ENTRIES: Hooked On Your First Love competition
By now you’ve likely heard about AusRomToday’s Hooked On Your First Love competition, if not, where’ve you been?!
To get the creative juices flowing, the unstoppably sassy Ainslie Paton has mocked up a couple of entries to give you a push in the right direction.
Really great legs
In the beginning I thought Antony was second prize. Well I would, right. I mean Julius was the leading politician of the day and hey, I’m not ashamed to admit I like a powerful man. But Antony knew how to wear a toga and he had great legs. Really great legs. There were moments where his love of wine, other women and song got me down, but then in my family we married our brothers so who was I to complain. In the end we pulled it together. The suicide pact was his idea, but it was my asp, so I think we shared equally in that decision. — Cleopatra
The greatest sacrifice
I’m not sure it’s possible to find evidence of a greater love than that which my Edward showed me. He was always good with the flowers but this was truly beyond the pale. He was never one to shy away from scandal. Dinner with Hitler was probably a mistake in hindsight, but other than that he never put a foot wrong. Other women boast about how their husbands sacrifice for them, a game on the telly, the amount they drink, but my Edward gave up a Kingdom. Top that. — Wallis Simpson
A man who listens
My idea for a man is one who indulges my every wish. The richer the better obviously. The thing is I’m not into BDSM or any of that ritual sacrifice, or humiliation porn stuff. And I don’t get off on bully boys who like to threaten pain of death. I mean seriously what is that alpha-hole crap. So, Shahryar had this totally like bad boy rep, I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved, the things I heard. Anyway I have to admit I wasn’t keen on meeting him, but then I like to talk and it didn’t take long to work out what I really want is a man who knows how to listen. That man listened to me for like 1001 nights, how could I not fall in love with him? — Scheherazade
He’s got swagger
I don’t necessarily play well with others. I’m stubborn, some would say pig-headed, but I have a kind heart and a soft spot for gentle men who are easy to get along with. I so wasn’t ready for Rhett. He’s this larger than life character who swaggers around and commands attention. Smart as paint, sharp as a knife. I knew I’d met my match. Trouble is, that man is more pig-headed than me, so we’ve been on again, off again and really it’s time to stop the drama. We’re not together at the moment, he kinda broke my heart, but he’s the only man for me and I’m going to get him back, because tomorrow is another day. — Scarlett O’Hara
The whole finding love things is so complex. When I think about it Lance and me, we’re a parable for the modern age. I mean really who doesn’t have an affair tucked away at home. We don’t like to talk about it, but monogamy, loyalty, fidelity, they’re all virtues that have gone out of fashion with privacy and modesty. So, get this. My marriage was going nowhere. I mean I loved Arthur but the age difference was starting to hurt. He was an old man and I just wasn’t ready to sit quietly by the fire. Lance seriously swept me off my feet. I wasn’t out there looking to have an affair or anything, but when he came along, all gallant and brave, what was I supposed to do. Yes, it caused a fuss. Yes, people got upset about it, and in the end, the guilt broke us up, but Lance was the love of my life and I will never forget him. — Guinevere
Now, we must stress – only genuine entries can win (sorry Scarlett, Gwen and friends).
Happy or sad, sarcastic or genuine, whatever emotion your First Love brings up, jot it down in 400 words or less for your chance to win CASH!
More details, here.
ENTRY ONE – Two Great Loves
I came to Australia for a short holiday in 1978 but I fell in love with the land and the wildlife and forgot to go home. Then a year later, half way into my great trek around the country, a smiling young man walked up to me in the disco of a remote mining town and asked for a dance. The next song was the Kiss hit I was made for lovin’ you. This should have alerted me to the tornado that was about to strike my heart and my loins. An hour later, we abandoned our friends and he drove me home. We sat outside in his truck and talked all night, until he had to leave for work in the mine at 6am. He was back half an hour after his shift ended and I was ready and waiting.
Forty-eight sleepless hours later, I declared: “You know you’re going to marry me, don’t you?” He said “Yep!” and that was about as romantic as we ever got. It was also the first and last time he ever agreed to anything I suggested. It must have been the exhaustion.
We both want to be boss, because we each think our dominant organ makes us better suited for the job. Of course, I’m referring to my brain. We argue over everything, from major life decisions to how long to cook the roast. Whenever I hear other couples’ lengthy relationships described with‘never a cross word’, I wonder if they’ve been awake.
The only thing we ever got right was the sex. We hardly got out of bed for the first five years and when we did, we realised we had nothing else in common. But there are worse reasons to marry. It may not be the stuff of romance novels but it’s kept us going for 35 years.
