Scandalous: A Fleeting Love Song

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Do you remember your first broken heart?

You do, right?

I’m not talking about the crush you had on that cute guy or girl during middle school that resulted in a wounded heart for a day or two. I’m talking about the first time you felt as if your heart had split in two and spilled with the blood of utter misery. The time you cried yourself to sleep every night and awoke with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

You know what I’m talking about.

It was the same time when every love song you’d ever known suddenly resonated. No longer was Islands in the Stream just a chirpy tune you knew off by heart. That music. Those words. They weren’t just catchy vibes you sang along with to the radio anymore.

Uh-uh. No sirree.  Your world had spun off its axis and nothing would ever be the same again. You had leveled up to a different ball game and you’d just lost the first innings.

Welcome to heartbreak central.

Don’t forget to grab your tissues at the door while you drown yourself in the music that now transcended into something meaningful. Something solemnly expressive. Something … raw. Lyrics. Tunes. Voices. Instruments. All of them pulsed, beaten and drummed against your brain like a weeping melody that etched a memorable notch on your freshly bruised heart.

I Wish it Would Rain Down on Me – Phil Collins.

“Cos, I know in my heart of hearts I’m never gonna hold you again” – I mean, come on. I almost broke the cassette tape hitting the rewind button. I choked. The stereo choked. But I did it – I abused that rewind button till the surface was worn smooth while I sprawled on my bed and gazed teary eyed at the ceiling wondering how he could have rejected me.

How?

Love Song – Prince and Madonna.

A love song with swag … Attitude … Sass.

“Say what you mean, mean what you say. This is not a love song.”

“I’m losing my mind (are you wasting my time).”

Gaslighting?

Hmm. Another subject.

He was my friend’s older brother and he liked Prince. He drove his parents’ car and he played the Batman soundtrack every time I rode with him.

Scandalous – Prince.

“Understand, understand that I love you.”

I understand. Baby.

He could dance. Oh, how he could dance. He had the moves and the grind. His hair would fall over his brow as he worked his hips and did sexy things with his lips. He asked me to dance at the high school disco, and holy mother of all things hot, I had never been so turned on.

Mind you, I was only sixteen.

And sweet.

Didn’t matter how sweet I was, by the following day, word had spread around like a blazing wildfire – He and Kim looked as if they needed a bed last night.

Erm… huh? Nah.

He must have heard it through the Grapevine, because it didn’t take long for my home phone to ring. Remember how phones used to be attached to the wall socket in a common area in your home and the curly cord could only reach so far?

Ours was in a small hallway leading to the bedrooms and the bathroom, smack bang in the midst of a heavy traffic zone. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stretch that damned cord far enough to reach my room. I tried hard.

Sweet talker crooned down the line. He’s all smooth.

“Hi baby.”

Blushing. He called me, baby?

I’m suddenly feeling rather mature .

“Hi,” I said, gushing.

“I had fun last night.”

Blushing plus heart flip.

Definitely feeling all-woman now.

“Me too.”

“Can I take you out on a date this Saturday night?”

Blushing plus heart flip plus inner-delighted scream.

Slight alarmed pause, then: “Hold on, I’ll just ask my mum.”

The grown-up feelings fizzled fast after that, especially when she slapped me with a strict curfew of 10pm.

Wait – what? 10pm?

I know, right? I debated. Hell, I argued till I was blue in the face. I was good at debating with my mother. I was also good at losing those battles. She was nervous. I was going out on my first date with an older boy that drove a car. What was her deal, anyway?

I didn’t understand …

He took me to Darling Harbour. He held my hand and we walked along the harbourside and gazed at the city fountains cascading beneath fairy lights that sprinkled and twinkled in the trees above us. Sigh.

Sound romantic?

It was. To me. Those moments were the same ones that bonded us. Well, I can’t speak for him, but that was my perception, my experience. It was short-lived though, because I had a curfew, remember, and he had other pressing matters to attend to within that timeframe.

Like, get into my pants.

 “Whisper, whisper a question.”    

