Being Reckless with Other People’s Hearts — Part 2 | #MyFridayStory №269
Having your heart broken at a young age should teach you not to inflict such pain on others — ever. You would think.
My girlfriend, the woman I loved with every molecule of my being — the woman I made an oath I would marry — had been living 10 000 kilometres away in Scotland. It had been more than a year with no signs of her returning to “marry me” in South Africa. After 3 attempts to “fetch” her were foiled by her parents, I returned to South Africa licking my wounds. I’d lost the battle, but not the war.
It was the 80s and the only venue in the city where you could find coin-operated telephones that could make overseas calls was located at Jan Smuts International Airport. At the time I happened to be working and living near the airport. Every Friday night, at a set time, I’d call her in Scotland at a number for a telephone booth. By now, her parents had forbidden us from communicating and banned me from ever seeing her again. But we were in love. So, we swore to continue the romance through a 10-minute, 10 pm call, every Friday Night.
Sometime during this long-distance-once-a-week-Friday-night-telephone ritual, I guess we both knew we were cheating. We didn’t want to address it and avoid the pain at the time. I worked part-time at my friend’s bakery that was next door to a pharmacy. My friend knew the owner, the chemist and the staff he had working there behind the counters. One worker, a shy beautiful girl, often came into the shop to buy food and drinks for all their employees. We started chatting at the till… a little longer each time she came in.
It was after she got back from her summer holidays at the sea when I made my move. She showed me a photo of her and her friend arm-in-arm standing knee-deep in the waves rolling in. Before I returned it, I wrote on the back, “Ain’t she sweet!” At first, confusion ensued about which “she” I was referring to in the photo containing two ladies. After clearing up that omission, I asked her on a date.
Our first date was at a quaint restaurant where we hit it off. There was no lack of chemistry and we spoke for hours. My Dad was always debonaire and charming, especially around ladies. I always admired that about him. My Dad never stopped being a romantic and a ladies’ man. Like him, I love making special people feel more special. Pulling out all the stops, over the following months, our romance blossomed and we grew intimately close.
One day, our whirlwind romance came to an abrupt end.
My Scottish girlfriend — the woman I made an oath to God to marry — agreed to elope back to South Africa. The idea was to give it a “try” with me for a year, and if she’s still not sure, she can always go back to her family in Scotland. Ending our relationship ripped my heart out. But I am damned. I’m ashamed to this day for how reckless I was with her heart. The mere fact that I thought something as real as what we had can be switched on and off, astounds me today.
My Dad was not proud of his son’s deceitful game and warned me about being reckless with other people’s hearts. The trail of destruction arising from an act of selfishness bred from an inflated ego is long.
I married the Scottish lass on her 21st birthday. Her parents attended the wedding, albeit under duress. We planned to have a family and my Son was born 4 years into our marriage. My daughter was born 3 years later. Then, 17 years ago, and after 17 years of marriage, we agreed to get a divorce.
I’m saddest that I was so reckless with another person’s heart by pursuing what I want. Not God’s agenda, mine. That was a crappy thing for me to do. Odd, it took a long time for me to acknowledge how shallow and yellow that was of me. I brushed it off as collateral damage in the pursuit of my vision of the future.
She married a great man and they had kids of their own — naming her first Son the same name we named our Son in a fun twist. After many years, I was able to ask for forgiveness for what I did. That was only after acknowledging the pain and heartache I had caused.
How callous. How devastating. But I wasn’t done. My next foray into dragging someone’s heart around almost leads to death.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
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