My love for my Australian is so entwined with my love for Australia that it’s hard to separate them. They are equally difficult to live with. Our property right on the Tropic of Capricorn is breathtakingly beautiful one day and ravaged by fire or flood the next; a suitable metaphor for the state of our relationship. But at least I can say I’ve never been bored.
ENTRY TWO – The Grey Ghost
She said “I love you”. I mumbled the reply, “I don’t know what love is.”
That screwed me up for life.
Thinking back on it though, what ten year old knows anything? I mean at the time my biggest priority was dragging my sparkling new BMX to the top of Goodlet Park hill just so gravity could sucker punch me as I went face first into the gravel pit at the bottom.
I loved that grey ghost even though it had killed Santa Claus. Look, when your parents tell you that the jolly fat man dropped off the same bike that you saw a week earlier hidden under a pile of blankets in the garage sure, you start to loose faith in things. But I still loved that bike.
Angela though, I don’t know. Her house was at the bottom of hill where I had tumbled to my doom many a time previously. As we sat there on those swings, her lips pressed, eyes closed full with anticipation, who knew that my words would destroy her for life. What kind of girl, pure and full of innocence could ever recover from such a massive rejection? Sure, it messed me up, but what about her? What about the girl who poured her heart and soul out into three words and put everything on the line?
Married with two kids. I saw her about a year ago at a friend’s birthday party. She smiled; you know that smile you get when a faint trace of recognition is buried beneath a veneer of utter happiness. Sickening. Those lies we tell ourselves. I could tell, even as she gently hushed her infant to sleep, that she was in the throes of despair.
My wife interjected, “You should bring the kids over to play with ours some time.”
Angela’s smile broadened, her cheek muscles twitching under the strain, “Does Matty still get around on that BMX? He loved that thing.”
My brain jarred. An image erupted. Somewhere buried deep under twenty years of garbage was the grey ghost. Its colour now corroded. Its wheels bent, spokes twisted. It was loved once, briefly, and then discarded, left to rust.
I took my wife’s hand and grasped it tight, staring into her silvery eyes as if it were the first time.
I’ll never let go again.
ENTRY THREE – My Mr. Right
He strolled towards me out of the mist, six foot two of muscle clad in military greens, maroon beret pitched at the perfect angle on his neat crew cut. As he drew closer, I caught a glimpse of hazel eyes—more green than brown—alight with a cheeky twinkle. My heart thumped wildy in my chest as an equally cheeky grin spread perfectly curved lips. In that moment, I was lost…hopelessly in love with this bear of a man whose arms promised Heaven with a body designed for sin.
I couldn’t believe he was mine, this eligible bachelor, in high demand in a small country town. Out of all the girls who sighed over him, planned their wedding dresses around him, he’d chosen me—the little brown mouse. I stepped into his arms, felt the touch of his lips against my hair, heard the comforting beat of his heart against my ear. This was where I wanted to be.
Life with him was an adventure. We swam in the warmth of the springs, sipped milkshakes in the moonlight as we watched the sea roll onto the sandy beaches, held hands in the back row at the movies and stole sweet kisses until we could sneak away to be alone, just the two of us.
For months he was my reason to breathe. I counted the hours until his next pass, his return from camp or his sojourns to the country to visit his family. Our reunions were bittersweet and never seemed to last long enough…at least, not for me.
I hated the times we were apart because that’s when the doubts crept in, when cruel whispers sparked rumours that grew with each telling. My heart would break with each cruel taunt that I’d never be able to keep a man like him, until my own self-doubt drove a wedge between us. His discharge from National Service loomed over us like a black cloud. He had plans that didn’t—couldn’t—include me. He wanted to travel, study some more before putting down roots, he said.
My eighteen-year-old heart shattered as he kissed me one last time before driving away in his Alfa Guilietta. That’s all I was to him—a root to be ripped up and discarded in favour of a new adventure? I heard from him a few years later but in that time I’d found my Mr Right.
ENTRY FOUR – Give Love A Chance
she was 15 i was 18 ,wrong in so many eyes. but then she turned 16 and our relationship went to the next level. at 16 she was told she couldn’t get married to me . because she was a foster child and the council would not allow it.
so she had a plan to get pregnant with out my knowledge.
the plan worked and on cold rainy day in February 1983 she told me she was with child. after all the arguments over whose fault it was , as she was on the contraceptive pill i thought we was safe.
when the news of our pending child broke , her foster father and the council had to relent and give permission for us to get married .
so on the 27th of may 1983 one day after her 17th birthday we go married amiss all the comments of it can never work and it wont last a year .
any way its 2014 and we are still together we had one more child in 1985.
i very rarely tell her i love her or even thank her for what she does for me, but she is my first and last love she means the world to me .
we have been through a lot in the 31 years we have been married including 2 children and 7 grandchildren.
so i guess my point is give love a chance. I LOVE YOU MICHELLE…………. DEAN XXX
ENTRY FIVE – Shy Sweethearts
I first noticed him on the school bus. Somehow he was always on board first, and I’d watch him as he scanned the line of high school students waiting to board, stopping only when his gaze met mine, at which point his face turned red and he looked away, pretending to read the book in his hand.
