‘The Summer Romance That Changed My Life’
EMMA FIRTH, 25, FROM LONDON, NEVER LET GO OF HER SUMMER FLING…
Rewind to July last year and I was pretty happy in my single-girl bubble. After around two torturous years getting over my first love, I was finally happy being alone. Weekend getaways with my girls, flirting with boys I had no intention of being in a relationship with – I was having fun. But my ‘I Don’t Need A Man’ moment all went up in smoke when I met my now boyfriend – Shawn, 26 – last August in London.
‘You’ve got to meet my American friend,’ my best mate Alex told me. ‘He’s an artist staying here for a summer course and doesn’t really know anyone.’ I remember seeing him for the first time – all 6ft 2in of him (FYI, I’m 5ft 1in) – and being struck by his soft Philadelphia accent. We went dancing that evening in a big group of friends and I probably spoke to him once – when I like someone I become mute. But the next day I plucked up the courage to invite him for lunch, thinking food and company would cure my hangover. We ended up spending the whole day walking around, talking about our dreams, fears and families (‘I thought this girl must really like me if she’s asking me all these questions,’ he would later tell me).
The weeks that unfolded thereafter felt somewhat like starring in my own rom-com. We spent our days together by the canal in the summer heat. We were falling in love – fast – but we also knew it had to end soon, as his course finished in September and then he’d have to fly back to the US. But we kept in contact through Facebook or long Whatsapp calls. While our separation was difficult, other guys just paled in comparison.
Then the call came. ‘I got into the two-year Master’s degree in London. I accepted and I’m coming in September,’ he told me on the phone in March. He may catch the last glimpse of summer when he returns to the UK, but I’m more excited about our winter. Together.
The weeks that unfolded felt like starring in my own rom-com. We fell in love – fast