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It’s Been 5 Years Since My First Love Walked Away, But I Still Can’t Forget Him

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Let me share a deeply personal tale about my first love, whom I affectionately call T, for Tom Cruise, a playful nickname he gave himself. The last time we met, I found myself in a bizarre circumstance that clouded my ability to think clearly. In the heat of the moment, I broke off my engagement with a highly suitable match my family had arranged for me.

Looking back, my behaviour embarrasses me, and I can't help but regret causing my family such distress.

Making impulsive choices had been a pattern in my life, and T became the centre of my universe, surpassing even my own self-respect.

When I met him, driven by my emotions, I found myself pleading; unable to move on from our past. He told me he couldn’t bear this any longer. He changed his number and quickly avoided any further chance of contact. And that was the last time I saw him.

His back turned, walking away. It’s been five years to that day.

It makes me think about first loves. Is it worth holding on to these memories? Memories that can do nothing more now, than deepen our wounds. Even if we force ourselves to forget, or we somehow do find a way to move on, why do those memories find a way to haunt us?

Years passed and my life transformed in many ways—I embraced various roles, I became a wife with a supportive husband; though not perfect. I have a precious child, a fulfilling job and a family that became the strong foundation upon which I have built myself up. 

Despite all of this, T remained a constant presence in my thoughts — at times subconsciously, at times, consciously. A dear friend from college empathised with my feelings. Reminding me that T didn’t deserve to be a part of my future, especially considering how he treated me.

While that may be true, I can’t help but remember the good times we’ve had; the strong bond we’ve shared.

It’s incredible how someone with such emotional depth can leave an indelible mark on our lives. Recently, news of his grandfather’s passing reached me through one of our common friends.
Impulsively, I sent him a heartfelt condolence message. I had already memorised his number. However, as soon as I hit ‘send’, I was filled with regret and embarrassment.

And what fuelled this even more, was the fact that he didn’t reply. I shared this with a close friend, who knew both T and I well, including our past.

They reminded me that compassion was a beautiful trait, but also cautioned that T might not reciprocate, now or in the future.

Their words echoed within me, helping me make sense of my emotions. Despite my growth and the positive changes in my life, I still hold a special place for him. His presence weakens me, and I yearn to break free from the lingering feeling of our memories.

I long for the day when I wake up and find that he no longer occupies my thoughts, where his existence no longer troubles me. It's time to let go of this emotional baggage, as I deserve to live my life unburdened by the past. I've come to realise that if I can reject others who don't align with my ideals, then I should also be okay with accepting rejection.

The burden of this bittersweet relationship has weighed me down for far too long. I won't deny the deep connection we once had, but I must learn to release it and move forward.

The journey has been arduous, and the wounds were deep — I confined myself to a dark room for three long years after he left.

When you share such a profound connection with someone, letting go is never easy, and that's why even after moving on, he occasionally surfaces in my thoughts, as if challenging me to fully release him.

But I refuse to allow him to hold sway over my life any longer. I don't want to live like this, tethered to memories that no longer serve me. I'm determined to embrace my newfound wisdom, forgive, and liberate myself from the chains of the past.

One day, I hope to wake up and find that his presence has faded into the background, no longer affecting my heart or mind. This is the transformation I seek — to reclaim my life and finally be free from the weight of my first love's memory.

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