At first I thought it was just my imagination, but after catching him a couple of times I began to watch him too, and I caught him looking at me more and more often; in classes we shared, or at Scouts, the only after school activity we were both part of. Eventually a mutual friend asked him out for me. He said yes, and we spent several weeks in that embarrassing too-shy-to-talk stage. We were in Grade 7 – I was 13, he was 12. Eek! As I write that I marvel at how young we were!
At a friend’s insistence he gave me a love-letter, “I was told to give you one letter but I’ll give you five…” he wrote, spelling out the letters of his name. “and you will remember me I hope.” I spent hours trying to write the perfect reply, but my teenage self saw nothing that matched the heartfulness of his note, and all my attempts ended up in the bin. Would we still be together now if I’d managed a reply? Part of me romanticises the story, so that yes, we would have been those high school sweethearts that stayed together and married and had children. As it was we were both to shy too really open up to the other, and we parted ways when a so called mutual friend informed me I was dumped. Later, much too late, I learnt the same neighbour had told him the same thing – that I had dumped him. We never got back together, though we both wanted it (so his best friend told me, several years later).
Clearly it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps in our next lives the stars will align and we’ll have the happily ever after I was so sure we were destined to share. Or perhaps the experience was simply to help me recognise as an adult when someone good came along, and make sure I didn’t let this one slip through my fingers.
ENTRY SIX – The Car That Pulled Chicks
The mauve, metallic duco on the Holden Monaro sparkled in the sun. A wide black stripe stretched from bonnet to boot, and the V8 rumbled through twin chrome tail pipes. She dragged her gaze back to his eager face, which looked as though it had been thrown together by a three-year-old – all lumpy and lopsided. She glanced down at his bony shoulders and puny arms.
He took a deep breath. “Wanna go for a ride?”
His hand shook as he lifted the door latch and reefed it open for her.
She slid in. The soft black leather of the seat caressed the backs of her legs as her mini skirt slid up. He passed her the seatbelt. She pulled it and fastened it with a loud click.
He ran around the car, tugged his door open, and hopped in.
She stared at the sexy dashboard, backlit in green. “What’ll she do?”
He turned to look at her before replying. “A hundred in four seconds.” He ran his tongue over his dry lips. “Wanna see?”
A wave of desire flowed through her. She held his gaze and smiled slowly, seductively, at the thought of being thrust back into the soft leather bucket seat as the G force took effect.
She saw him depress the clutch, flick the gear lever, and then heard a primeval roar a second before the car propelled forward with such force that she was sure the skin on her cheeks was pushed back towards her ears. A throaty growl bubbled from the engine, causing her insides to throb with raw desire. Her breath came in gasps, and droplets of perspiration formed on her forehead.
She glanced across at him, seeing his face transformed into that of a handsome man, a gladiator guiding his chariot in a race to the death. His biceps bulged as he gripped the steering wheel, his strong hands flicking the gear stick through the gears at lightning speed.
She heard the tyres squeal as he did a doughnut, using the handbrake to spin the car around. They came to a halt on the grassy verge near the river.
Her heart beat loudly.
He looked across at her. “Wanna do it?”
He leaned over and kissed her. She threaded her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. She knew she was in love.
ENTRY SEVEN – I Couldn’t Make This Up If I Tried!
My first love bought me a happy meal on our first date. Surprisingly, that wasn’t a deal breaker because years later I married the tight arse. You see, big spender let me keep the toy. That’s true love right there.
Those plastic Hamburglar binoculars still hold pride of place in the pool room.
He’s a true romantic my first love. I mean, the bloke waited until after we made epic soul shattering sweet love for the first time before he broke wind in front of me. That’s classy, right? Although when I say he waited until after, I mean it was literally, just after. As in he hopped off the bed and baked an air biscuit en route to the bathroom.
That’s when I knew he was a keeper. You know, that Mills and Boon moment when you can just tell from the smell that he’s ‘The One’.
