Two former lovers find out if ex marks the spot
I was 16 when I first met Ryan. It was 2012 and I’d just come out of my emo phase. I’d sneaked into a bar with a guy friend and some of his mates, and was complaining to him about how boys were “such arseholes”. Immediately, my friend dragged Ryan over and pushed him into me. He just grabbed my hand and kissed it. His silliness had me hooked. When my dad met my mum, it took him two years to ask her out. I wanted that – someone to be a bit nervous around me. Ryan turned bright red and couldn’t look me in the eye, so he ticked that box. After three months, I was as in love as a 16-year-old could be.
We lived far apart and neither of us could drive, so we weren’t able to meet up often. Once, on a rare day trip to Manchester, I was admiring some decadent chocolates, and he secretly bought them for me. They were the wrong flavour, but it was still cute. When he first told me he loved me, I was passionately describing my favourite tea, and he just blurted it out.
But then, three months later, it became obvious we were on very different paths. He wanted to stay in Cumbria; I wanted to travel and go to university. I called him up and broke it off, which was a sh*t thing to do after six months together, but it wasn’t too explosive – he understood.
It was weird to see him six years later. He looked the same, but he’s improved with age – all beard and tattoos. He was less nervous, but I think his mind was still going a mile a minute. Towards the end of the night I took my hair down and he just stared at me, saying “wow…” over and over. He said I was the one that got away, which was quite full on, but it didn’t scare me. It was nice to reconnect.
Georgia and Ryan in 2012