Being Reckless with Other People’s Hearts — Part 1 | #MyFridayStory №268

Mohit Suthar | Pexels

Relationship heartbreak will befall you.

By the time you’ve reached adulthood, someone is bound to have broken your heart. Guaranteed, you’ve broken a few hearts as well. If there is something that’s going to break, it would be the bond between two members of a species set on destroying itself.

I hope I broke less hearts than broke mine. It somehow feels better being that way around. Could it be because I experienced the tragedy at the tender age of 7?

Her family had recently moved into the house on the corner of our street. She was cute as a button. Or as my Dad used to call her, “Snoep-neusie.”

I have vivid memories of our whirlwind romance.

We first met on the banks of the rugby field across the road. The sun was just setting, but the streetlights weren’t on yet, so we could still play. The kids in the neighbourhood had created a “slide” from the top of the steep embankments that flanked one side of the field. She was wearing cyan-sky blue hot pants that were brown on her bum from sliding down the slope. Her brother had made friends with some neighbourhood boys and was playing on the rugby field.

We played until the streetlights came on and promised to see each other first thing in the morning. I ran home as fast as I could. I had a big grin but felt strange. Like I needed to throw up. When I told my Dad and Mom I’d met a girl, they immediately started calling her my girlfriend. And I didn’t mind. For a 7-year-old to be okay with — actually encouraging — the thought of having a girlfriend, seems brave to me now.

I grabbed hold of my sketchpad, crayons and “kokies”, and sat down at the dining room table. I started drawing her name in big letters — the ones that joined together — like the hippies used in the 60s and 70s.

We were inseparable.

We even tried — completely innocently — to bath together. Her older sister would call her brother and her inside to come bath at 5 in the afternoon. They bathed together. But this was cutting into our playing time. By now a group of friends had formed that included her brother and some of the kids in the neighbourhood. We thought nothing of suggesting to the sister I bathed there as well. At that stage, it was clear we were both smitten and had become, “boyfriend and girlfriend”.

We held hands while our hands sweated at the Friday night movie in the school hall. We kissed. Closed lipped and pressed together until it hurt. We went to Saturday afternoon movies at the nicer theatre, not the cheap one down the road. I paid. People would look at us and giggle, we didn’t care. We were in love. We wrote love letters and swapped trinkets and fake jewellery. I played the guitar and sang her love songs.

Then one day, I was walking up to her house on the corner and I saw a head pop up from behind her garden wall. I heard them whispering behind the wall. As I peered over, I saw her holding hands with another boy. They grinned, looking straight at me. I ran home as fast as I could. I was crying and felt like I wanted to throw up.

My heart broke for the first time.

I knew from that experience, I never want to inflict that kind of pain on another person. I never wanted to betray another person — romantically or socially. Never is a long time. Alas, as hard as I try not to admit it, I am a member of the human species. I suffer from the same human condition we all suffer from — sin.

I was reckless with more hearts than I’d ever admit to or know about. I am ashamed of each one. It was my older Brother who first reprimanded me saying,

“You must never be reckless with other people’s hearts!”

It wouldn’t be the last time I was guilty, and wasn’t the first, I’m sure.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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