Heartbreak Hindsight

by | Apr 27, 2011 | The Red Dress Club | 19 comments

Young Love

[Photo Source]

Long, long blonde hair. Still a slip of a thing but with improbably big boobs. Taut limbs honeyed with the fading summer.

I was nineteen years old. And I had no idea that I was lovely just as I was.

He had called. Told me to meet him outside – he didn't want to come in if my parents were home. So I walked half way down the long driveway to meet him. The sun was sinking low in the afternoon sky, and with it, my heart.

The pale blue ute slowed and pulled into my driveway, carrying my first love and bad news.

I stopped walking, let him bridge the space between us as his car crawled forward.  

He wound down his tinted windows, the ones I had almost ruined butting a cigarette out on the inside of. Somehow, I'd figured the tint was on the outside of the glass. He had been so angry. Was I stupid?  

A silly girl. That's how he saw me. And because he was strong and made me feel safe, I embodied that role for him.

He was a good country boy with simple aspirations. I was a city girl overflowing with lofty dreams. Months of push and pull had taken their toll. Too many beers, so many tears. Hormones and jealousy and no love quite like ours. We were kids.

And now, the words fell from his mouth as they were always going to. Too much, too hard, all the fighting, not happy.

Then, the words falling from my mouth, the quintessential script for teenage heartbreak. But I loved him, we could work it out, didn't he love me?

He was out of the car now, taking me in his arms, hushing me, he couldn't bear to see me cry.

His hands moved across my body, settled on my hips, so familiar. My arms moved up and entwined themselves around his neck. And we were kissing. As though we might never kiss again. Sad and hungry, consuming one another.

"See what you do to me?" he said, hard up against my hips.

There was a moment of hope. Confusion. Did this mean….? Were we okay? Guiltily, he pulled away, desperate to reinstate the space between us. He was sorry. He shouldn't have done that. 

And then, the tyres were spinning in the gravel, sending up clouds of dust for him to disappear into.

I walked back to the house, heaving sobs pushing up from my chest, breaking free from my throat. In the bathroom, I watched myself cry in the mirror. My face was blotchy, streaked with tears and mascara. I was strangely comforted by this portrait of heartbreak. I was entranced by the drama of my own despair. 

In the following weeks, I would wake in the mornings, suspended in that fog for a moment before the awful truth would squeeze my lungs like a vice. My pillow bore witness to the very depths of my desolation.

I believed my heart would never mend.

Get up, little girl. You think he is the only one for you, the only boy you will ever love. But your life ahead is filled with other boys. Three in particular.

One will write a song for you and when he finishes singing it, you will have to decide, do you want to be his wife, yes or no?

One will arrive in the place of your longed for daughter. And you'll be shocked to the core at the extent to which you will love him.

The third will be unlike any other human being you have known and when he calls you Mumma, you will break into a million tiny pieces and be reformed into the woman you always hoped you could be.

Get up, little girl. This ending is your very beginning.

  This week's RemembeRED prompt was to write about a time something seemingly terrible happened, but looking back, it brought something wonderful. 

Hello friends


I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

Insta Love


  1. Basia

    Just lovely. Made me cry.

  2. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Oh, thank you so much.

    By the way, I have thought of you often and hope all is well with you. No need to reply here but just wanted to mention that. xx

  3. Belle

    Amazing babe, loved it.

  4. Dan

    Oh Angie, I had an experience very similar to that and
    remember all the tears and angst. Bastard! 🙂

  5. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Oh, I know, Dan! Isn’t it the worst? You think you’ll never survive it.

    This boy was actually quite sweet. A good first boyfriend who was very loving and gentle – but so wrong for me. We had broken up before – that time I instigated it. Gosh, it was all drama and then making up back in those days.

    Oh, teenagers…

  6. Melissa

    Oh far out. This is so beautiful. Hits me right where I live.

    (If I may inject a pathetic moment of levity: as ONJ once memorably said in Grease “I’m no stranger to heartbreak”.)

  7. MJ

    I loved this. I wouldn’t go back to those teenage years of angst for anything, but they sure do form who we are today, huh? x

  8. MJ

    Oh, and what an idiot boy, by the way. I don’t doubt you were as cute as all fuck!

  9. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Ha! You quoted ONJ on my blog! Gotta love that. I DO love that. 🙂

    Thank you. xxx

  10. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Yep – would never, never go back. Unless I could take those improbably big boobs back to the present with me; they were so lovely.

  11. Jess

    Just beautiful – made me cry! I love the last sentence.

    I am so glad I came across your blog… It would have to be a favourite now. You write beautifully and honestly.


  12. julie firkin

    Powerful. Beautiful. A great ending 🙂

  13. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Oh Jess, thank you! How incredibly lovely of you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading. I am honoured that you’re here.

  14. SoberJulie

    Just beautiful, I was reliving my breakup with my first love through your words. Your written words to your young self are causing me to reflect and heal.

  15. Rae

    “Just beautiful, I was reliving my breakup with my first love through your words. ”
    Ditto. I think you’ve nailed it. And not just the boyfriend/break up part, but the son part. I soooooooo get it.

  16. Elisa

    A great post to paint a picture of those teenage years. I wouldn’t go back to that time for a second (well maybe a night at college but that’s it).

    I particularly liked your line – “I watched myself cry in the mirror.” Oh how many of us have been in your shoes and yet at that moment you probably felt like you were the only one in the world.

    Visitng from TDRC…


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