I have been writing down boys’ names in notebooks for 20 years, fleshing out my own stories of broken hearts and unrequited love. Some of them were villains, yes, but mostly they were the protagonists of their own stories, seeking adventure and happy-ever-afters, and I was not their leading lady.
When I started university, I was a drama major. I changed my mind one year in (and several times after that), and I said it was because the programme was too competitive and the atmosphere quelled my creativity. But I wonder if, somewhere below where I know things for sure, the reason had more to do with the fact that a 5’10” blonde rarely gets cast in the part of the ingenue, and it was all just a little too close to the bone.
We all know how the story goes from here: I, the star of my own production, set off for adventure across the sea and there, in the midst of what I had laid out as a story about solitude and adventure, I found him.
Simon, Simon, Simon.
I have penned his name in my notebooks a thousand times in the last ten years, spelled it out as tears soaked the page, scratched it down in angry, angular letters, swirled its looping characters so lovestruck it was as if my fingers were singing it.
It has been my mantra since I was 21, and with every utterance of the beautiful name, my heart has whispered, “loyalty, commitment, Love.”
We are mostly happy, but not all the time. More than that, we are learning – fighting, more like – to be strong, to be holy, to be wise. And now that we are cast in our own production, I can see that I was never meant to be the star at all.