I’d been in love with this man since I was 12. But he was inaccessible. The years passed and I fell in love with someone my age – several times. Bruce. Jackson. Married him. He turned out to not be what he seemed. We divorced. Then I married Derek, a man who was more than he seemed. And he seemed pretty darn wonderful.
WHAT? My husband looked like my first love? I didn’t see it at first, but as the years passed, and Derek aged into a lean, streamlined handsome gent with smile crevices and twinkling eyes, I realized my brother was correct.
Which leads me to now, sitting here on a first-class flight to London on my way to visit our daughter during her semester abroad. I never fly first, of course, but somehow I got a Ticket to Ride in style.
I sink into the leather seat, accept the mimosa offered by the flight attendant, sigh with satisfaction, and open my book before the man sitting next to me interrupts the bliss by saying, “Hi, Seatmate.”
I nod, not wanting to look his way because I don’t talk on planes. I escape when flying through books and classical music
But I’m not a rude woman. So I take my earbuds out, place my book down, and turn to acknowledge that yes, we’re seatmates for six hours, howdy do, and may I get back to my book.
But I gasp. Derek! Why is HE here? What a fun surprise! I giggle but then notice that Derek’s blonde-gray hair is dark brown, his eyebrows are thicker, and his teeth are straighter and whiter.
I gasp again. “Paul?” I exclaim with incredulity in my voice. “Paul McCartney?”
He responds with a large grin.
“I thought you were my Derek.”
Paul looks confused. “Your Derek?”
“Never mind. I don’t want to gush like a besotted fan. So, thanks for being so friendly. I’ll leave you alone and get back to my book.”
He nods as the flight attendant asks what we’ve selected from the first class menu. “I’ll have the filet mignon,” Paul says, “with a glass of the cabernet that I brought on board.”
I try not to stare at him after the attendant leaves, but I can’t stop myself. “Paul, I thought you’re a vegetarian.”
“Most times,” he acknowledges.
“And I thought you gave up alcohol.”
“Most times,” he admits. “Maybe I’m amazed you know all of this.”
I shrug. Who doesn’t know everything about their first love? “And Paul, why do you dye your hair? I heard you were wearing it naturally gray now.”
“So, hey,” Paul answers. “What book are you reading?” Then he pointedly puts on his earbuds, and the conversation ends.
So, who was YOUR first love?