sprees during the touring. I was introduced to a life of having one-night stands with beautiful, yet promiscuous women, who would do anything just to be part of our entourage. I started to neglect the love of my life without a clear indication of my wayward ways and our relationship took a nosedive as a result. In retaliation, my then-girlfriend began finding comfort in another man’s arms. Being an observant person, I noticed the change in her behaviour via her dress sense, and other intricacies such as her unavailability to spend time with me whenever I was around. Needless to say, we were headed down a destructive path.
Upon doing my digging, I found out she was cheating and as much as I had my fair share of indiscretions, it cut my core soul to find out that I was no longer her anchor but my role in her life had been reduced to part-time lover, if such a thing exists. Prior to us emotional colliding, I had also begun the habit of belittling and verbally abusing my girlfriend because I felt like the women on the road were more beautiful and therefore better than the one, I was with. I mean, not to justify or absolve myself from any wrongdoing, but I was a 24-year-old young man who was earning a lot of money and driving around in fancy cars, of course my ego had been inflated beyond my peripheral vision.
We eventually went our separate ways, in a very dramatic and heartbreaking way and it took years for both of us to peel off the scabs of our emotional scars. Recently, I had been doing a lot of emotional reparations and remembered that I owed my ex-girlfriend an apology for what I did to her. At first, I thought it was merely for her benefit but when I reached out to her, I realised that I also had internal damage that needed repairing. Upon our WhatsApp back and forth, my first love – who is now happily married – expressed her gratitude for me apologising for everything I did, and went as far as informing me that my scathingly hurtful words cut her deep and that she had been battling to see her worthiness even though she had moved on. She cried profusely and poured her soul to me, in the most sincerely liberating and bittersweet way.
My first love taught me a lot about myself and the way I treat and see women now is a far cry from what it was 12 years ago. Penning this was hard for me and I can assure you that I am battling to hold back tears as my fingers do all the typing on the keyboard. I am genuinely happy for my ex-girlfriend, as she also informed me that she is a mother of one now – we regrettably terminated our first child during our relationship (a story for another day) – she seems to be in a more tranquil space as a person and I couldn’t be happier for her, after all, she was, and always will be my FIRST LOVE…
Writer: Tebogo Kawawa