This same first love proposed to me years later buck naked, post coitus on bended knee whilst the dog tried to lick his balls. I could hardly refuse in the face of such a grand romantic gesture.
That’s the kind of love story you just can’t wait to tell your grandkids.
Our wedding was the stuff of fairy tales. I rocked the classic princess frock. I know this because my first love told me. In fact his first words to me at the altar were “Nice fucking dress”, and later in the Limo he told me I was “the prettiest bride in Wollongong today”.
The city of Wollongong has a population of only 290,000 and 50 churches so chances are the number of brides hitching their wagons to their own Prince Charmings that day was barely double digits but still, I was overwhelmed by his heartfelt epithet of my beauty.
The crescendo of romance built to tidal proportions on our honeymoon. Could there be anything more enchanting than a tour of Europe? Especially when that tour is a Contiki Tour. The honeymoon was shared with a bus full of single desperate 18-35 year olds. I’m certain the foundations of our formidable union began on that vehicle amongst a two week ambience of morning breath, discarded condom wrappers and chlamydia.
Memories to cherish forever.
For fifteen years I’ve been the lucky gal who snagged this man, my first and only love.
And no, I couldn’t make this stuff up even if I tried…
ENTRY EIGHT – It Began With The Shoes…
It was the shoes I noticed first. I remember distinctly. He had on black, pointy shoes which were totally cool for the early nineties. I fancied myself the artistic type, not quite Goth but definitely on the more awkward side. I’d just finished my HSC and was out celebrating with some girlfriends at a local club. I looked up and saw the shoes belonged to a blond guy no older than me. He wasn’t particularly tall, his cheeks were ruddy and he reminded me of the actor Chris Atkins (my teen crush), except maybe for the mullet hairdo. Mr Blond asked me to dance and I said yes (I am pretty sure it was because of the shoes).
After the dance he asked me if I wanted a drink. I declined. I wasn’t sure I wanted to encourage him at this stage. Later I was to find out how relieved he was as he had little money on him. We were teens, none of us had money.
Later that night I met him again and he invited my friends and me to sit at his table with his friends. They were a lively bunch and we all got on well. I started talking to Mr Blond about movies and bands we liked. He liked Cold Chisel and I liked Depeche Mode. He liked action films and I liked Period dramas. We were total opposites but he was funny and I liked him. At the end of the night I gave him my number. I didn’t expect to hear from him.
He did ring me and although I was going on my schoolies week and he was going to his the week after we decided to meet again at the club a few weeks later. He sent me a funny post card from Queensland reciting how he burnt the top of his feet while sun baking and had to shadow skip to the nearest chemist for some cream. I loved that he made me laugh. When we met again it was if we had known each other for years. I don’t know how it happened but we were smitten and it showed. We were inseparable from that time on. Twenty years later and I am still married to him. He’s not blond any more but he’s still funny. I guess opposites do attract. If only he still had those cool pointy shoes.
ENTRY NINE – “Truth & Trysts: The Innocence of the Iris.”
“So, how did this happen?” he began. “How does this happen? We used to get along fine. It’s not that I don’t miss you sometimes. It’s just that we’re so different. I mean you’re a Catholic and I’m just not. I don’t know why we didn’t see it right away. We’re too different.” Then, Chris looked away and said, “Donna, you know I’m going to be leaving for the summer again don’t you? I’m going to wrestling camp again and then to Canada, as usual.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“And you know that when I’m gone…”
“No, yeah, I know,” I said. I could sense what was coming. This goodbye wasn’t going to be like last year’s goodbye when he had sacrificed a tournament for me and said he loved me.
“I just don’t want you to think…”
“No. I know.” Stop, I thought. Do you have to say it? Don’t say it. Let me pretend. If you say it, then I can’t pretend it could work… me being Catholic and you being an atheist.
Nevertheless, the night before Chris was leaving, we found ourselves at his house again. We had spent a lot of time together during the last two weeks. We couldn’t seem to stay away from one another in spite of his speech at the synagogue.
But it wasn’t like I remembered it a year ago. A year ago, it was polite. It was exploratory. I remembered the way he had politely folded my clothes the day he stayed home from wrestling camp to be with me. It was as though he were saying: “Hi, how are you?” Would you like to sit down? What would you like to drink?” But, this was lust. This was urgency. He took his hand and wiped my stomach, showed it to me, to my face, and said:
“Don’t you feel that?! Don’t you feel that heat?!”
My stomach was a pool of sweat.
“But I care for you more than any other guy ever has…”
“Bullshit, and he thought the fake fireplace and aluminum siding were cheesy!” I thought to myself. “No,” was what I answered aloud.