I still remember with breath-taking clarity the first time I fell in love. I was 17 and there was a girl in my class called Amanda. She was tall, gamine and with a slightly upturned nose. Her hair was blonde and long, always sweeping behind her.. She always seemed to be hurrying from one place to the next, yet she did so with a measured glide that made her seem somehow ethereal. I would stand and watch her as she bustled along the corridor in college, her hockey stick poking from her bag and apologies issued from that enticing mouth as the stick bumped against people. I would position myself in class so I could look at her without her noticing. I sat at seven o’clock to her and I drank in her frame as it was hunched over the desk, those long fingers gripping her fountain pen, the blue ink staining her index finger. How I loved her slender wrists which would often be turned towards me, the skin slightly paler than the rest of her sun-kissed self. Her figure was athletic, her skin lightly tanned and there was always a clean scent about her. Whenever she passed me I would breathe in as deep as I could to savour every molecule of her fragrance that washed over me. I would lie in bed, my eyes closed and invent scenarios for us to meet and spend time together. I imagined protecting her from those that would seek to defile such a precious person as I knew full well of the darkness that lurked waiting to trap someone as pure as her. I knew my kind and what went on in our minds. I masturbated frenetically conjuring up images of her naked frame enveloped around mine, her soft lips pressed onto my cheek. I could not resist the allure she exhibited yet I cursed myself after my climax for allowing me to think of her in this way. Occasionally she would smile at me and leave me dizzy with elation.
Carefully I built up a portfolio of information about her. There was no internet to aid me then and my intelligence was gathered through a combination of observation and discrete questioning of her friends. I knew where she lived, in a small town along from mine and her bedroom was at the front of the house above the main entrance. She often rode a bike and on a Saturday morning she would go horse riding. I learned she was a fan of Duran Duran and had something of a crush on Simon le Bon when she had been in her younger teens. I knew she enjoyed playing a lot of sport and her favourite drink was Vimto. Little by little I noted all of this down and then memorised it in readiness of the day that we spoke. I envisaged how I might ask her to go on a date with me. I thought about the two of us going to see a film together, something a little scary so that those delightful fingers might reach out and grab mine by way of reassurance. I wondered if she could ice skate and if not how she could hold onto me as we moved about the rink. I longed to hold her hand and let my fingers caress her clean, clean skin.
I never saw any evidence of a boyfriend although I knew from what other lads in the class said that they fancied her. Inside I churned when I heard them refer to her in a sexual fashion. She was not theirs to be spoken of in that way and during history lessons I would plot how I would cause those leering fools to suffer for their graphic slurring of my beautiful Amanda.
All through that first year of sixth form college I loved her with a noble purity and never spoke to anyone of how I felt about her, but I knew that it was love. How could this powerful sensation I felt each time I saw her, heard her or smelt her, be anything else? The summer holiday was a painful hiatus and my sporadic passes of her home never produced a glimpse of Amanda. I once walked up to the front door and nearly posted a note through her letterbox, but my nerve failed me and I retreated down the path.
Once Autumn arrived and with it the start of the upper sixth, I returned to college with expectant enthusiasm. As I settled into my usual seat and waited for her to glide into the class room I wondered if she had changed much over the summer holiday. The teacher arrived and commenced the lesson, but there was no Amanda. She made no appearance all that week. Nor the next. My sleep was fragmented with concern as to her whereabouts and eventually I asked our form tutor. He explained that her family had moved abroad over the summer owing to her father’s job. He did not know the exact whereabouts. My fury at losing her was monumental but I kept it within, as I had been taught, not wanting the world to know of the agony that I bore. I tried to ascertain where she had gone but my questions bore no fruit.
The decades have passed and I have looked for her again and again. I have used technology to try and locate her but there has been nothing. Her name may have changed and thus she eludes me. I have checked her old friends’ profiles to see if she is amongst their friends but she remains elusive. I have had to carry the burden of my lost love all this time and though I have sought sanctuary in the soft embrace of countless ladies, each time hoping that Amanda will appear to me through their embrace or their fragrance, every time I am left broken and bitterly disappointed. None of them come close to that angel which graced my class room. None of them equal her purity and grace, her unsullied manner and gracious movements. My love for Amanda was perfect and I feared it could never be matched. Each and every time they show such promise and every time they leave me disappointed and full of bile as they fall monstrously short of her perfection. I will not give up on my angel, I never shall, for it is with her that I shall find salvation.