He parked at the beach and asked me to join him in the back seat of the car. He introduced me to lust and desire, and the hottest kissing session I’d ever known. He introduced me to dry-humping.

“With my body, I’ll scream a reply.”

The chemistry was amazing, and I was falling in love. Foreign things began happening to my body; my head whirled, pulse ramped, nipples ached and something else – I got wet. Really wet.

Who knew that could happen?

Not me.

Temperatures rose higher than a tsunami on amphetamines. The car windows fogged. We were covered in kisses and sweat and trapped in a steamy mobile Turkish bath on high arousal. My sweater was off. Bra still intact. It was at this point he moved in for the kill – the zipper on my jeans.

Panic set in.

“Don’t be afraid, baby. Touch it and explode.”  

It was going to explode alright. There was no mistaking the bulge, and absolutely zero doubt that he wanted to get unzipped and release its throbbing wrath upon me. It was then I put on the brakes.

“Stop!”

“Huh?” Breath hot and urgent in my ear. Spaghetti hands in a frenzy. “No, why? We’re having fun.”

I couldn’t argue with that, but I wasn’t going to lose my virginity in the back seat of a car on a first date – no matter how much I liked him.

He didn’t like that.

“Take me home.”

He didn’t like that either.

“Please.”

Suddenly, I was silently grateful for my early curfew and had an inkling why my mother had been so nervous about this date. We rode in silence and he said he’d call me. He didn’t.

Enter Phil Collins on rewind.

What is it with guys not calling you if you don’t give out?

Dicks.

After that, he systematically made his way through a lot of pretty girls in my year who did give out. I think he appreciated systems. Yes, he liked his systems. The girls, however, did not. They put out and he called on them again – until they inevitably wound up sobbing along to Phil Collins.

Or Millie Vanilli.

“I knew it from the start you would break my heart.”  

I might’ve silently smirked when watching mascara tears staining virtuous faces black as one pretty girl after the other caught the backdraft of his sting. He hurt me too, but it could have been worse; I could have been one of them black-stained notches on his belt. I could’ve slept with him.

He called me again a few months down the track. He was ready for round two. I guess he thought I’d matured enough to get all-woman with him. That time, I turned down his invitation. Not saying it was easy, though.

That smile. Those deep brown eyes. Luscious lips … steamy mobile Turkish baths and hand holding in Darling Harbour beneath twinkling lights. Sigh.

“No thanks.”

Choke. Did I just turn down the most irresistible guy in school?

Yep. He shattered my heart for crying out loud. There was no return ticket. I did the time. I cried, I wrote him letters (and actually posted one to him – cringe); I moped around for days, weeks … months. Then I found a spot in my mind and placed him on a shelf and moved on. Witnessing his playboy antics probably helped some too. Black tears leave lasting strong impressions.

About six months ago I heard from him again. I was going through a tough time. My heart was hurting when he pinged me out of the blue. It was as if the universe was reminding me of the past. It was reminding me that hearts break, and hearts heal, and everything would be alright. Serendipity.

“I should write a book about my life. It would be a bestseller!” he told me.

“Oh, hey, I know. You can begin your book about the time you broke my heart.”

“Did I really? That was never my intention.”

Erm … yeah. Duh. Did you not get that letter? (cringe). I’m certain I spoke for myself earlier about the bonding and romance part along a dark Darling Harbour street. Luminous city fountains and fairy light dreams.

Yeah.

“You have my sincerest apologies. Believe it or not I have often thought about you over the years.”

Hmm. I wonder had I not put on the brakes in the steam-machine that night if that would have turned out differently. Either way, whatever it was that we shared has made its mark against our memories and formed part of the fabric of who we both are today.

I must admit he’s a pretty cool guy with a vibrant personality, though. Whenever I hear from him, he always makes me laugh. It’s not unusual to receive something like this in Messenger nowadays:

“What’s up, ex-girlfriend with a broken heart? HAHA!”

“Cute :)”

 “Spirits rise and spirits fall.”